Music Choice Is Going Broadband

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Digital audio service Music Choice will launch next month a broadband version of its interactive My Music Choice in Texas.

My Music Choice for Broadband will kick off in the 65,000-subscriber San Marcos, Texas-based Grande Communications Inc. system, according to Music Choice CEO Dave Del Becarro.

It’ll work like Music Choice’s interactive cable version, carried on Mediacom Communications Corp. systems in Illinois. That service allows consumers to custom-build their own music channels.

The broadband version, offered free to cable affiliates and subscribers, will be rolled out by the end of the year, although Music Choice has yet to wrap up deals, the CEO said.

Owned by Time Warner Inc., Microsoft Corp., Motorola Inc., Sony Corp., EMI Music, Adelphia Communications Corp., Comcast Corp. and Cox Communications Inc., Music Choice is in 35 million homes, of which 18 million subscribe to cable high-speed Internet services.

“We would expect the vast majority of all of our cable [affiliates] to make this service available to their customers by the end of the year,” Del Becarro said.

From the Music Choice Web site (www.musicchoice.com), customers will have access to a specially constructed site that allows for mixing and matching within My Music Choice’s 52 categories. The service will also allow consumers to download songs or buy albums, when available.

Consumers can also identify 10 favorite channels for a “My Channels” list, for play at a later date. And the top 10 most-played songs on each of the 52 channels will be displayed under Music Choice Charts.

Del Becarro said unlike its audio cable offerings, the broadband product will feature video elements. The service will offer four to eight daily video clips that revolve around the various artists who come into the Music Choice studios on a daily basis.

“They will be exclusive interviews and studio performances, as well as concerts,” he said.

Music Choice’s interactive broadband product follows on the heels of the company’s My Music Choice interactive digital audio service, the one that launched last year in Illinois systems owned by Mediacom.

Del Becarro said more than a third of homes in the Mediacom test have used the service to develop their own customized digital channels.

“Most people end up mixing two or three formats together, which has allowed for high satisfaction rates,” Del Becarro said. “I think we’ll do even better now we’re also making it available on broadband, because it essence you’ll be able to do it on both your digital devices.”

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