Slacker Officially Announces Service, Unveils Major Label Deals

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Slacker is a startup that recently unveiled its initiative to blend ubiquity with low-maintenance recommendations at SXSW on Wednesday. The concept combines a web-based and portable recommendation service to offer well-tuned collections to busy, on-the-go users.

The startup’s goal is to provide personalized radio services that allow users to accept or reject songs in a streamed setting. To achieve this, Slacker has partnered with a variety of labels, including Sony BMG, Universal Music Group, and hundreds of independent ones. This way, the startup can access content from various sources to power the personalized radio services.

For the labels involved, the licensing move is a low-risk decision, and it could potentially result in strong upside awareness and subsequent purchases. “We are happy to be working with Slacker as they roll out innovative new services that meet consumer demand for both interactivity and portability, and help extend the reach of our artists,” said Thomas Hesse, president of Global Digital Business & US Sales at Sony BMG.

Slacker’s concept currently features a beta version of a radio-based recommendation service, and compatible devices will be unveiled during the second half of this year. The startup team revealed content deals with a variety of labels, including Sony BMG, Universal Music Group, and hundreds of independents.

Moreover, the Slacker portable player system will lease Ku-band satellite bandwidth, which is currently used for technologies like GPS navigation and satellite TV. That is a first for the music space, and satellite will be added as a recommendation connectivity point alongside WiFi and WiMax.

The Slacker service is designed to be accessible to as many users as possible. According to the startup, consumers will have the option to access as many as 10,000 dynamically generated stations, not unlike systems currently offered by Pandora and Last.fm.

The startup’s main selling point is that it offers a low-maintenance recommendation service. Unlike other music services that require users to create their playlists and libraries, Slacker does the heavy lifting for them. This service is designed for busy, on-the-go users who don’t have the time or energy to curate their playlists.

Slacker’s concept is also designed to be portable. This means users can access the service from anywhere, including their smartphones, tablets, and laptops. This feature is particularly useful for users who travel frequently and want to access their personalized radio stations while on the move.

In conclusion, Slacker is an innovative startup that aims to bring personalized radio services to busy, on-the-go users. The startup has partnered with a variety of labels, including Sony BMG, Universal Music Group, and hundreds of independent ones, to access content from various sources to power the personalized radio services. The startup’s main selling point is that it offers a low-maintenance recommendation service that is designed for busy users who don’t have the time or energy to curate their playlists. With the launch of compatible devices during the second half of this year, Slacker is poised to become a significant player in the personalized radio space.

Story by news analyst Alexandra Osorio, on location in Austin, TX.