AOL-owned (but not for long) Winamp and Shoutcast are reportedly being acquired by DIY online streaming platform Radionomy. TechCrunch picked up a Winamp forum post by an individual who noticed that the Winamp domain name pointed to Radionomy servers. That is a clear indication of ownership transfer, reportedly bolstered by an unnamed source. ShoutCast, which is paired with Winamp as a Nullsoft creation, will go with Winamp to Radionomy, according to TechCrunch, although that nameserver has not been changed as of this post.
Nullsoft was acquired by AOL in June, 1999, for $80-million. AOL announced that both Winamp and ShoutCast would shut down in December, but the sites and services continued operating beyond the deadline, as rumors circulated that a buyer (possibly Microsoft) was in the wings.
Radionomy appears to be on a business development tear. The Winamp/ShoutCast report comes two weeks after Radionomy closed a quasi-merger (termed a “combination”) with audio ad network TargetSpot. Radionomy is headquartered in Brussels.
If synergy is the buzzword of all acquisitions, this one is clearly synergistic. In ShoutCast, Radionomy would be obtaining one of the largest self-serve streaming audio platforms, adding 50,000 stations to its home-grown portfolio of 7,000 stations. The ShoutCast server is the basis of mobile apps which package and stream Internet radio through phones and tablets. To the extent that ShoutCast is woven into the infrastructure of mobile listening, its prospective demise would have affected and damaged small businesses. Winamp, too, more than just a desktop media organizer, underlies pureplay listening at thousands of Internet stations that offer Winamp streams as listening options.
All in all, assuming the deal plays out as expected, this is a hopeful New Year’s present for pureplay stations that distribute on Shoutcast, mobile apps that hook into ShoutCast servers, and long-time Winamp users who want to see the product continue under development.