Radio Broadcasters to Zune: Tag You’re It

A group of nine radio broadcasters have committed to bring song tagging to Microsoft’s new Zune music and entertainment service.

Beginning next Tuesday, Sept. 16, Zune portable media players will have the capability to let consumers wirelessly download or stream songs from wireless hot spots and electronically tag and purchase songs heard on the radio.

According to a study commissioned by Microsoft, 61 percent of respondents cited radio as their primary source for discovering new music. Yet music is increasingly purchased through digital and online channels.

Hoping to close that gap and provide instant gratification for the music lover, Zune takes advantage of the wireless connection and the built-in FM tuner to deliver Buy From FM, a new feature that allows customers to tag and purchase songs they hear on radio directly from the Zune device. Customers can pay per track or purchase a Zune Pass subscription for $14.99 per month.

More than 450 FM radio stations operated by Beasley Broadcast Group, Bonneville International, CBS Radio, Citadel, Clear Channel Radio, Cox Radio, Emmis Communications, Entercom Communications, and Greater Media, will be broadcasting tagged songs using RDS technology.

“We are moving toward a future where music discovery, purchase and fulfillment is a convenient and seamless experience,” said David Field, CEO for Entercom.

Apple’s iPod currently offers wi-fi downloads with its iTunes service and offers iTunes tagging with HD Radio.

Microsoft has sold about 2 million Zunes, 3 to 4 percent of the MP3 market share.