We’ve got your eye on you, Pandora.
That’s what CBS is likely thinking as it ratchets up its footprint in the online content game. The company’s Interactive Music Group has announced it will give consumers the ability to create personalized online stations with a new button in the Radio.com player, applying technology of its Last.fm music discovery and recommendation service.
A quote from exec David Goodman accompanying the announcement suggests CBS knows it could go only so far with online streams of “real” stations:
“Premium content from major-market brands like KROQ and WXRT … is in high demand and will continue to foster growth online for many years to come. But in a world where consumers expect more and more control over their audio consumption, we’re pleased to provide them with the best of both worlds.” He said CBS listeners appreciate local radio stations on-air and online, but also “value the ability to experiment with their own musical tastes.”
CBS says with this development, the player will provide listeners “an infinite number of free streaming experiences across broadcast, online and personalized radio.” Last.fm has a library of some 12 million tracks. The service claims 40 million users who “scrobble” to track music they play on various music applications. Last.fm uses this “collective intelligence” to recommend content for personalized streams.
“Using the ‘create a station’ button now available within the player, a listener can simply enter an artist and hit the play button to hear their personalized radio station,” CBS stated. “Related music will populate the station with the ability to love, ban and skip tracks as appropriate.” The user can create different stations or listen to the existing programmed content from its own stations or streaming partners.
Thus one of radio’s biggest traditional broadcast names is pushing for a greater presence in the world of customized online listening. CBS calls the move an alignment of its over-the-air and digital assets.
— Paul McLane