Radionomy, based out of Brussels, Belgium (yes we do have a startup scene here), has secured more funding in order to bring more enhancements to and enable scale for its personalized web radio application, which it is debuting in public beta today.
The size of the financing round wasn’t shared in detail, but the startup did say its total capital now exceeds €1.5 million (roughly $2 million).
Radionomy essentially offers everyone a chance to set up their own Internet radio station free of charge and share a personalized radio show complete with music programming, jingles and commercials with friends and the rest of the world. Users get to tap into readily available music libraries and jingles and add custom sequences, interviews, reports and podcasts to the mix, enabling anyone to build a genuinely personalized radio show and broadcast it for free, worldwide. Radionomy takes care of the associated costs (including royalties), and shares advertising revenue with radio station creators, relative to the size of their audience. Read more about the project, which is European in scope, right here.
I’ve known the company and its founders for a while and have always been quite skeptical of the concept, since there are so many options these days for users to build custom music playlists and stream purchased (or non-purchased) tunes on the Web, leading me to believe few people would bother to set up their own radio station. But I’ve been playing around a bit with it earlier this morning, and have to admit it’s all pretty well executed, with lots of social features and decent search functionality.
Turns out traffic to the web radios built by users is picking up nicely too. The company reports a growth of 175% in terms of audience in the past 4 months, and also says nearly 1 million unique users paid a visit to the platform in December 2008, citing independent research performed by Médiamétrie//NetRating. Also, about 26,000 users have registered for the invitation list so far, waiting to be accepted to the public beta version, which the company is launching today. The company has set its goal to 5,000 user-created radio stations by this Summer.
Radionomy says it’s going to put more focus on developing its presence in France, where it claims to have become the number one music streaming website, before Last.fm, Jiwa and other more established players. They were probably cheering when Last.fm yesterday announced that they would be turning Last.fm Radio into a subscription-based paid product for its users outside of the US, UK and Germany.