Microsoft’s Radio Plus Clones Favorite Local Stations
In a move that must have radio programmer’s angry if not worried, Microsoft’s subscription net broadcasting service RadioOne began cloning many over the air broadcasters like NYC’s Z100 and LA’s famed KROQ by mimicking their play lists sans all of the annoying commercials and hype. Because these net stations are promoted as “like KROQ” and use publicly available monitored play lists, Microsoft appears to skirt any copyright issues and deliver a product that many should find attractive.
While the numbers listening to net broadcasters are currently small, they will continue to grow as broadband, Wi-Fi, and wired homes all become ubiquitous. Most believe that when true “anywhere” wireless access becomes available making net streams portable this medium will explode.
So while broadcasters may currently only be annoyed by Microsoft’s moves, they need to wake up before it’s too late. While monitored play lists make these stations possible what really enabled Microsoft’s moves were old school broadcasters who continue to ignore the potential to extend their brand by delivering alternative experiences to their listeners.