Virgin starts Europe’s first live on-line radio

Virgin Radio has launched Europe’s first on-line radio station, offering a live audio-feed direct to the computers of those visiting the radio station’s new Web site.

The service is a live relay of Virgin via the Internet, which can be accessed from anywhere in the world. It uses state-of-the-art RealAudio software, which Net browsers can download free from the Virgin Radio site.

Rather than having to spend time downloading an audio file to a computer and then replaying it, browsers using RealAudio hear material played to them direct over the Net.

The Virgin site is designed as a series of rooms within the Virgin Radio building. Visitors can “tour” the station by clicking on icons, accessing features such as playlists, DJ biographies and exclusive pre-recorded music sessions, as well as Virgin Voice, an on-line newspaper.

Virgin Radio advertising information, including ratecards, is also available on-line. And the station is developing on-line links with its advertisers – a brand icon within the virtual station connects browsers with product details or becomes a direct link to the advertiser’s own Internet site.

Virgin views live on-line audio as a useful way for people to sample the station, says Virgin Radio chief executive David Campbell.

Virgin Radio on-line is at http://www.virginradio.co.uk/

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