The Belgian company had been rumoured to be the buyer for Winamp, but now the news has been made official by the company. Interestingly, now that they own Shoutcast along with Winamp, the company's portfolio of online radio stations now numbers more than 60,000 (up from just 7,000), massively expanding its own kitty - particularly in the US market. The company says at 60,000 stations, the company would represent half of all Internet radio streaming in the world.
The much-loved Winamp media player was at the peak of its popularity in the late nineties. One of the highlights of the player was the capability to skin its user interface and add plug-ins to extend its functionality. The first iteration of Winamp was developed by Justin Frankel and Dmitry Boldyrev in 1997 as freeware. Frankel named his software company, Nullsoft, and continued development on the player.
Winamp was later turned into shareware with new features and functionality added to the player. Nullsoft was acquired by AOL in June 1999, for $80 million in stock and since then is a subsidiary of the media giant. The November 2013 announcement to shut it down had not gone down well with fans who rallied for support.
In the official press statement issued, Alexandre Saboundjian, CEO, Radionomy Group, said, "Winamp is a top independent player that gives millions of people the best player functionality available. Its role is clear in the future evolution of online media - we plan to make the player ubiquitous, developing new functionalities dedicated to desktop, mobile, car systems, connected devices and all other platforms." Additionally, Radionomy will give Winamp listeners access to one of the world's largest networks of online radio stations, spanning numerous music genres and cultures.
The acquisition Radionomy press release also mentioned the following features that Winamp will now offer:
Saboundjian also spoke about Shoutcast. He said, "Radionomy has always focused on creating a unique platform for any radio broadcaster or pure player that enables them to build a large audience and monetize their stream. With Shoutcast, we have expanded our reach to include roughly half of the world's online radio streaming, leaving Radionomy well-positioned to change the face of online radio." The acquisition of Shoutcast will expand Radionomy's presence, notably in the U.S. This will greatly enhance Radionomy producers' and Shoutcast stations' ability to build their audiences and monetise their networks with Targetspot, offering access to a much wider range of listeners.
The dual deal is expected to work well because Winamp's browsing and streaming capabilities also offer an opportunity to expose more listeners to Radionomy and Shoutcast stations.