"Our mission is not to drive people on to the Net but to drive people from the Virgin Net site to Virgin Radio," says David Campbell, Virgin Radio chief executive.
He also believes it could help his plans to expand abroad. "People can sample the service if they've not heard it before, And if they want it in their country they can let us know."
The service is so far not without its teething problems: volume cannot be adjusted, except by altering your PC's internal speaker. And audio quality remains basic AM mono. Future software upgrades will improve this, says Ajaz Ahmed, a partner at AKQA media consultancy. "The technology has serious potential," he says. "Rather than waiting to download a massive file, RealAudio enables you to hear it immediately and live - which will have tremendous applications."
But he does not suggest you throw away your wireless yet. "For listening to the station, a radio set is by far the best choice," he says.
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