nix it altogether. The free, advertiser-supported, Internet-enhanced, digital radio service allows listeners to choose music from 25 genres, and then have the CD-quality tunes downloaded onto their computers.
The ClickRadio program connects to the company’s server whenever the user is on the Net and then uploads and downloads files compressed with Lucent Technologies’ ePAC (enhanced perceptual audio coding) system-a proprietary technology. Old songs are pulled out of cache and new ones are played based on user preferences.
ClickRadio differs from popular types of music sites, such as MP3.com or Launch.com, in that an entire cache of songs is actually downloaded on to the computer. Sites like MP3.com are not digital radio services, says ClickRadio founder and CEO, Hank Williams. “Launch.com provides a radio service based on streaming, which has poorer quality.” More importantly, ClickRadio has licenses to distribute music from big distributors, such as BMG Entertainment and Universal Music Group.
Williams, 35, came up with the idea for ClickRadio with
co-founders, David Benjamin and Ed Bialek. Williams previously served as chairman of the now defunct Cybersonic, an Internet-development consulting firm that provided Webcasting services. The revolutionary concept for ClickRadio was devised in 1998, and thus far, the company has secured $10 million in seed money from private investors.
ClickRadio is in the process of marketing to consumers-particularly college students-in the top 10 markets nationwide. Although ClickRadio plays two-thirds fewer ads than conventional radio (five minutes of ads per hour), the New York-based company has developed a cooperative relationship with advertisers. The interactive ads can’t be interrupted or skipped by the user.
There are deals in the pipeline which could mean that ClickRadio would come prepackaged in various PCs. By the end of this year, Williams hopes to expand the service beyond the Net by having the software installed directly into personal stereo component systems. Charlie Kendall, the company’s vice president of entertainment programming, says ClickRadio is, “the most exciting thing to happen in radio since the move to FM.”
Three years ago, Eric Womack and his wife Anita, left corporate America to launch CSG Recruiting and Staffing in Columbia, Maryland. Clients included such firms as Chevy Chase Bank, Lucent Technologies, and Pfizer Inc. Instead of trying to figure out what CSG could sell on the Net, the Womacks looked at what problem they could solve. To automate the search process for both recruiters and candidates, they created CSGRecruiting.com in 1998.
As the company grew, they began to get several inquiries about career services and advice. “We decided to survey our clients,” says Eric, who serves as president and CEO. “We asked them, if we created a Website, what would they like to see?”
Using a list server, the Womacks polled some 5,700 recruiters and salespeople (entry-level, middle, and senior management) to come up with the right content mix to create ForSalespeople.com. Launched January 2000, the site is a b-to-b e-commerce and information marketplace for sales professionals and small business owners. Feedback from the survey revealed that potential users wanted an online resource center that was