The political economy of Internet music radio

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The new technologies of the World Wide Web have become an important arena for sound broadcasting, and for those with access there is a whole world of radio available to listen to online. The relatively small cost of making music radio programmes for online distribution has led many to argue that the technology makes the possibility of free access and diverse radio. Using empirical research and a broadly political economic analysis this paper examines recent and likely future trends to judge the degree to which the technology is adding to the public good. It concludes that two major ways of presenting streamed radio are developing, related to two business models, which are leading to the domination of this new form of radio by a small number of companies.

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