Music streaming service Grooveshark on Wednesday will launch a new service called Broadcast that will allow people to create their own live, online radio shows. Broadcast will be free of charge.
"We're excited to launch the first ever truly democratized radio platform, and look forward to seeing web DJ's grow into celebrities the way YouTube has created homegrown video celebrities," said Sam Tarantino, Grooveshark's CEO and cofounder in a statement. He calls Broadcast "an audio voice to complement YouTube's video voice and Twitter's microblogging voice."
Grooveshark has aimed to make Broadcast "as simple as pressing a button" and social in nature. Think of Broadcast as a blend of Turntable.fm (without the cartoonish avatars) and social radio app Soundrop (without the reliance on Spotify). Broadcast has a chat function that allows listeners to communicate with one another and comment on the music. It also has a "Suggestions" feature that allows listeners to request songs and vote on the suggestions of others.
Broadcast is not the first service that allows people to create their own online radio streams. Radionomy lets people create their own radio channels for free. Spreaker can be used for both spoken word and music (pre-recorded content must be uploaded). Live365 has for years allowed people to create their own Internet radio stations, although it requires the installation of an application and monthly fees that start at $3.95 per month. Wavestreaming offers both application-based (SHOUTcast) and web-based (Cloud DJ) solutions for creating personal online radio stations.
But Broadcast appears to be one of the simplest -- if not the most simple -- tool for creating a personal online radio station. Because it is web-based and free means a large number of people could test and adopt the service.
The fact that Grooveshark has more than 30 million monthly users means there is a huge potential built into Broadcast.