In 1995 AudioNet began delivering audio content over the Internet to US web users. It subsequently evolved into Broadcast.com in 1997 and was acquired by Yahoo in 1999.
While keen to push the virtues of its videostreaming initiative, Yahoo spokesman Grant Anderson acknowledged that much of the early interest in Australia was likely to centre on the audio delivery component because of local bandwidth restrictions.
The services offered includes a key announcements audio package, which can stream up to 5,000 users at a time. Yahoo says the service is commonly used in the US to deliver information about financial results, company announcements, and analyst conferences. The cost is $3,500 per call and the material is archived for 90 days.
For companies, or organistions that want to add a basic voice service to the web, such as providing regular information updates throughout the day, there is a voice box package which allows users to dial into a 1800 number, record a message and then have the audio published shortly afterwards. The set-up costs for one voice box capable of three updates a day is $500 and there are monthly access and hosting fees which are based on the level of service but which max out at $350 a month for three 15-minute messages daily.
The third tier of service relates to video webcasting, and here the prices start rising fairly dramatically, with the entry point beginning at about $10,000. Yahoo says it can provide packages that stream for up to two hours at 56K and 100K streaming and that the service can cope with 500 simultaneous users.