Mercora has beefed up its streaming music service for smart phones, called M, and has snagged a deal with Microsoft to promote the service on its Windows Mobile site.
The service still offers more than 100,000 channels of music for streaming directly to any Windows Mobile 5 or 6 phone, but has added more than 7,000 podcast channels, CEO Srivats Sampath said.
Mercora will also be getting a temporary plug from Microsoft: Starting Tuesday, Microsoft will offer M as a free six-month subscription to all Windows Mobile users. The application can be downloaded from the Windows Mobile site directly to phones. After six months users will be subject to the service's standard $49.99 per year price tag.
The subscription-based music service initially launched in October. He wouldn't reveal specific numbers, but Sampath says the service now has subscribers numbering in the "multiple thousands."
Mercora is also one of thousands of companies offering Web-based radio service that would be affected by new rules assessing a higher minimum per-channel royalty payment, but Sampath rejected any assertions that his business would suffer.
That's because he's seen it happen before, he said. "The court will rule on a particular pricing. Everyone will squeal, then everyone goes back to the table again to figure out a price acceptable to everyone.
"We're not upset," Sampath said. "We know logic will prevail."