Slacker Scores With ESPN Radio

Slacker added another big radio brand to its growing list of branded audio content yesterday when they announced that they would be adding access to an interactive ESPN channel that will give listeners access to lots of customizable content from the largest sports network in the country. Slacker already offers its listeners ABC News, plus both genre based and personalizable music channels, artist programmed channels, comedy and hispanic programming.

It’s a very nice play for Slacker, and one that certainly gives them bragging rights to what may be the most varied program offerings in the land. Slacker, which is US based, streams audio content to listeners in the US and Canada. The ESPN station will be available to all Slacker listeners for free and Slacker Radio Plus subscribers will have access to the full ESPN experience for $3.99 a month.

ESPN Radio already has a really nice online presence, ranked 7th on AndoMedia’s Webcast Metrics ranker for December with an average number of active sessions streaming of around 15,000. So why this deal? “It has long been our mission to provide listeners with the ability to experience ESPN Audio content wherever they are and through whichever medium fits best into their busy lifestyle,” said Traug Keller,senior vice president, Production Business Divisions, ESPN, Inc..

It’s all about extending the brand, which may well mean this is the first, but not the last streaming audio deal for ESPN.

Slacker meanwhile is rapidly becoming the largest streaming audio content network, with a nice list of big name radio brands to offer its listeners, in customizable formats that make it easy and appealing for them to get what they want. Which is probably the key to getting them to pay for it – Slacker’s got some deals in place with mobile phone companies that make that a little easier with the phones preloaded with Slacker apps and direct billing from the phone companies for customers that subscribe.

I’m impressed, this is a nice move by Slacker, who seems to be well on its way to building a nice streaming audio content network. Now if they would just change their name…

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