EarthLink Radio, created in partnership with online radio-programming provider RadioCentral, aims to attract Internet users with content from standard radio stations across the United States and limited commercial interruptions, the companies said in a statement.
Internet users can listen to EarthLink Radio from the ISP's home page, the EarthLink Entertainment page or the Personal Start Page. The service is not limited to the Atlanta-based company's 4.8 million subscribers.
RadioCentral has developed its own technology for playing audio content on the Internet, meaning that people don't have to download third-party technology from RealNetworks or Microsoft, which make the leading streaming-media products.
RadioCentral of San Francisco worked with the ISP to develop five radio stations that match EarthLink subscribers' interests: Today's Hits, World Class Rock, Pop Alternative, Rock Alternative and Classic Alternative.
With the move, EarthLink is looking to tap into the growing market of Web surfers who are using the Internet to listen to audio and to watch video.
In a recent survey, research firm Ipsos-Reid discovered that 61 percent of Internet users aged 18 to 24 in more than two dozen countries had downloaded music from the Internet.
As part of Wednesday's announcement, EarthLink touted a report from media research company Arbitron, which found that "streamies"--Web surfers who watch or listen to Webcasts online--now represent 44 percent of all Internet users and 27 percent of Americans overall.