From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Company typePrivate
IndustryInternet Radio
Founded1999; 25 years ago (1999)
Area served
Key people
Jon Stephenson (CEO)

LIVE365 is an Internet radio network which enables users to create their own online radio stations and listen to thousands of human curated stations. Online radio stations on the Live365 network were created and managed by music and talk enthusiasts, including both hobbyists and professional broadcasters. Live365 also has many well established AM and FM stations that use Live365 broadcasting platform to simulcast their terrestrial radio streams. The Live365 network also features radio stations from artists such as Johnny Cash, David Byrne, Pat Metheny, Jethro Tull, and Frank Zappa. Live365 was created in 1999, and remains one of the longest running internet radio websites for listeners and broadcasters.

This internet radio provides service in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, with licenses from those countries' performance rights societies.


Nanocosm Inc. (the parent company of Live365) was a technology startup founded by two roommates from the Princeton class of 1981, Alex Sanford and Steve Follmer, whose initial product was NanoHome, a 3D "Virtual Home" website featuring 3D homepages on the World Wide Web.

Live365 had its beginnings in a hosted community radio project developed by Nanocosm employee Andy Volk in his free time using Shoutcast technology, and later modified by employee Brian Lomeland. In 1998, Andy Volk shared the idea with Nanocosm CTO Peter Rothman, and they developed the concept for a new large-scale hosted community radio service dubbed Live365. After launch in July 1999, Live365 quickly eclipsed NanoHome, and the company soon shifted to solely focus on Live365 and online audio streaming services.

At launch, broadcasting and listening on Live365 was free of charge. Stations had a maximum listener cap of 365 simultaneous listeners and 365 megabytes of storage for music and audio. In September 2001, Live365 began charging for use of its broadcasting services to remain financially viable in the wake of rising music royalty costs. More expensive plans allowed stations to have more simultaneous listeners and a greater amount of music file storage space. Members who joined before September 2001 could continue broadcasting with their original package for free. This model would later be replaced with one in which all members pay, but those who joined before September 2001 received a discount. In March 2003, Live365 launched their commercial-free membership called VIP.

Closure and reopening[edit]

The Webcaster Settlement Act of 2009 expired in January 2016, ending a 10-year period in which smaller online radio stations, Live365 among them, paid lower music licensing fees compared to larger broadcasters. After this time, smaller radio stations were required to pay the same fees as the largest broadcasters. Also, on January 31, 2016, webcasters, who are governed by rules adopted by the Copyright Royalty Board, were required to begin paying SoundExchange an annual, nonrefundable minimum fee of $500 for each channel and station,[1] the fee for services with greater than 100 stations or channels being $50,000 annual.[2]

With the pending expiration of the lower royalty rate allowed for small broadcasters, investors removed their support of the company. In late December 2015, Live365 laid off most of its employees and vacated its office, and the few remaining employees were remote workers.[3] On January 31, 2016, Live365 ceased webcasting and its website redirected listeners and users to a list of competing services.[3] A year after its closure, Live365 relaunched its site and streaming services.[4]

In July 2016, Live365 was acquired by Jon Stephenson, owner of content delivery network EmpireStreaming (now SoundStack). The following month, the website returned with signs of a possible relaunch.[5] An article was posted to the site's official Twitter on May 23, 2017 announcing the relaunch.[6]

On January 6, 2018, Live365 was reorganized under Media Creek Inc., a Delaware-based holding company.[7]

Services and features[edit]


Live365 offers a variety of music and talk from numerous countries and genres. Users may listen to thousands of stations on the Live365 radio network for free, with in-stream audio ads covering a portion of the music royalty and streaming costs. Live365 also offers personalized recommendations. Live365 is available for listening on the web and across many mobile and home streaming devices.

Live365 offers a paid listener subscription service called VIP, which features commercial-free listening.[8]

Broadcasting platform[edit]

Live365 is a digital broadcasting platform that was initially operational from 1999 to January 31, 2016, before being revived in 2018. The platform provides the functionality for users to either host live broadcasts or upload and create playlists of music and talk content for streaming purposes. Live365 pays music royalties to labels, artists, songwriters, and publishers through organizations including ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and SoundExchange.

In October 2011, Live365 implemented the Pro Points rewards program. This enabled Pro broadcasters to incorporate Live365 audio advertisements into their content, with financial rewards granted upon reaching specified ad milestones.

In 2013, Live365 further expanded its service offerings with the release of the Studio365 for Mobile application. This software tool allows Live365 broadcasters to manage their radio station remotely using mobile devices.[9]

Company milestones[edit]

  • July 1999: Developed originally as a virtual home environment named Nanohome, Live365 was created as a side project to create a form of online community radio. After popular public demand, focus shifted to developing Live365 full-time.
  • October 1999: Basic mode broadcasting technology released to broadcasters. Technology noted as first of its kind for streaming internet broadcasts.
  • November 1999: Live365 makes the cover of Billboard magazine
  • 2001: New broadcasters’ packages upgraded, allowing for more storage space and simultaneous listeners. Previous limited space included 365 MB for storage and 365 simultaneous listeners.
  • 2001: Live365 launched Player365 for PocketPC the First and Only Streaming MP3 Player for Pocket PC and introduced the very first wireless Internet radio (7 years before the launch of the iPhone)
  • 2002: Royalty rights continue to climb for internet radio services. Live365 fights back by airing public service announcements about increasing royalty rates on their stations.[10]
  • March 2003: Launches ad-free VIP membership service (originally called Preferred Membership)
  • November 2003: Releases Radio365 – desktop player for Mac
  • March 2004: Releases Radio365 – desktop player for Windows
  • August 2005: Launches on TiVo streaming devices
  • June 2007: Copyright Royalty Board hearings in Washington, D.C. Live365 joins other internet radio companies in opposing higher music royalty rates.
  • November 2007: Windows mobile app released
  • April 2009: Mobile app for iPhone released.
  • July 2010: Website redesign with an updated logo design. The new design includes an embedded audio player that’s accessible from every page of the website. The player features album art, recommendations, and sharing features including Facebook, Twitter, Presets, and improved station search.[11]
  • November 16, 2010: Releases two new targeted websites: The female centric Athena365, and MyGen365, an internet radio site dedicated to baby boomers.
  • April 7, 2011: Next generation of Live365 Radio iPhone app released
  • June 28, 2011: Mobile app for Android devices released
  • September 2011: Begins streaming on Roku devices
  • October 2011: Launches Pro Points program paying Professional Broadcasters for reaching certain milestones
  • December 2011: Live365 app released on Amazon Kindle Fire devices
  • April 2012: Releases multi-platform desktop player called Live365 Desktop
  • August 2012: Launches dedicated iPad app
  • March 2013: Launches Studio365 mobile app
  • January 31, 2016: Operations terminated due to imposition of higher royalty rates
  • July 2016: Temporary suspends operations
  • January 2017: Live 365 resumes operations.[12]
Player365 on iPAQ Beta Build
IPAQ with Ricochet Modems and Live365's Player365 streaming media software


  1. ^ "2016 Broadcasters Calendar" (PDF). Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  2. ^ "commercial webcaster 2016 rates". soundexchange. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Hill, Brad (February 1, 2016). "Live365 suffers a collision of misfortunes, lays off most employees and vacates office". Kurt Hanson's Radio & Internet News.
  4. ^ Doug Irwin (January 9, 2017). " Is Back!". Radio Magazine.
  5. ^ "Web Radio Pioneer Live365 Is Returning -- But to What?". Billboard. August 23, 2016. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
  6. ^ "Live365 is Officially Back!". May 22, 2017.
  7. ^ "MediaCreek Acquires Live365, EmpireStreaming, Adds Execs". February 20, 2018.
  8. ^ "Live365 Internet Radio - Sign up". Archived from the original on June 15, 2013. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
  9. ^ "Studio365 Mobile App". Live365. Retrieved December 23, 2015.
  10. ^ "Net radio ruling fails to satisfy". CNN Money. June 21, 2002. Retrieved January 30, 2007.
  11. ^ "Live365 Announces Launch of New Website". Broadcasting World. Broadcasting World. July 22, 2010. Retrieved July 22, 2010.
  12. ^ "Live365 returns, one year after going silent - RAIN News". January 2, 2017.

External links[edit]