Earbits Tunes Into Bay Area Music

The online radio service, which employs a Google AdWords-like model that allows artists to bid for plays, announces a partnership with SFGate.com.

Earbits, one of the more recent entrants to the online radio game which raised $605,000 in seed funding last month, has announced a partnership with SFgate.com, home of the San Francisco Chronicle.

The service -- dubbed SFGate Radio -- will allow listeners to find regional shows and focus exclusively on Bay Area artists and those touring through the region. It will be accessible via the entertainment section of SFGate.com or at the SFGate Radio.

Based on a Google AdWords-like model, Earbits doesn’t charge subscription fees, but bills its service as a “cost-effective way for bands to advertise” -- by bidding for their songs to be played. With over 2,000 artists and 20,000 songs in its database, the Venice, California based company also has streaming agreements in place with more than 170 labels.

The service is similar to Pandora in that users can stream music on 90 different channels, but unlike Pandora, listeners can skip songs on Earbits and don’t have to pay a fee to tune in commercial-free.