In an interesting twist, AOL has joined partners with Slacker to offer a more interactive service to listeners. This appears to involve the departure of AOL from an agreement with CBSRadio which assigned AOL’s audience to CBSRadio for revenue purposes. CBSRadio has been including AOL’s audience as part of its network in Webcast Metrics rankers, along with Yahoo Launchcast.
The new AOL Radio, now part of AOL owned by Huffington Post, will offer an enhanced radio experience with fewer ads, new personalization features and premium subscription offerings. The new service will deliver three product tiers to users: the free AOL Radio service, along with ad-free and feature-rich radio and on-demand premium subscription tiers with personalization and customization powered by Slacker.
“Slacker Radio is the perfect partner to significantly increase the quality of our offerings, said Lisa Namerow, Head of AOL Radio. By combining AOL Radio’s reach with the success of Slacker in mobile, we are increasing the distribution of our brands and further identifying AOL Radio as a leader in delivering superior radio experiences.”
There’s apparently some co-promotion built in as well, the two services will pair up on ad opportunities. RAIN reports that Slacker should double their audience as a result of this partnership.
It looks like AOL has decided, likely with guidance from their new owners at Huffington Post, to step up their online radio game. Huffpo is definitely a content focused operation and the recent success of Pandora has gained Internet radio lots of buzz. AOL has always had a good sized audience and it makes sense that they put some focus on making that service more interactive and interesting to listeners and advertisers.