Media player Winamp‘s original
heyday may be some time in the past, but it remains a going concern – 80
million people are using the software around the world still.
It also made headlines in March this year when it announced plans to sell NFTs based on the 1997 Winamp skin – its first graphical interface – albeit while rousing the ire of Winamp’s co-creator Justin Frankel in the process.
So what is the Winamp of 2022 really up to? The player’s corporate
history is a saga in itself: its original developer was bought by AOL in
1999 for $80m, then sold on to Belgian music/tech startup Radionomy for a rumoured $5m-$10m in 2014.
Vivendi then bought a 64.4% stake in Radionomy in 2015, before selling that back to a new parent group called AudioValley in 2017.
Fast forward to 2022, and Winamp is still owned by AudioValley,
alongside sister subsidiaries including Targetspot (the rebranded
Radionomy service, focusing on digital audio advertising tech); music
licensing firm Jamendo; and recently-launched rights-management entity Bridger.
It’s complicated! But CEO Alexandre Saboundjian shed some more light
on his company’s plans for Winamp in an appearance last week at the
Wallifornia Music & Innovation Summit in Belgium, interviewed by
Music Ally CEO Paul Brindley.
Some of those plans are focused on Winamp’s consumer player, which
will soon be relaunching as software that aggregates various kinds of
listening: different music streaming services, podcasts and radio
stations for example.
“All your listening experiences. I think this is really the future of
our player, and I was really surprised that in the last 10 years,
nobody tried to build a player like this,” said Saboundjian.
Open source project Tomahawk is the closest thing we can remember to this vision: it was getting lots of buzz in 2012, exactly 10 years ago.
While companies ranging from Spotify to TuneIn have offered different
combinations of radio, podcasts and/or on-demand music, nobody has
quite wrapped it all up with multiple streaming services in one app.
Saboundjian said that Winamp will pursue these DSP integrations on a
“step by step” basis, with one partnership already in place for this
year, and more to follow.
Keep reading on https://musically.com/2022/07/11/winamp-aggregation-artists-nfts/