Winamp has been around since 1997 and it appears as if it’s here to stay. Developed inline with the emergence of the MP3 format, Winamp has seen a number of incarnations with the last being version 5.5 in 2007. On November 20, 2013, AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL) announced that Winamp.com would shut down on December 20, 2013, and the software would no longer be available for download, nor supported by the company after that date. The following day, an unofficial report surfaced that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) was in talks with AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL) to acquire the intellectual property of Winamp and Shoutcast.
Despite the announcement, the site was never shut down and yesterday saw reports that the Belgian company Radionomy was looking to purchase the property. The website TechCrunch is also reporting that the deal is all but done and that the deal should be completed tomorrow.
What is Radionomy?
Radionomy is not on everyone’s radar by any means, but the company is very similar to Shoutcast. Both services allow users to create their own radio stations either with a view toward profit or strictly for fun. That’s about where the similarities stop; Shoutcast and its nearly 50,000 stations is considerably bigger than the roughly 6,000 that Radionomy boasts. Despite its smaller stature, many believe that Radionomy’s online tools are easier to use and with a licensed library of nearly 85,000 songs there is no shortage of available music. Last month, Radionomy merged with Targetspot to focus on monetization with the addition of the latter’s ad network.
With the acquisition of Shoutcast and Winamp, Radionomy is certainly looking to get much bigger and quite quickly.
This does not, however, reveal what Radionomy has planned for the Winamp software. You needn’t download Winamp in order to play Shoutcast stations, as Shoutcast content can be listed to from nearly any web browser, iTunes, or Windows Media Player. But who knows? Radionomy may have big plans for Winamp in order to access radio stations directly through the player.
For now, the Winamp player is still available through a number of channels and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere in the near future, except Belgium.