New online radio from AOL, XM Sat Radio in US

 MUMBAI: American interactive services company America Online (AOL) and XM Satellite Radio which provides satellite radio in America have announced that they will join forces to create a new online radio service for the US.

The service brings together the best of both XM and the AOL Radio Network products and programming to form what the parties claim is the world's largest combined digital radio network. The new co-branded service will include a free, web radio offering and an enhanced premier radio offering that will be available to AOL members for free and as a premium service to consumers on the web.

The new offerings are expected to roll out beginning in the next few months with the launch of AOL's next generation web portal. The offerings will be promoted to an audience of upwards of 100 million consumers online.

AOL and XM will co-promote their unique, original programmes across their networks including to XM's nearly 3.8 million subscribers and to AOL's more than 100 million unique monthly visitors across the AOL network of properties.

In addition to establishing the new online radio service, XM will integrate select AOL original programmes such as Radio KOL, AOL Music Sessions and AOL Music Live! into its satellite radio service, which is available to listeners in cars as well as on home entertainment and portable devices. The companies will also work together to develop new programmes and services for the online and satellite space.

AOL chairman and CEO Jon Miller says, "The combination of our leadership in online programming and XM's leadership in satellite programming represents a giant step in digital media. This relationship creates important and valuable opportunities across our core businesses enabling us to provide value for our large web audience, enhanced programming for our existing and new AOL members, and the ability to introduce new premium services."

XM Satellite Radio president and CEO Hugh Paneroa said, "Our philosophy at XM has always been to work with strong partners at every level - retail, automotive, and now online - to build awareness and subscriptions for XM. We are thrilled to be partnering with AOL and combining the creative resources of these two great companies. The multi-tiered CO-branded radio offerings will feature a number of popular stations currently offered by the AOL Radio Network and XM Satellite Radio."

A new, unlimited listening web radio service featuring a sampling of 20 XM stations plus 130 AOL Radio stations that will be available free on the web. An enhanced version of AOL's popular premium radio service featuring over 70 XM stations plus over 130 AOL Radio original and third party stations will be available to AOL members at no additional charge and to consumers on the web for a low monthly fee.

The AOL Radio Network claims to receive 10 million unique visitors per month. It has over 200 stations of music, news, sports and talk. The network has more than 175 originally programmed music stations.

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