AudioFeast, the first to market with a portable Internet radio service for MP3 players, mobile devices and PCs, has made another major announcement that should greatly entice consumers to embrace online music.
The company’s new portable music service lets you listen to Internet and terrestrial programming on your portable digital audio player, including over 100 channels of commercial-free, digital quality music. The company also announced a strategic collaboration with iRiver America, manufacturer of portable digital audio devices, to deliver AudioFeast compatibility with iRiver’s iFP-700 series and iFP-800 series Flash-based MP3 players.
The service differs from online music stores, such as Napster and iTunes, by allowing customers to subscribe to a wide range of programming that is automatically refreshed on a portable device. They gain easy access to a library of music without incurring the effort and expense of having to find, purchase and download each and every song. To encourage consumers to try out its new experience, AudioFeast has created a free Basic Service, which comes with 60-minute channels of music, news, sports and entertainment programming.
With around 70 media partners, AudioFeast has licensed a selection of news, sports, drama, comedy, business and entertainment channels, along with a variety of hobby and niche programming options. A sample includes: A&E, Bloomberg Radio, BBC Radio, the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, NPR, SportsNews Radio and The Wall Street Journal Radio Network. As the service expands in the coming weeks, another 100 channels of music will be added, including pop, jazz, electronica, trance, R&B, rock, alternative, classical genres and more, according to the company.
“Our goal is to re-ignite the passion consumers once felt for radio. By expanding and improving consumer entertainment options, we can continue to fuel consumer adoption of the MP3 player,” said Tom Carhart, chief executive officer at AudioFeast. “Our research shows that Internet listeners have an especially deep passion for specific and established programming, and an equally strong desire to make that content portable. Now for the first time they can enjoy their favourite shows anytime, anywhere for one low price.”
However, the service will face competition from companies like Audible, who have been selling downloadable audio books for a long time; the fast growing band of individual and small companies who are offering audio content for download (sometimes called podcasting); and the growing number of audio players that have built-in FM tuners, allowing users to listen to popular radio stations for free.
:SP:We have seen, and continue to see downloadable audio, for playback on portable music players as a significant distribution path for audio content. We feel people will eventually tire of listen to every album that has ever been recorded, and look to using their commute time into the work to catch up on their chosen work subject or hobby.