I've been talking to the guys at Mixcloud.com for a short while now. They have a very interesting and potentially disruptive model to unleash on the radio industry.
If you'd like to give it a try I've got 100 beta invites for readers of this blog.
Just use the code: fasterfuture
If you try it and it's already run out, post a comment below and we'll get you on a waiting list (with a pretty short wait!)
Most internet radio sites allow you to choose the channels you want to listen to. Other players (of the LastFM kind) allow you to select individual tunes as the disaggregated elements for the user (with or without their peers) to reaggregate to their own preferences.
Mixcloud makes the unit of value the radio show.Their elevator pitch is: 'The Youtube of radio'.
In a mass-media model, imagine being able to listen to Russell Brand followed by Chris Moyles with Absolute Radio's Call Christian next up.
In a more niche global incarnation, imagine listening to a station of the shows you want to listen to drawn from a world of talent and relevance - with recommendations from your peers (and your behaviour) leading you to the right shows.
The idea retains ‘the show’ as unit of editorial control/value but places channel control in the hands of the user and their peers. Entertaining presenters, quality production etc remain valued in this model - whether its UGC or professional content.
Rankings could be ordered by preferences too (ie only want UK, only want rock, only want comedy, only those recommended by my friends etc
Mixcloud doesn't do all this just yet. But it's on the right road.