|iPods, MP3 units and Internet dowload functions are becoming the basis of a new kind of radio broadcasting.
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This week, for instance, Rush Limbaugh fans will be able to download podcasts of his radio program, which is the latest addition to Premiere Radio Network�s subscription-based podcasting service.
Next week, Clear Channel Radio will offer podcasts of Phone Tap, a popular sketch that airs on New York�s Z100 morning show. And in July, Infinity Broadcasting will begin to podcast programming from its nine radio news shows, offering local and national news, sports, business and entertainment headlines as well as weather and traffic reports.
Royalty and licensing issues
So far, radio�s podcasting initiatives are largely limited to proprietary talk and news programming because of complicated royalty and licensing issues surrounding the rebroadcasting of music.
Clear Channel�s Z100 initiative is the first in what it hopes to be a national podcasting strategy that allows listeners to download snippets of popular programming, either individually as an MP3 file or as part of an RSS stream (RSS stands for "really simple syndication"). The podcasts, free to consumers, will be ad-supported and the company is reportedly shopping 15-second spots to advertisers.
All-podcast radio station
Infinity, meanwhile, will begin its latest podcasting initiative with New York�s 1010 WINS, which will offer both broadcast news and exclusive content. This announcement comes on the heels of Infinity�s format change at San Francisco's KYCY-AM, which morphed into an all-podcast-programmed radio station. KYCY compiles its programming from podcasts submitted on its Web site; to date, nearly 1,000 podcasts have been submitted for broadcast.
Premiere, a Clear Channel subsidiary, has been podcasting the longest of the commercial radio players, offering some of its more popular personalities two months ago. The addition of Rush Limbaugh to the podcasting lineup, however, brings one of the heaviest-hitting hosts to the nascent medium; the conservative talker has almost 20 million radio listeners tuning in each week.
More subscription podcasts
In addition to Mr. Limbaugh, Mr. Beck and Mr. Hendrie, other podcasts available by subscription include Coast to Coast AM with George Noory and Art Bell, and the Bob and Tom Show. Premiere is also reportedly close to offering Dr. Laura Schlessinger and Jim Rome via podcast as well.