Now that AOL and CBS Radio have hooked up in what CEO Dan Mason says is a merger that 'has instantly doubled our daily audience of listeners,' it's another victory for strong brands.' For years, AOL has offered generic streaming radio stations that were as exciting as wallpaper.' Now with 150 CBS Radio stations to choose from, AOL-goers can actually find a better radio listening experience - or can easily find a radio station they've heard from during their travels around the U.S.
The player (shown below) is nice looking, and provides album art in-sync with what's playing, the chance to rate and/or buy the song (or the album), as well as designate the station as a pre-set or share it with someone else.' On the left is a list of the CBS stations available.' Of course, there are no fewer than 8 Jack-FM stations on the list, and it's not always easy to find a station that you're searching for.' (Maybe list them out by markets - or at least offer that as an option, so the user can look through NYC stations, for example.)' The stream sounds good technically, and as we've discussed in this space, that's not always the case.
Overall, this is another indicator that big streaming brands will easily best 'generic radio stations.'' With its personalities, production, and elements that you could only get from a real radio station, this plan should be a big winner for both AOL and CBS, especially if it can generate significant web revenue.
CBS is positioning its terrestrial radio stations for the future by offering them up to a much larger web audience.' This bodes well for traditional broadcast companies as they seek out smart alliances moving forward."
This is truly brilliant - and I found it to be a great experience to go to AOL Radio and find that I could easily hook up with 101 or with some other terrific stations around the country without having to mess with multiple urls, messy ugly station web home pages, etc. And - with the advent of their iPhone application - Katy bar the door!