AOL Turns the Radio Dial to Slacker
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
October 19 2011 03:40 PM ET
AOL today relaunched AOL Radio, now powered by Slacker, with half the audio ads and a slew of new features.
AOL Radio has retained its 10 million-plus track catalog and more than 200 stations, while Slacker has added custom artist stations and its signature ways to discover related music. Slacker also added non-music programming such as ESPN Radio, with more to come, including ABC News. Unlike most other providers, with the exception of Pandora, AOL Radio powered by Slacker offers free mobile service.
Next month Slacker will launch two paid-subscription options for AOL Radio, mirroring the company’s 3-tier program it launched last spring. Radio Plus offers ad-free radio, meaning no audio or ads on its pages. For $4 a month, subscribers receive an unlimited number of song skips, access to song lyrics and can cache songs on a smartphone’s memory card for offline listening. Playing a cached station allows people to listen without a network connection and saves a phone’s battery life. For $10 a month, Premium Radio subscribers listen ad-free with Plus features and get on-demand listening by song, album, artist or custom playlist.
For mobile listening, a free AOL Radio by Slacker app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store for iPhone , iPad and iPod Touch. An Android app will be available before the end of the year.