updated 08:00 am EDT, Wed March 23, 2011
Content organized into various subscription levels
Slacker has announced plans to expand its streaming audio content with new material from ESPN, while representatives also commented on the potential impact of Apple's iOS subscription rules. The sports content will arrive as a dynamic service, customizable based on a user's preferences for certain sports or individual teams.
After a user chooses specific items of interest, score updates and other information can be set to interrupt standard radio listening at certain intervals. Aside from scores and other data, ESPN and Slacker are working to ensure that certain shows with additional material, such as interviews, will only play if the topics align with chosen interests.
The customizable features will only be available through Slacker's paid subscriptions, however a variety of sports content will also be available with the free service. The structure for ESPN material essentially mimics the company's approach to music streaming.
Aside from details surrounding the new content, Slacker representatives also answered Electronista's questions regarding the new iOS rules for in-app subscriptions. The new rule "definitely has" impacted the company, but it is not sure what the outcome will be.
The rep voiced uncertainty over the potential interpretations of Apple's language, along with the possibility of enforcement, but stressed that Slacker would have to leave the platform if it was forced to pay a 30 percent cut from subscription revenues. The company is taking a wait-and-see approach, continuing with its current strategy and hoping to resolve any issues if Apple happens to pull its iOS app.
The ESPN content will not be fully available until later in the year, sometime in June.