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10 Online 'Radio Stations' Taking on Sirius XM

MOG
MOG's online music service has a pedigree that may give it a much-needed assist. Its funding came, in part, from Universal Music Group and Sony (SNE - Get Report). Its founder, David Hyman, is a former MTV executive, and legendary producer Rick Rubin is a member of its board of directors.

Its streaming services (there are two paid tiers, $9.99 and $4.99 a month, and a free offering) are available on certain models of HDTVs and Blu-ray players and the company has deals with Roku, Samsung and LG, among others. The company also secured a deal to put its service into BMW vehicles through its iDrive system.

The service touts "industry-leading music discovery technology" and filters to make it easy to find content, which includes news and reviews through its network of participating music sites and blogs.

The company has also been beefing up its integration with Facebook and last month launched FreePlay, a free browser-based version. The option allows a set "fuel tank" of music that depletes with each use but can be replenished through a gamification-inspired rewards system for social media interactions that promote the service.

Last.fm
Last.fm is among the better known music services and has unique features Sirus XM can't offer and other Internet-based services have yet to master (but are trying).

It describes itself as a "music recommendation service" and uses something called a "scrobble" to track what a user is listening to and pump back recommendations based on it and other selections. Frequently played songs and artists help refine the suggestions.

The tracking system also helps the service build recommendations for others through the database of more than 43 billion scrobbles that have been stored thus far from 40 million members.

For a more personal touch...
If your idea of good radio veers more to the DIY/pirate variety, there are thousands of small, sometimes independently run radio sites that any good online search engine should help you uncover. Various apps, as well as hardware such as Apple TV, can help access many of these hidden gems.

Among the sites culling these independent shows, the ShoutCast Radio Directory has almost 49,000 free Internet stations to choose from and, at any given time, nearly a half-million people streaming radio.

AccuRadio is made up of hundreds of different radio "channels" spanning 60 genres. All are "programmed by people who love music, not by soulless computer algorithms," it says.

The Live365 radio network claims it "reaches millions of listeners worldwide, offering greater breadth and depth of high-quality streaming music, talk and audio than any other network. " It features more than 260 genres of music produced by more than 5,000 broadcasters and "music tastemakers" from more than 150 countries.

Through easy-to-use tools and services as well as royalty coverage, "anyone with a computer and Internet connection can create his or her own Internet radio station and reach a global audience with minimal cost and effort," the Silicon Valley site promises.

-- Written by Joe Mont in Boston.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joe Mont.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/josephmont.

>To submit a news tip, send an email to: tips@thestreet.com.

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