AOL is giving music subscriptions another spin.
Just two weeks after Pandora's initial public offering, the portal has announced its AOL Radio will offer two new subscription services later this summer in a partnership with digital music startup Slacker Radio.
AOL Radio’s most recent incarnation consisted solely of a free offering in partnership with CBS. The joint venture with Slacker marks the end of the CBS collaboration, as CBS stations will not be available through the new service, to be replaced by ESPN radio, ABC News radio and Slacker’s user-programmed stations, among others.
AOL sold its earlier subscription music service to Napster in 2007.
The new plan a free version as well as the two subscription models, modeled on Slacker, whose two pay services are “Slacker Radio Plus,” which costs $4 a month, and “Slacker Premium,” which costs $10 a month. The AOL services are expected to be priced similarly.
The cost of “Radio Plus” is in line with what Pandora demands of consumers for its subscription service, while the $10 is comparable to that of the European service Spotify, which is rumored to be coming stateside soon.
Both the free and pay versions of the new service will allow users to save favorite songs and stations and read album reviews, among other features. The pay services, however, will add on ad-free entertainment, unlimited song skipping and offline listening for mobile devices. The Premium Radio will also give listeners the ability to access any tracks in the radio library through on-demand listening.
AOL Radio expects to relaunch its website and iPhone app later this summer, with Android, iPad and other apps expected sometime thereafter.
AOL boasts of 3 million unique visitors a month for the current iPhone app.