Capital announces three Web radio stations

Three radio stations to appeal to lifestyles rather than music taste

The online arm of Capital Radio is to launch three Web radio stations on Monday, which will allow users to listen to content specifically created for their interests.

The stations will be registered at kidiko.com, as well as being available through three partner sites -- the youth email site another.com, women's portal BeMe.com and black music site darkerthanblue.com.

The stations -- ATK13, Cyra and Glisn -- are unique in being programmed for niche lifestyles rather than being genre-based. Users will be able to listen to soundtracks that reflect their interests rather than random music tracks. ATK13 is aimed at gamers/grunge fans, Chyra at working women and Glian at urban soul fans.

"We are creating radio stations for particular lifestyles," said Iain Langridge, head of marketing at Capital Interactive. "On the gaming station ATK13 for instance, there will be aggressive hardcore rock since there is a lot of aggression in the gaming lifestyle, followed by trance when the listener is 'in the zone' -- we will create soundtracks to reflect these different states."

Capital Interactive believes projects such as this are necessary to exploit emerging mass-market technologies. "Capital Radio sees radio as its competence, and so needs to move into this new space," explained Langridge. "This is still radio -- just on a different platform -- so the quality of experience has to be just as good."

The radio stations will use technology that produces audio streams on any bandwidth, enabling them to be listened to on 28k modems through to the CD-quality streaming that comes with ADSL. The audio-streaming technology can also be scaled up for use on any platform such as 3G mobile technology, cable or satellite.

Capital is expecting Web-radio to have a gradual growth curve. "We're geared up to cope with the load -- we already deal with over 100,000 online listening sessions a week, but we're expecting growing traffic," said Langridge.

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