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Lycos to offer Web radio

The Lycos Radio Network will feature play lists of songs from different genres, including hip-hop, alternative, smooth jazz, and country.

Lycos is getting into the Web radio game.

The new service, called the Lycos Radio Network, is set to launch tomorrow and will feature play lists of songs from different genres including hip-hop, alternative, smooth jazz, country, and "hot tracks." Lycos Radio also will stream advertisements and music videos.

Lycos Radio is a partnership with Westwind Media and also employs content from Rolling Stone.

Internet radio has become a popular offering; a study by media research firms The Arbitron Company and Edison Media Research earlier this year found that the number of U.S. Net users listening to online radio has more than doubled over the last six months. Big media firms are beginning to recognize the potential for such services--in February Viacom bought Imagine Radio to add to its upcoming music hub site the Buggles Project, and Sony invested in Spinner.

For the Lycos Net radio service, users need to download a media player from RealNetworks. Lycos plans eventually to introduce e-commerce links into the client. For now the client serves advertisements between songs.

This is not the first time Lycos has taken measures to tap the burgeoning popularity of music on the Web. In February the company launched a database to search for MP3-encoded audio download files.