This is more substantive than my previous KCBS posts (about the new jingle, etc.). KCBS started simultaneously streaming audio over the web today, along with 10 other Infinity radio stations. WCBS 880 started in December. I was pleasantly surprised, since Infinity (which is part of Viacom, the owner of CBS) has banned webcasts since late 1997, because there was no viable business model at the time; WCBS had to drop its RealAudio stream.

But a lot has changed in seven years. A lot more people are online, with higher-speed connections. Terrestrial radio stations now have more competition both from Internet radio and satellite radio. The radio stations can sell ads specifically for the webcast, boosting their revenue. Reception is less of an issue: webcasts allow WCBS and WINS to finally be heard within Manhattan skyscrapers.

Oh, and the head of Infinity who made the “no-streaming” policy is now the CEO of one of Infinity’s competitors, Sirius Radio.