Leading French ISP/telecom Orange and media group Lagardère have unveiled an interactive customizable online “radio station,” Musiline.
The advertising-driven service offers secure access to streamed tracks, allowing users to create their own personalised programs based on favored musical genres, favourite titles or artists. Users also have the option of downloading music for €0.99 ($1.45) per track through a link to the download platform Jukebox at the www.orange.fr Web site.
The new service is operated by Lagardère Active in exclusive partnership with French music service company Yacast, which developed the technology. It is available with immediate effect to Orange France’s 7 million broadband customers at no additional charge.
According to Lagardère Active music director Christophe Sabot, “people don’t use mp3 to listen to a wide catalog, they want to be guided. We have created a service along the lines of a radio or music TV format.”
Lagardère Active, which runs French radio stations, such as Europe 1 or Virgin Radio, and music TV channels Virgin 17 and MCM, used its experience in broadcast to create a service based on a small yet customizable catalog, says Sabot.
Users can create and share their playlists, guided by Musiline’s recommendations which are based on weekly surveys of 2,000 people by phone and between 2,500 and 3,500 via Internet.
Sabot declines to specify the number of tracks available on the service, but says it is closer to thousands than millions, with repertoire coming from major and independent labels. He adds: “We are creating a unique service, which is not designed for experts.”
Orange France executive director Louis-Pierre Wenes has said he is considering integrating the service into Orange’s existing mobile music offer. As yet, Orange has no plans to launch the service outside France.
Orange says 40,000 visitors used the service on the first day of its “soft” launch, Jan. 17.