RealTime IT News

AOL Scraps Spinner Brand

America Online on Monday announced it would scrap the Spinner.com brand and roll the Webcasting property into its Netscape portal.

Beginning August 12, AOL said Spinner would relaunch with a new media player as Radio@Netscape Plus, in keeping with plans to turn the Netscape.com site into a full-fledged media portal.

The company said in an online notice that the new Radio@Netscape Plus player would add local radio stations with news and sports Webcasts to the list of channels now available on Spinner. A beta version will be released Monday evening.

The Spinner.com Web site will rolled into Netcape's Music Center, completing a rebranding that is being viewed as a major shift in strategy for AOL, which is now merging all its Internet Webcasting operations under the Netscape or AOL brand. The company also runs the Radio@AOL streaming operations.

The move comes ahead of plans to launch an AOL-backed subscription digital music service.

AOL acquired San Francisco, Calif.-based Spinner.com in May 1999 and merged it with Nullsoft, Inc., the company that created the popular Winamp digital media player.

The decision to fold the Spinner into AOL's Netscape portal is in keeping with a general trend in the online radio space to eliminate known brands. Web radio pioneers like Sonicnet, NetRadio, Launch and DiscJockey have all been shut down or folded into other brands in recent years.