NEW YORK (AP) _ Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. is latching onto the ``podcasting'' phenomenon, launching a show later this month that will feature a daily selection of the increasingly popular do-it-yourself audio programs.
The move by Sirius comes just days after Viacom Inc.'s Infinity Broadcasting unit said it would convert a struggling talk radio station in San Francisco to an all-podcast format.
The show, which Sirius was expected to formally announce on Monday, will begin broadcasting weekdays on May 13. It will be hosted by Adam Curry, the former MTV personality who helped create the technological tools that allow podcasting to work. The show will be broadcast on Sirius channel 148, a talk-radio station that does carry commercials, unlike Sirius' all-music channels.
Podcasts are essentially audio files made by amateurs and uploaded to the Internet where they can be shared with other listeners, either at their computers or on portable digital listening devices such as Apple Computer Inc.'s hot-selling iPod _ thus the name ``podcast,'' a combination of ``pod'' and ``broadcast.''
Podcasts are less than a year old but have become popular with the booming use of iPods. They include music and random musings on things like wine, pop culture, politics, hobbies and sports.
Some radio stations have offered podcasts of selected shows to listeners to download, but so far it's very unusual for radio stations to play podcasts on their air. Infinity claimed its station in San Francisco, KYCY-AM 1550, will be the first to adopt an all-podcast format.
The radio industry, which has already been facing sluggish growth in advertising in recent years, has been watching the booming use of iPods with growing concern.
Hoping to bring more listeners back to radio, industry giant Clear Channel Communications Inc. has been reducing the amount of commercials on its air and Infinity has been investing more in marketing and programming. Infinity parent Viacom took a $10.9 billion charge in February to reflect the declining value of its radio stations.
Sirius is the smaller of the two players in the satellite radio field after XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. Sirius reported this week that it has 1.4 million subscribers, while XM has 3.8 million.
Both are hoping to lure in enough customers paying $12.95 per month to become profitable, though for now both are losing large amounts of money. Both deliver dozens of channels of commercial-free music and many other channels with sports, talk and other programs.