KUT joins NPR to launch new multimedia site

KUT 90.5 FM, Austin's listener supported public radio station, is one of 12 National Public Radio (NPR) public radio stations selected to introduce NPR Music, a new, free, comprehensive multimedia music discovery Web site at http://kut.org/nprmusic/.

NPR Music features on-air and online content aggregated from KUT, NPR and 11 other stations, as well as original material such as interviews, reviews, blogs and live performances. This new site enables users to explore, experience and enjoy all the music genres that are found on public radio.

Joining KUT and NPR on this new service are member stations KEXP and KPLU Seattle, WBGO Newark, WDUQ Pittsburgh, WFUV and WNYC New York, WGBH Boston, WGUC Cincinnati, WKSU/Folk Alley, Kent, Ohio, WXPN Philadelphia and American Public Media/Minnesota Public Radio.

All partners will provide content, including live concerts, studio sessions, features and reviews. NPR Music also links to the live music streams of many of the participating stations. Additional stations and producers will join in the coming months.

KUT's contributions will include: live recordings of artists from Studio 1A and KUT music blogs, including "Aielli Unleashed," "Blue Monday," "Radio Without Borders" and "KUT's Song of the Day."

"NPR Music will provide a new channel for KUT to share with the world our unique connection to the music that is the heartbeat of Austin," said Stewart Vanderwilt, director and general manager of KUT Radio. "This also can become another channel to introduce some of our local musicians to a broader, national audience."

"Austin's KUT is respected as one of the leading music stations in the country, with a stellar array of hand-picked music that crosses all genres -- from rock to folk to jazz --and a loyal fan base in its geographic and virtual communities," said Maria Thomas, senior vice president, NPR Digital Media.

Specific sections of the site are dedicated to rock/pop/folk, classical, jazz/blues, world and urban music. In each genre, program and subject area, users can explore NPR's and the stations' renowned music journalism; intimate interviews and studio sessions with artists and bands. Also available are NPR's and stations' popular national and regional Web concerts; reviews and news; original blogs from critics, experts and artists; and podcasts. The site culls from NPR's and the stations' extensive music archives to present thousands of features. The site's Artist Index alone, an A to Z artist directory, will offer content about more than 2,000 performers. More than 200 new features will be added from NPR and the stations monthly, joining thousands of hours of archived concert, story, review and interview pieces.

NPR Music also offers original video and audio features. Along with the Artist Index, some of the new elements include:

Project Song a video feature challenging songwriters to write and record an original song in two days at the NPR studios.
Studio Sessions in-studio audio and video performances recorded at NPR and member stations
Discover Songs audio stories about, and recommendations for, individual songs
Music Lists five-song listening sets curated by musicians and public radio music personalities

The site also features two new blogs. The "All Songs Considered" blog, written by producers Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton, will go behind the scenes of the weekly music show. "Monitor Mix" will offer music picks and industry news from writer and musician Carrie Brownstein, formerly of the band Sleater-Kinney.

Coinciding with the introduction of NPR Music is a media player exclusive to NPR, available across www.NPR.org. The player allows users to create a playlist for audio or video (dating from 2004 to present) on the site and makes dynamic recommendations for related content depending on a user's selections. The playlist also offers links to NPR's 24-hour stream and the five-minute NPR News Summary.

The NPR Music service enables KUT, other partner stations and NPR member stations to incorporate a variety of modular content offerings, including RSS feeds and Javascript modules, into their own Web sites.