Dec 4, 2008

Business - CBS to power Yahoo's online radio service

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Yahoo on Wednesday announced a deal to let US radio giant CBS run its LAUNCHcast service that streams broadcasts online.

LAUNCHcast Radio's 150 stations will merge with the nearly 180 CBS Radio stations early next year and be offered in a customized player built into the Yahoo Music website.

Yahoo said the decision to abandon running an independent radio service was triggered by a spike in costs stemming from a 2007 decision by the US Copyright Royalty Board to raise royalties paid to artists for songs streamed online.

CBS will provide broadcast content and sell ads for LAUNCHcast but Yahoo workers will pick playlists.

As part of the alliance, CBS will stream some of its popular sports, news and talk stations to Yahoo pages.

"Our agreement with CBS Radio will deliver Internet radio's most comprehensive and diverse collection of music, news and sports programming to Yahoo's massive audience," said Yahoo Sports and Entertainment vice president Jimmy Pitaro.

CBS Corporation owns the largest radio network in the United States and has been expanding its online presence.

Last year, CBS Corporation bought fast-growing community-oriented Internet radio service in Britain for 280 million dollars.

"This announcement along with our relationship with, and other distribution partnerships, reinforces our company's position as the No.1 Internet radio company in the world," said David Goodman, president of digital media at CBS Radio.

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