Following yesterday’s announcement, Winamp will be shutting down on December 20th. According to Techcrunch, AOL may be in talks with Microsoft to sell Winamp, along with Shoutcast, a media streaming service also developed by Nullsoft.
AOL refused to comment on this matter, and Microsoft did not confirm nor denied as no response was given back. Techcrunch reported that the deal is not yet finalized between the two companies just yet and they are still working out the price. It could also be very wishful thinking from those intent on trying to save both services. No insight of what is to become of Shoutcast was given yesterday.
If the rumors are true, it would represent an interesting, and strange, twist in the story. On the AOL side, it’s fairly clear why AOL is closing down Winamp and Shoutcast, and it makes sense why it would want to sell both. As an owner, AOL has never given much of a strong direction to the products, at a time when other digital music companies have been building up audiences and evolving technologies. It has already shuttered and sold off other music assets as part of a bigger strategic shift to focus resources as a web publisher, and as a rich-media advertising network operator across those and third-party sites, with an increasing focus on ad-tech to improve how those ads are delivered and measured.
From Microsoft’s point of view, the Windows giant has had its own setbacks in music, aka. Zune. However, Microsoft put a lot of effort into the Xbox Music basket, which works on the Xbox 360, Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows Phone 8,iOS and Android devices, offering free, ad-supported streaming, subscriptions, and downloaded music.
We are not sure where Winamp or Shoutcast may fit here, but Shoutcast has a platform that acts as a portal to over 50,000 radio stations. This could be one area that Microsoft might want to add to the Xbox Music platform, and which it currently lacks, to complement its Pandora-style personal radio feature. Winamp might be a black hole at the moment, since nobody knows what Microsoft might have it plan for it.
Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information