Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Radio Adios

There is lots of talk about Yahoo's upcoming layoffs with many predicting that their Yahoo Music Unlimited subscription service going the way of the Dodo (perhaps selling off their subscriber base to Rhapsody). I agree with this speculation, particularly in light of their new strategy and their focus on "context" over "content". The other thing I think that may get hit in the downsizing is their radio product, LAUNCHcast.

Given the strategic shift taking place over there (particularly with their music products), as well as the ongoing SoundExchange negotiation debacle, I think they will cut-and-run on radio too. Radio is generally a loss-leader for the big portals and with the (unknown) future royalty rates the "loss" is going to get too much to stomach for most.

On a related note, look for AOL to dump their AOL Radio product as well (along with XM partnership) and replace it with a third party player/product. Probably from a larger terrestrial radio network... most likely related to the recent video advertising deal announced between CBS (owner of and Truveo (part of AOL). This would get AOL out of a money-losing content endeavor and more focused on being a cross-platform advertising network. Great for everyone. Well, except the consumers....

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