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RAIN 10/6: CBS launches "Last.fm Discover" in top 4 markets

Posted on: 10/06/2009


CBS Interactive yesterday launched Last.fm Discover, a streaming and HD radio station “dedicated to and influenced by” the popular music discovery service, which is now owned by CBS. The station’s programming reflects the music listening patterns of users of the Last.fm online service, as reflected in weekly charts (here).

According to a CBS press release, Last.fm Discover programming will also include “special features which will guide listeners through new music, users comments, events, recommendations and news.”

Last.fm Discover is available from anywhere on the Last.fm website or CBS Radio’s streaming platform and via wireless apps; but also on HD channels in New York (on WWFS HD2), Los Angeles (on KCBS HD2), Chicago (WXRT HD3) and San Francisco (KITS HD3).


Nielsen NetView says women are far more likely to use online music services and news sites than men. Nielsen data for August shows women making up 56.1% of traffic to online music sites. Overall, 42.5 million unique female visitors hit music sites in that month. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, women age 35-60 make up about a third of these visitors. Women aged 35-49 represented 19.2%. Slightly more than 8% of U.S. women 18 or older watched or listened to music online.

The most visited music site by women in August was AOL Music (11.8 million unique visitors), followed by Yahoo music (9.9 million) and MSN Music (3.9 million). Read more in Billboard online here.


After six years of battling, a U.S. District Court in California has struck a major blow to a controversial streaming media patent by invalidating ten claims by Acacia Research.

Longtime RAIN readers will remember the company’s claims that it owned the technology that enables streaming media on the Internet, and that companies engaged in such practices would have to pay to license the technology. Acacia attempted to collect licensing fees from webcasters like RadioIO — and actually secured such licenses from webcasters like Radio Free Virgin — in 2003 (see RAIN here and CNet here). TechDirt described Acacia as “one of the biggest and most well known of the patent hoarding firms,” and wrote “the company now often tries to hide patents in shell companies, since the Acacia name is now so closely associated with ‘patent troll’.”

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which described the patent as “laughably broad” and which “would cover everything from online distribution of home movies to scanned documents and MP3s,” made it the top target in its Patent Busting Project here.

In new developments, according to the EFF, “the Court invalidated the remaining claims that had been asserted in litigation, after several others had been dropped” from an Acacia lawsuit against leading satellite and cable companies Echostar, DirectTV, Time Warner Cable and CSC Holdings, Inc. EFF says similar claims in related patents will also be invalid under the Court’s analysis. EFF says the patent also “had been used by Acacia Research to threaten colleges and universities.”

Read more from EFF here and TechDirt here. Finally, the court order is here.

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