Slacker Radio CEO talks about profitability and pricing

slacker logo new canvasSlacker Radio may be close to turning a profit. In a recent MusicAlly interview, Slacker Radio CEO Duncan Orrell-Jones talked about the positive effects of committing to being a niche audio service. “We are comfortable with the idea of being at a smaller scale,” he said. “We are on the cusp of profitability.”

He contrasted Slacker’s situation with those of the major streaming operations, which have been famously unable to attain a profit. “The question is this: how do those guys move towards profitability when they are carrying the sizeable organisation that they have?” he said. “I scratch my head at the sheer weight of the organisations they have.”

Orrell-Jones also addressed the hot topic of pricing in audio subscriptions. Slacker Radio has multiple tiers: free, $3.99 a month, and $9.99 a month. Mid-tier options have become more common as offerings, with Pandora, iHeartRadio, and SoundCloud all adding them in recent months. But Orrell-Jones thinks that subscription success won’t be just about the cost.

“There’s a lot of room for growth in the subscription space overall and there’s lot of room for growth at $9.99 tier,” he said. “It is still very early days. A lot of people will still open up their wallets for $9.99. But it is really going to come down to product innovation and what is presented to people.”

Anna Washenko