“The increasingly crowded streaming music industry is starting to look a little more like old-fashioned radio,” Ryan Faughnder reports for The Los Angeles Times. “San Francisco digital music company Rdio Inc., hoping not to be lost amid a sea of new competition, is adding traditional AM/FM outlets to its service. The rollout, which starts Wednesday, includes 460 stations owned and operated by stakeholder Atlanta-based Cumulus Media Inc.”
“The tech firm hopes long-running stations such as Cumulus’ KLOS-FM (95.5) in Los Angeles and KFOG-FM (104.5) in San Francisco, along with talk radio and sports outlets, will help draw more listeners and advertising dollars as Rdio faces increasing competition from the likes of Apple Inc.,” Faughnder reports. “Apple in June kicked off the maiden broadcast of its live Beats 1 radio station, led by BBC Radio 1 alum Zane Lowe. The 24-hour station, programmed from London, New York and Los Angeles, features shows curated by Dr. Dre and Pharrell Williams. That launch coincided with the debut of the Cupertino, Calif., tech giant’s Apple Music streaming service. ‘If you’ve read the tech press over the last few months, you’d think the tech business invented radio,’ Rdio’s chief executive, Anthony Bay, said in an interview.”
“According to Nielsen, more than 90% of U.S. adults listen to radio every week. Adults spend an average of 13 hours a week listening to radio, Nielsen says, compared with 29 minutes with streaming audio,” Faughnder reports. “Rdio has never revealed how many people use its service, but it is thought to lag Spotify, which counts 20 million paying subscribers and 55 million consumers who listen for free with commercials. Pandora says it gets about 80 million monthly listeners. Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services, said last week that 11 million people were using the free trial version of its new music app.”
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MacDailyNews Take: Beats 1 has sent shivers of fear through the also-rans.
Note: Apple’s iTunes offers, as it has for years, thousands of terrestrial radio stations from around the world available in its “Internet Radio” section.