Winamp, the MP3 player made popular in the late 1990s, is getting a much needed makeover for its return next year. In a marketplace dominated by streaming services, such as Apple Music and Spotify, Alexandre Saboundjian, CEO of Radionomy, which bought Winamp in 2014, believes that the company can still capture an audience by presenting a more streamlined experience that what its competitors can currently offer.
"There will be a completely new version next year, with the legacy of Winamp but a more complete listening experience," Saboundjian said, per TechCrunch. "You can listen to the MP3s you may have at home, but also to the cloud, to podcasts, to streaming radio stations, to a playlist you perhaps have built."
"People want one single experience," he added. "I think Winamp is the perfect player to bring that to everybody. And we want people to have it on every device."
Winamp was first released in 1997, and experienced a meteoric rise before getting sold to AOL two years later for $80 million. Every good thing comes to an end, and in Winamp’s case, their decline came with the arrival of iTunes. The company continued to fight the good fight in terms of maintaining its product, but the last time the app was updated was in 2013. The following year, Radionomy bought its remains, and Saboundjian thinks that Winamp can address a problem he sees among users who consume all things audio.
"What I see today is you have to jump from one player to another player or aggregator if you want to listen to a radio station, to a podcast player if you want to listen to a podcast — this, to me, is not the final experience," he explains. "It’s all audio, and it’s all searchable in one fashion or another. So why isn’t it all in one place?"