6/20/13: New UberStations quickly finds specific, recommended live radio content

Paul Maloney
June 20, 2013 - 11:55am

With the intent of giving listeners an easier and more efficient way to navigate the sea of AM/FM content available online, Michael Robertson today officially launched UberStations.com.

It's designed as a "one-stop" for listeners to quickly scan currently airing content from thousands of AM and FM radio stations, find the talk or music content they want via built-in recommendation, and remain within a single "uniform browser/player experience." It's similar in a way -- with some fundamental differences and new twists -- to "aggregation" or "tuning" services like TuneIn. 

That recommendation engine feature is particularly interesting. When you find a station playing a song you like, you can click "more choices" to find other stations across the country currently playing songs and artists similar to your original choice. And it works the same way with talk content. (And it looks like it could soon work with Internet stations too -- we found AOL: Daft Punk Radio, but couldn't get it to play.)

The aforementioned TuneIn, by the way, has just begun an "events focused" initiative in which stations can promote special one-time events like in-studio performances, celebrity interviews, and contests. Listeners can even add these events to their personal calendars.

Michael Robertson is the entrepreneur who launched MP3.com, MP3Tunes, and the "DVR for radio" DAR.fm.

Read his press release on UberStations here. He's made a video introduction of the service here. Hypebot has coverage too, here.

Paul Maloney
June 20, 2013 - 11:55am

Former AOL VP Brad Hill (and former GM/Director of Weblogs, Inc.) says that for all Internet radio's innovation, it won't seriously disrupt traditional AM/FM without "star power and blockbuster announcement material."

He means "killer content." Stern on SiriusXM, or "House of Cards" on Netflix.

And that lack of content relegates the medium as something out of the mainstream... "geeky" is Hill's word.

"Its image is tethered to computers and smartphones. That is a status quo in which the usage numbers of terrestrial radio remain fairly safe," he wrote for Engadget.

Sure, Internet radio still isn't quite as easy to use as an AM/FM radio. And it's not available in as many cars. But those things will change. And when they do, Internet radio's inherent advantages like lower (or nonexistent) ad loads and personalization, will become even more profound.

But Hill maintains that won't be enough for Internet radio, as it lacks the "shades of glamour" of things like video service Crackle's Seinfeld-produced "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee."

"It is up to Apple, or Google, or Rhapsody, or Spotify, or Pandora, or Amazon, or another internet player to break down the perceptual walls within which internet radio is trapped, developing content or importing stars that will compel users to commit more of their attention to the platform," Hill concludes. "Technology alone might not be enough to disrupt the nearly 100-year-old technology of terrestrial radio. But technology plus killer content can do it."

Read Hill's op-ed in Engadget here.

Paul Maloney
June 20, 2013 - 11:55am

You can watch video coverage of the one-day Hivio radio and technology conference happening today in San Diego.

The event is produced by consultant Mark Ramsey and founder of digital agency Spring House Jaime Solis.

The video stream is here.