Live365, Inc.
Industry Internet Radio
Founded 1999 (1999)
Defunct 2016; pending relaunch
Headquarters Foster City, California
Area served
Key people
Mark Lam (Interim CEO)

LIVE365 was an Internet radio broadcasting and listening network where users were able to create their own online radio stations, or choose to listen to thousands of human curated stations created by people from around the globe. LIVE365 was unique in that online radio stations on the LIVE365 network were created and managed by music and talk enthusiasts, including both hobbyists and professional broadcasters. LIVE365 also had many well established AM and FM stations that utilized the LIVE365 broadcasting platform to simulcast their terrestrial radio streams via the Live365 distribution network. The Live365 network also featured radio stations from well-known artists such as Johnny Cash, David Byrne, Pat Metheny, Jethro Tull, Frank Zappa, and more. LIVE365 was created in 1999, and remained one of the longest running internet radio websites for listeners and broadcasters.

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 working from home.[1] On January 31, 2016 LIVE365 ceased webcasting. LIVE365's website now redirects listeners and users to a list of competing services. The shutdown of LIVE365 also affected terrestrial AM and FM stations that used LIVE365, causing them to disperse to other live streams.[2]


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. The first release of Live365 was built by a small skunkworks team of workers at Nanocosm; it 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. Live365's explosive initial growth after launch in July 1999 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, giving millions of listeners the opportunity for an enhanced listening experience. Since that time, Live365 has continued to progress as an internet broadcasting and listening leader. (to see more recent Live365 history, please view the Company Milestones section below)

Closure and reopening

The Webcaster Settlement Act of 2009 expired in January 2016, ending a 10-year period in which smaller online radio stations, Live365 among them, could pay reduced royalties to labels. On January 31, 2016, webcasters who are governed by rules adopted by the Copyright Royalty Board were required to pay to SoundExchange an annual, nonrefundable minimum fee of $500 for each channel and station,[3] the fee for services with greater than 100 stations or channels being $50,000 annual.[4]

In July 2016, Live365 was acquired by Jon Stephenson, owner of content delivery network EmpireStreaming. The following month, the website returned to its live status with a possible relaunch occurs.[5]

Services and Features


Live365 offered a variety of music and talk (over 260 genres) from hundreds of countries ranging from Rock, Classical, Jazz, Electronic, Country, Gospel, Pop, Hip-Hop/Rap, R&B, International, Reggae, Broadway, Meditation, Oldies, Talk, and hundreds of others. Users were able to listen to thousands of stations on the Live365 radio network for free with in-stream audio ads included to cover a portion of the music royalty and streaming costs. When listeners found a station they enjoy, they were able to add that station to their presets to easily access and listen to that station at any time. Live365 also offered personalized recommendations so that listeners could discover music and other content from thousands of unique human powered radio stations. Live365 is available for listening on the web and across many mobile and home streaming devices including iPhone, iPad, Android, Roku, Kindle Fire, TiVo, and WDTV.

Live365 also offered a paid listener subscription service called "VIP", which featured commercial-free listening across thousands of Live365 music and talk radio stations. Users could try a free 5 day VIP membership trial by registering with a valid e-mail address on the Live365 registration page.[6]

Broadcasting Platform

Live365 was an internet radio broadcasting leader, having broadcast continuously since 1999 until it demise on January 31, 2016. Live365 empowered anyone (individuals, musicians, businesses, brands, AM/FM stations, and more) to create and monetize their own online radio station by providing users with the broadcasting platform, software, and tools to become their own radio DJ. Users had the ability to host their own live broadcast or they could upload and build their own playlist of music and/or talk content and stream it to the world 24/7. Through the Live365 distribution network, broadcasters could reach millions of listeners worldwide via web, mobile, and streaming devices.

Shout Out Feature on Studio365 Mobile App

Users that were interested in starting their own online station could sign up for a free 7 day trial[7] on select broadcasting packages. Each broadcast package differentiated in price depending on the features and capabilities of the package that best suits their needs. From the most basic[7] Personal Broadcasting to advanced broadcaster,[8] Live365 provided the tools and features for anyone to build their own online music or talk radio station including:

Live365 was an officially licensed ASCAP, BMI and SESAC site. Live365 paid music royalties to labels, artists, songwriters, and publishers through established royalty collection organizations including ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, and SoundExchange.

In October 2011, Live365 created the Pro Points rewards program allowing Pro broadcasters to carry Live365 audio ads and earn $1,000 each time an ad milestone is reached. There is no additional fee to participate in the program, and broadcasters may opt-in (or out) at any time. One ad impression = One point. Points carry over each month and don't reset until a broadcaster has reached the milestone needed for the $1,000 reward.

In 2013, Live365 released a new first of its kind mobile app for broadcasters called Studio365 for Mobile,[9] enabling Live365 broadcasters to manage their radio station anywhere they go. Features of the Studio365 app include the ability to create, preview, and manage Shout Outs, update station profile, update pre-rolls and station ID messages, check listening stats, share stations, and more.

Mobile and Home Devices

Live365 iPhone App
Live365 iPad App

Live365 was available across many popular mobile and home devices including iPhone, iPad, Android, Roku, iTunes Radio, WDTV, Philips, Sony, Logitech and Livio Radio.[10]

Company Milestones


  1. Brad Hill (2016-02-01). "Live365 suffers a collision of misfortunes, lays off most employees and vacates office". Kurt Hanson's Radio & Internet News. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
  2. Kurt Hanson (2016-02-01). "Bloody Sunday Decimates Internet Radio". Kurt Hanson's Radio & Internet News. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
  3. "2016 Broadcasters Calendar" (PDF). Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
  4. "commercial webcaster 2016 rates". soundexchange. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
  5. "Web Radio Pioneer Live365 Is Returning -- But to What?". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-09-19.
  7. 1 2 Archived May 28, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. Pro Broadcasting
  9. "Studio365 Mobile App". Live365. Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  10. "Devices". Live365. Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  11. "Net radio ruling fails to satisfy". CNN Money. June 21, 2002. Retrieved 2007-01-30.
  12. "Live365 Announces Launch of New Website". Broadcasting World. Broadcasting World. July 22, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-22.
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