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Entercom’s Radio.com Launches DVR-Style Controls for Live Radio Shows (EXCLUSIVE)

Radio broadcaster Entercom Communications is hoping to expand listenership of its live programming by bringing TiVo-like functionality to its Radio.com platform.

Launching this week, Radio.com Rewind lets listeners pause, rewind and fast-forward live radio. It’s accessible via the online player or in the Radio.com app. Eventually, the company said it will integrate the feature with voice-enabled devices.

Initially, Radio.com Rewind will debut Tuesday (Oct. 15) on about four dozen of Entercom’s most popular sports, news and talk stations, with more shows and stations to be added over time. It will let users play back broadcast radio content within 24 hours of airing, letting them fast-forward to live content at any time; resume listening from where they left off; and select playback speed up to two times faster than the original broadcast.

Down the road, Entercom also plans to add the ability for Radio.com users to share snippets of live broadcast radio content on social media and email.

J.D. Crowley, Entercom’s chief digital officer, said it’s the first time a terrestrial radio broadcaster is providing on-demand access and controls for live content in an automatic way. Note that some in-car entertainment systems and SiriusXM radios provide DVR-like controls for live audio for a certain time period after airing.

“It’s basically podcast functionality for live radio,” said Crowley. “We’re trying to open up a third window” between live radio and podcasting.

In some cases, Entercom doesn’t have playback rights to the live programming (for example, for play-by-play for live sports). In addition, the company isn’t providing Radio.com Rewind for music stations at first, although Crowley said that will be coming in the future. “Music is a whole different level of complexity because of the rights,” he said.

Radio.com provides access to Entercom’s 235 local radio stations and their websites, and overall currently has over 500 stations and thousands of podcasts. Entercom obtained Radio.com through the 2017 acquisition of CBS Radio.

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