AOL Radio Now Powered by Slacker, More Slacker Deals Hinted
Mention streaming music services these days, and the conversation is almost certain to turn to Spotify and Pandora. AOL Radio may not get the spotlight much anymore, but as one of the oldest music streaming services and still one of the more popular, it shouldn’t be ignored. Evidently another former music streaming darling agrees as Slacker has stepped in to displace CBS Radio as the driving engine behind AOL Radio. It’s not just good news for Slacker though as the deal will bring AOL Radio users a reduction in audio advertising, an increase in personalization options, and two new subscription products in November that will offer ad-free listening, an option that AOL Radio has not offered for a few years.
Yesterday, the streaming music company announced it’s made good on a deal with AOL to replace CBS Radio as the engine behind AOL Radio. On the face of it, the deal may not sound like much, but according to VP Jonathan Sasse, the new agreement could double the amount of content Slacker serves to its listeners. In addition, AOL is not likely to be a “one-off” deal. Sasse hints that we’ll probably see other, similar agreements in the coming months.
The early concept of Slacker combined Pandora-like user created radio stations with special portable wi-fi enabled hardware radio players. As smartphone apps have displaced the need for the Slacker radios, Slacker has found itself looking for a strategy that helps the service stand out from the crowd. Providing the backend for other services would definitely be one way to do that.