Slacker Radio is a music recommendation engine much like Pandora, in that it lets you chose an artist or song and then creates a streaming music station based on that selection. The service also provides a number of pre-set stations to chose from, such as "Indie Hits" or non-vocal "Classic Jazz". The service is available on a number of devices, including iPhones, Android, Palm and Windows phones.
The partnership is the first we've seen between a streaming music service and a news service. ABC's content will be available in two ways - as a separate stream of news and as a top of the hour update, which will interrupt streaming music with a news update each hour. The service will initially be available to Slacker Radio Basic listeners for 14 days, while Slacker Radio Plus listeners, who pay a $3.99 monthly fee, will have unlimited access to the content.
According to the site, news will consist of "a mix of the day's most compelling news including Headlines, US and World news, Sports, Business, Politics and more" and will be added throughout the day. According to the release, the news station "features segments from ABC News programs, including "Good Morning America" anchored by Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, Juju Chang and Sam Champion, "Nightline" anchored by Terry Moran, Cynthia McFadden and Martin Bashir and much more." Users will have the ability to skip and queue stories just as they can with music.
Overall, we really like the idea of an hourly real-world interruption of our streaming music and hope to see a similar option make its way into other services.