May 17, 2011 at 3:00 am

Slacker Launches On-Demand Music Service

Say what you want about its name, but Slacker’s no slouch. The company, spawned by three veterans from the first digital music revolution (iRiver, Rio and MusicMatch), has gained plenty of fans over the years for its interactive streaming service, somewhat along the lines of Pandora. Today, it announced the availability of an on-demand music subscription, somewhat along the lines of Rhapsody.

According to Slacker, it is now the only company to offer a full-fledged interactive radio service as well as an on-demand subscription service — currently with over eight million songs. Rhapsody and MOG also offer radio services, but they focus more on the on-demand side of things, lending merit to this claim of uniqueness.

“Up until this point there has been an array of ‘Internet radio’ and ‘on-demand’ services, with much debate about which is better from a content, experience and technology perspective,” said Slacker senior vice president Jonathan Sasse in a prepared statement. “Slacker Premium Radio provides music lovers with the best of both. We believe the combination of a world class radio service providing music discovery up front with on-demand access to any song and entire albums is the winning combo.”

This pairing of internet radio and an unlimited subscription service, which Slacker’s been talking about doing since last year, could prove powerful indeed, because rather than “liking” a track or purchasing it from Amazon or iTunes for a dollar, Slacker Premium Radio subscribers can add it to their personal collection so that they can listen to it whenever they want.

To use the terms of the previous century, Slacker is now a radio station and a record store at the same time — discover music and add it to your collection, all within the same service. Like other on-demand music services, Slacker Premium Radio costs $10 per month.