SOURCE: Maven Networks

June 06, 2005 09:02 ET

Premiere Radio Networks Partners With Maven Networks and Akamai Technologies to Deliver Podcasts of "The Rush Limbaugh Show"

Maven's New Commercial Podcasting Solution Allows Premiere Radio to Usher in a New Era of Radio by Offering Shows Direct to iPods, MP3 Players, PCs

CAMBRIDGE, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 6, 2005 -- Maven Networks, Inc. (www.maven.net), a software provider that enables media companies and brand marketers to deliver the most compelling broadband digital media experiences, and Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM), the leading global service provider for accelerating content and business processes online, today announced that Premiere Radio Networks, the syndication arm of Clear Channel Communications (NYSE: CCU) and #1 radio network in the nation, began delivering highest-quality MP3-versions, or "podcasts," of "The Rush Limbaugh Show" on June 3 using Maven's commercial podcasting technologies.

Premiere Radio is also leveraging Akamai's global distribution platform to help ensure there is a secure, scalable, and reliable network to globally deploy its podcasts.

The announcement underscores the attention podcasting is receiving from commercial broadcasters in a time of heightened market competition and new broadcast options for consumer audiences. As major broadcasters build content offerings around podcasting and time-shifted radio, the need for proven technologies that deliver highest-quality content to consumers and enable successful revenue generation is imperative. Current podcasting technologies are targeted towards consumers who want to create their own podcasts, and not towards commercial broadcasters looking to monetize time-shifted radio through paid subscription services and targeted advertising.

Already 11% of Americans, or 22 million people, own an MP3 player(1) and 12.3 million U.S. households anticipate using MP3 players to listen to audio podcasts by the end of the decade(2).

By working with Maven to add podcast versions of "The Rush Limbaugh Show," Premiere Radio ushers in the new era in radio. Loyal fans no longer have to follow a strict air schedule, or wait while the audio is downloaded or streamed to them. Subscribers now can get the show when they want it, on the device they prefer -- a practice recently termed "time-shifting." Rush Limbaugh listeners now have the luxury of never missing a program and listening to CD-quality audio versions of the show whenever it is convenient, and without commercial interruptions.

Akamai provides Premiere Radio with a high-quality and reliable delivery service to support its new initiatives and investments. Leveraging Akamai's technology and global distribution platform, Premiere Radio customers will experience consistent and reliable delivery worldwide.

"The business of over air broadcast radio is rapidly changing, with consumers demanding DVR-like functionality for radio," said Brian Glicklich, vice president of interactive at Premiere. "We chose podcasting as one of our top priorities for 2005, and we are confident it will successfully drive new subscriptions and revenue, making us even more competitive with Internet and satellite services.

"Maven's technologies were directly suited for our needs, and the company delivered a commercial solution that could effectively integrate into an established engineering environment and subscription system. More importantly, the combination of Maven's and Akamai's technologies allows us to support additional capabilities, such as high-quality video and interactivity, as we continue to expand our services," Glicklich said.

With Maven's Commercial Podcasting Solution, CD-quality audio files are delivered directly to "The Rush Limbaugh Show" subscribers' PCs via a broadband Internet connection, then automatically synchronized onto portable audio devices like Apple Computer's iPod® mobile digital device and MP3 players. Subscribers are notified automatically of new pre-recorded shows available for listening and can personalize each show by pausing, rewinding or fast-forwarding through the show at leisure.

"Maven's innovations continue to make it an early leader in next-generation broadband applications, and we are excited to work with Maven to bring leading-edge technology to Premiere Radio's new podcasting initiatives," said Paul Sagan, president and CEO, Akamai. "As the enabling platform for many leading media and entertainment companies, Akamai has the pulse on the next wave of digital audio and video, and continues to see strong growth in the evolution of digital broadcasting to the time-shifted formats that consumers demand. We hope to continue to collaborate with Maven on many more projects of this kind."

"Podcasting started as a grassroots initiative and has rapidly become a key priority for every broadcaster as portable device adoption skyrockets," said Hilmi Ozguc, CEO of Maven Networks. "Maven's proven broadband delivery and publishing technologies are helping radio broadcasters provide the highest quality audio to consumers and transform their business in keeping with the latest consumer technologies -- just as we have done for entertainment firms and brand marketers using other digital media types."

(1) Pew Internet & American Life Project, Jan. 2005

(2) Forrester, The Future of Digital Audio

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