AOL / XM Joint Venture very smart

From Billboard:

They’re calling it the world’s largest combined digital radio network—and for sure, AOL and XM Satellite Radio have created themselves an online Goliath. The two have joined forces to launch a new online radio service—as-of-yet unnamed—that will bring 70 XM channels and AOL’s already streamed 130 channels, free to subscribers of AOL.com. There will also be a premium, for-pay service available to Web consumers that are not AOL members.

Smart for both parties. But especially for XM, since this is a priceless means of creating the one thing that Radio has in spades but XM has only if you pay the piper for it: Distribution.

And if you are an AOL subscriber, it’s FREE distribution.

And that translates to an opportunity to try XM for free among a base of potential subscribers 20 million strong.

And that will translate to more subscriptions.

The question you really need to ask, of course, is this:

Why didn’t Clear Channel do this deal with AOL? Or Infinity?

We can create “premium” content as good as XM. In fact, we’re the ones creating it for XM in some cases.

And “premium” means “paid.”

Think about it.

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