Streaming Radio Pioneer Sold

StreamAudio, one of the early companies into providing streaming and ad insertion solutions to radio broadcasters, has been sold to Optic Fusion, a Seattle based company specializing in business connectivity services.

StreamAudio began in 1999 and was sold to Chaincast in 2001. Since then, they have obtained several rounds of funding totaling $19 million. The company had ties to Singapore based Creative Labs, a manufacturer of pc sound cards and other audio tech hardware.

In its heyday, StreamAudio counted Cox, Susquehanna and other early streaming broadcasters among its clients. More recently, the company lost ground to newer streaming and ad insertion companies who offered more robust and versatile solutions. Their client list has dwindled to, according to the announcement, 200 stations.

“StreamAudio was a very early player in streaming,” says Dan Halyburton, an Internet radio pioneer himself. Halyburton, then SVP/GM at Susquehanna, put his stations online in the late 90s. “We were streaming with when Yahoo bought them, bought Launchcast and exited the space leaving Susquehanna Radio looking for bandwidth. Prices were high – over 1 dollar a gigabyte transferred. StreamAudio was a quality service with ad replacement and they beat everyones’ price. Paul Distefano ran the company and was a great guy to do business with.”
I worked with StreamAudio’s President Darren Harle a lot while at Net Radio Sales and always thought he was one of the best guys in the business. I hope this turn will provide him with resources to bring the company back to the prominence in the industry it once had.

One response

  1. I think in Dan’s quote it should have been $1 per megabyte, not gigabyte. Hard to believe, but that’s what the going rate was back then. I was running at the time and remember those huge bandwidth bills well! I also knew the guys at StreamAudio and wish them all the best. They were absolutely instrumental in helping to define the industry at very close to its genesis.

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