If you were a fan of Slacker's old-school black and gold aesthetic, you can mourn its passing today. The internet radio service has just undergone a rebirth, with a brand new white and burnt orange logo and a completely revamped design -- on web, mobile and Xbox -- in an effort to reintroduce itself to the mainstream and stave off competition from the likes of Pandora, Spotify and Rdio. The new look is decidedly simpler and more approachable, with a prominent search box and a distinct blue and white theme that carries its way throughout all interfaces. Indeed, the smartphone apps are explicitly designed to mirror the site, not just style-wise but functionally as well. For example, it'll cue up the next song on a station or a playlist when you switch devices.
The pricing structure remains the same -- there's a free ad-supported version, a Radio Plus $3.99 a month option and a $9.99 per month Premium plan. The new iOS and Android apps should be available today, with Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10 versions to come. For more on the relaunch and a few thoughts from Slacker's execs, join us after the break.
As soon as you load the new site, you'll notice three buckets: Slacker Stations, Music Guide and My Music. The first has long been a mainstay in Slacker's arsenal; it lists a slew of stations the company says are "expertly curated" along with sports, talk and comedy options. As of the relaunch, you can fine tune the list even further by choosing related artists, favorite tunes, or just how popular or new you want the song selections to be. Music Guide, on the other hand, capitalizes on the "lean forward" aspect of the service that is designed to go head-to-head against services like Spotify and Rdio where you already know what sorts of songs you like. The Guide offers editorial takes on the latest industry news plus recommendations based on listening habits and the social network behavior of your friends -- in fact, it can populate the "What songs your friends are listening to" list from competing services. As for the My Music section, that's where you can compile your favorite songs, playlists and custom-built stations.
We had a chance to sit down with Slacker CEO Jim Cady and CMO Craig Rechenmacher who gave us some insight into the philosophy behind the site's relaunch. As they tell us, Slacker was originally designed for the early adopter crowd as an alternative to satellite radio. The market has changed remarkably since then, and so they adapted. "This is a new product across all devices," Cady said. "It's a product redesign, a brand redesign." He goes on to say that after months of focus groups and testing, "if you give people 30 to 60 minutes, we win [compared to competing services]. But that isn't good enough -- it needs to be 30 to 60 seconds."
For Rechenmacher, the combination of over 13 million songs, 200 "expertly programmed" stations, offline listening for paid subscribers and enhanced customization makes them "the most complete music service on the market," and he hopes the redesign helps get that idea across. We can't attest to that of course, but at first glance, it does seem like Slacker's making a step in the right direction here. To get an idea of how the new redesign looks, have a peek at the gallery, check out the video or just head to the source to see the brand new site for yourself.
SLACKER UNVEILS THE WORLD'S MOST COMPLETE MUSIC SERVICE
Digital Music Service Gives Listeners Anytime, Anywhere Access to
the World's Best Entertainment with New Web, Mobile and Automotive Apps
SAN FRANCISCO – FEBURARY 13, 2013 – Listen up. Slacker has launched the world's most complete music service for the Web, mobile devices and a range of automotive and consumer electronics platforms. The new Slacker gives listeners anytime, anywhere access to millions of songs and hundreds of expert-programmed stations for free on any device. Slacker also raises the bar for music discovery, highlighting stations, personalized picks and exclusive content from Slacker's team of expert curators. Get Slacker for free at www.slacker.com or download the app now for iOS, Android, Windows Phones and Blackberry devices.
Slacker works directly with record labels to offer a massive music library of more than 13 million songs, with new tracks added daily. Listeners can also personalize their experience with the industry's deepest customization tools and easily add news, sports and talk from ABC and ESPN. Slacker's team of expert music curators also constantly update Slacker's more than 200 genre and specialty stations so the music is always new, fresh and surprising.
Slacker is free on any device. Listeners can also subscribe to Slacker Radio Plus for a commercial-free experience with offline listening and unlimited song skips for $3.99 a month. The Slacker Premium service delivers the ultimate experience with on-demand listening, the ability to create custom playlists and more for $9.99 a month.
"Slacker is the most complete music service on earth, with 10 times the music of Pandora, expert- programmed stations Spotify can't touch, and personalization that satellite services only dream of," said Jim Cady, CEO, Slacker. "We've quietly built a scaleable business with more than a half-million paying subscribers and more than four million monthly average users. 2013 will be a blockbuster year for Slacker as we ramp up our marketing efforts and take the service to a broader audience."
Slacker was founded in 2006 as a satellite radio company and pivoted to become a digital music service in 2010. The company has doubled its business every year. Slacker also has billing and distribution deals with every major North American wireless provider, including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and U.S. Cellular. In addition, Slacker also has distribution deals with major automotive manufacturers including Ford, GM, Chrysler, Acura, Honda, Scion, Subaru and Tesla.
The new Slacker service and company logo were revealed to media at a press event featuring Silversun Pickups last night in San Francisco. Event production was handled by Madrone Studios. A press kit with logos, screen shots and video is available here.
And to celebrate the launch of the new Slacker service, listeners can also experience all the features and benefits of the Slacker premium service for free on February 14 and 15, sponsored by Cars.com.
For more information about Slacker, a complete list of platforms, or to listen for free, visit
Slacker is the most complete music service on Earth. The company delivers free and subscription-based access to millions of songs and hundreds of expert-programmed stations, plus news, sports and talk, on the web, mobile devices, in-car infotainment systems and consumer electronics platforms. By blending a team of expert music curators and content programmers with cutting-edge analytics, Slacker delivers a seamless music discovery experience and uniquely personalized entertainment. Slacker was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in San Diego with offices in Palo Alto, CA and New York City. For more information about Slacker, or to listen for free, visit www.slacker.com