Home URBAN Leading Radio Broadcasters Unite to Bring FM Song Tagging to Everyone

Leading Radio Broadcasters Unite to Bring FM Song Tagging to Everyone

LEADING RADIO BROADCASTERS UNITE TO BRING FM SONG TAGGING TO EVERYONE Microsoft Zune Portable Media Player with Integrated FM Radio Tuner is First Device to Instantly Retrieve Tagged Songs Available From More Than 450 FM Radio Stations Today Nine of the country’s leading radio broadcasters today announced their commitment to broadcast programming on FM stations that include song tags using existing broadcasting infrastructure. The announcement comes in conjunction with Microsoft Corporation’s announcement here today of a new set of features for all Zune portable media players that takes advantage of the built-in FM radio tuner to let people instantly tag and retrieve songs broadcast from any Song Tagging enabled FM radio station. “Radio is one of the primary ways people discover new music, which is why we have built an FM tuner into every Zune portable media player,” said Chris Stephenson, General Manager of Global Marketing for Zune at Microsoft. “The leadership of these radio broadcasters has played an integral role in enabling millions of Zune users to tag and purchase songs directly from FM radio.” More than 450 FM radio stations operated by Beasley, Bonneville, CBS Radio, Citadel, Radio, Cox Radio, Emmis, Entercom and Greater Media — including many that are #1 in their local market — will be broadcasting the FM song tags. More than 450 of those are live today, with the remainder rolling out over the next several weeks. A song tag is an encrypted digital code identifying a specific song and embedded in an FM broadcast. When a listener “tags” a song, the code is stored on their MP3 player. Developed by Jump2Go and Radio, FM song tags use RDS technology — a feature that is available on most FM radio broadcasts today, whether analog or digital. With Microsoft’s Zune, the integrated FM tuner and wireless connectivity enables the player to immediately retrieve the song from the Zune Marketplace music service when in a WiFi hotspot — creating instant gratification for FM radio listeners with Zune media players. In a recent study commissioned by Microsoft, some 61% of respondents say their primary source for discovering new music is radio broadcasts. As music is increasingly purchased through digital and online means, the announcement today strengthens the link between the discovery process and purchase process, providing instant gratification for consumers and an interactive listening experience. “Radio has always been the leader in embracing the newest technologies, and bringing the newest artists and music to America’s small towns and big cities,” said George G. Beasley, Chairman and CEO. “Beasley Broadcast is very excited to be among the broadcasters on the leading edge of this breakthrough technology which will enable our listeners to hear a song, love it, purchase it and add it to their music library – instantaneously.” “Song tagging is yet another example of radio’s use of expand ed digital technology,” said Bruce Reese, Bonneville International president and CEO. “It will give our listeners the added benefit of being able to instantly download a song they hear on the radio, and we will be pleased to offer this value-added component to our listeners’ overall entertainment experience.” “Radio’s decision to push the digital envelope doesn’t mean that our analog broadcasts need to be left behind,” said John Hogan, president and CEO of Radio. “Clear Channel Radio will have 450 stations live with RDS song tagging at launch. And we applaud Microsoft’s leadership and shared commitment to making cutting-edge entertainment experiences available to the masses.” “The connection between the music discovery radio has always provided, and its resulting sales, make this interactive radio feature a natural for the radio industry,” said Bob Neil, president and chief executive officer of Cox Radio. “We are thrilled to be a part of bringing music tagging to Zune listeners,” said Jeff Smulyan, chairman and CEO of Emmis. “This is the next step in the evolution of radio: providing our listeners with the ability to download music instantly.” “We are moving toward a future where music discovery, purchase and fulfillment is a convenient and seamless experience,” said David Field, chief executive officer at EntercomCommunications Corp. “This innovative technology is yet another compelling example of how radio is embracing today’s interactive world,” said Greater Media president and CEO Peter Smyth. “We are thrilled to be able to offer our listeners the opportunity to further interact with our stations through tagging and ultimately purchase their favorite music.”