Internet radio listeners tripled over three years
The Borneo Post - Sunday, 27 April, 2003
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LOS ANGELES: Internet radio has found a niche. Lots of them, in fact. The Internet offers a staggering variety of music streams from radio stations' Webcasts to playlists customised by advanced software.

More than 100 million listeners have tried Web radio and the number of regular monthly listeners has tripled in the last three years, according to rating agency Arbitron.

Anyone eager to listen to hometown stations from far away can look for a Web broadcast at http://www.radio-locator.com, which finds stations based on US zip code, country, format and other criteria. And that is only the beginning.

"What consumers go online to listen to and what works best is content they can't listen to through traditional sources," says Bill Rose, general manager of Arbitron Internet Broadcast Services.

Clear Channel Communications , the No. 1 radio operator, had seven of the top 25 stations in the Arbitron March ratings survey. However, some jazz and classical individual radio markets were top-10 stations on the Internet, such as Pacific Lutheran University's public jazz station in Seattle, KPLU, at http://www.kplu.org.

Part of the appeal of Internet radio, however, is the availability of what is not widely popular, industry executives say.

"There is the explosion of niches and different genres that are all acceptable," said Raghav Gupta, chief operating officer of live365. com where individual disc jockeys create their own stations.

Live365 was the No. 1 network in Arbitron's March ratings, with users listening to 7.6 million hours of programming.-Reuters