Krellan 7/3/2001 (revised 9/19/2001)
Rumour has it that Live365 will be going out of business soon. Rats.
I will miss Live365. I like listening to them at work; they are one of the few commercial websites I visit on a regular basis. I listen to gothic/industrial and Eurobeat/J-pop, and there's no radio stations nearby that play this.
I'd be willing to pay to help keep them afloat, say a monthly fee of $3.65? :-)
When Live365 was mentioned on
F**kedCompany, I posted this list. Here's what I would do, if I were them.
I'd change their business model:
- Optional subscription fee of $3.65/month
- Subscribers get vastly reduced audio ads (possibly no audio ads at all for some channels)
- Subscribers get no banner ads or popup ads at all
- Nonsubscribers would be forced to use the Web-based player (subscribers would still be able to exit their site and use Winamp)
- People broadcasting stations would be required to become subscribers this would cut down on the number of crap stations that currently clutter the service
- Advertisers would pay a premium to play their ads to subscribers (most ads would play only to nonsubscribers)
- Dynamic recoding of streams would be added, to scale the bitrate of songs down to match the listener's connection (currently, something like 50% of all Live365 stations are completely unavailable to the majority of Internet users who only have modems) this would also make it feasible to listen wirelessly at very low bitrates
Two more I thought of later, that might not be as feasible to do, but are still interesting. I've offered justifications for these:
- Phone play! Call a number to hear Live365 over the phone, you pay the phone bill but it's otherwise free (like TMBG Dial-A-Song). Many people want to listen in the car and have a huge number of cellphone minutes that they never use. Sound quality wouldn't be much, but at least it's something other than endless talk and country music. The majority of radio is listened to in the car! With Caller ID, Live365 could even use geotargetting for their commercials.
- If a station gets an audience of 10 simultaneous listeners or more, averaged per month, then the broadcaster's fee would be waived for that month! This would encourage broadcasters to self-promote their stations and drive people to their Live365 station. This would help drive traffic to Live365's overall site, and get some free marketing in for them as well. (I hate that term "viral marketing"...) It would also encourage broadcasters to put up stations that people actually want to listen to!