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Microsoft Has Really Messed Up This Time

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As you may or may not have already seen, I received this email from Windows Media Tuner this afternoon:


April 2009

Dear Windows Media.com Partner,

Over the past several months, we have been evaluating the radio offerings on WindowsMedia.com and putting plans together for our radio strategy moving forward. Specifically, for our Radio Partners, this strategy centers on new opportunities to bring Internet radio to a broad set of consumers across multiple Microsoft technologies. One such technology is the mobile phone. The fact that the mobile phone is evolving as a key driver of radio consumption, positions radio to become a ubiquitous content source for consumers at work, at home, and on the road.

But in order for us to move in this direction, some things have to change. The changes fall into two categories: licensing and technology.


Providing partners with the opportunity to extend their digital media services across Microsoft technologies makes sense for both our partners and our customers. To that end, Microsoft will be offering a new license for Windows Media.com Internet content providers who want to take advantage of future promotion opportunities. This new license will be available soon. If you decide to enter into the new license, it will terminate and replace the licensing agreement you currently have on file. The WindowsMedia.com team will let you know via e-mail and partner newsletter when the license is available and the process for getting it in place. If you do not already subscribe to the partner newsletter, click here to sign up now.


With the goal of delivering a consistently high-quality experience to all users, we have taken a close look at the use of both HTMLView and stream-only playback. Our analysis focused on 2 key points:

·The overwhelming customer response has been favorable to the stream-only solution.

·Continuing with HTMLView prohibits us from extending our radio offerings to other Microsoft offerings, such as Windows Mobile.

As a result of our analysis, we have made several decisions about the continued use of HTMLView:

·Effective immediately, we will no longer accept new stations that use HTMLView.

·We will begin phasing out the use of HTMLView by asking that each partner who currently provides an HTMLView experience convert to a stream-only experience no later than July 31, 2009. This letter begins the phase-out process.

·We will remove all remaining HTMLView stations from the Tuner on August 1, 2009.

We understand that you might have questions about this shift and are available to discuss this transition with you. We highly recommend that partners shift to either a pre-roll or in-stream advertisement model as this will allow for continued promotion in the Radio Tuner. We are working to identify quality providers of in-stream and pre-roll advertising and hope to provide you with several options in the next few weeks. We will continue to include “visit” links in the Radio Tuner for all stations offering direct streams. The “visit” links direct users to your station web site, which can, of, course include display advertising.

We do appreciate your partnership and look forward to continuing to work with you as we build and improve the radio experience for our users.


Tricia Gill



So basically, all stations that rely on web ads for income are dead.....


Any thoughts on what to do? I doubt complaining to Microsoft would stop them.

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I'm very curious on how station like Idobi Radio manage. That station is only listed on Shoutcast and handle thousands of listeners, but still manage to pay the bills with only 1 on-air ad an hour from what I've heard. Does anyone know?


The thought that has been going through my mind is focusing as much as possible on a home-brewed flash player, and build it the same way HTMLView works, refreshing ads every 45-60 seconds. At that point, advertising on Shoutcast, WMG, iTunes, etc won't help, but perhaps finding another location to advertise the stations (specific forums, Google Ads, etc). Much more difficult, but there are plenty of other companies that have thousands and millions of listeners that don't use any of the guides. Most of us already found that iTunes listeners never bring in any money, and it looks like WMG is going the same way.

Sorry if this turned into a ramble, but I'm also trying to figure what to do next...

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Reading the first lines of the article of WindowsMedia posted by Karl gives Me the strange feeling that WindowsMedia are behind the facts .. in other words that they suddenly realize that other ways of providing streams to the end-user do excist also ...

it gives Me the idea that they are way behind the new technology .. such as used into mobile phone devices

Anyway systems as Nokia Internetradio do support only .ram and the IP-Port .. so they don't support .asx .asf .wax who are basicly used to stream content in Windows Media Player

This answer is maybe not really "on" topic but its my point of view about the content of the article

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