8/20/13: Swedish webcaster Radical launches in U.S. with iOS app

Paul Maloney
August 20, 2013 - 2:15pm

Webcaster Radical.fm has released an iOS (that's for iPhones and iPads) app as the first step of the official rollout of its service to U.S. listeners. Radical says an Android app and desktop player are coming soon.

Based in Sweden, Radical last year launched an open beta version of its service (see RAIN coverage here and here), billed as a combination of on-demand streaming and human-curated online radio. Then, as now, the service is ad-free and completely voluntarily listener-supported (other listener-supported webcasters include Soma.fm and Radio Paradise).

Radical's founder, Thomas McAlevey, is an American with a background in radio. He founded the Swedish FM station Bandit 105.5, and launched a pioneering webcast service in 2000 called Tomsradio.

Hypebot tested the new app, and reports on some of its key features ("Custom Genre" channels; sliders to "tune" Personal Stations; song/artist banning), and offers some observations about the usability. Check it out here.

You can try the new Radical.fm app yourself here.

Paul Maloney
August 20, 2013 - 2:15pm

Introducing a five-part series today on his company's website, Triton Digital COO Mike Agovino has set out to "debunk" the advantages broadcasters hope to gain by simulcasting online.

In this application, online simulcasting means streaming exactly the same content online, at the same time, that's broadcast on the air. Most importantly, it means the same ads run online that are on the AM/FM signal, and not replaced with (potentially-) targeted, online only commercials.

"Up until now, (broadcasters' online ad inventory) has been very difficult to sell locally, and national/aggregation plays have failed to deliver real value back to the broadcaster," Agovino (pictured) concedes.

But instead of innovating and trying to remedy the challenges of selling digital locally, "broadcasters are in retreat," he says.

Triton Digital is a leading vendor of ad-insertion technologies to the radio and webcasting inudstries. You can read Part 1 of Agovino's "Simulcasting Debunked" here.

Agovino will make his case on "The Ad Insertion Panel" discussion at RAIN Summit Orlando on September 17. RAIN publisher Kurt Hanson will moderate the panel, which will also feature Saga Communications EVP Steve Goldstein, Greater Media Interactive's Tom Bender, Adswizz CEO Alexis van der Wyer, and OMD's Natalie Swed Stone (read more about "The Ad Insertion Panel" here). Full details and registration for RAIN Summit Orlando is available here.

Paul Maloney
August 20, 2013 - 2:15pm

The power of podcasting is that it's "so personal," and "very intimate," celebrity podcasters agree. USA Today columnist Jefferson Graham spoke with several for his article (and podcast!) on the resurgence of the medium.

There are now over 1 billion subscriptions for podcasts via the Apple iTunes app, "which is a major milestone for a category that had been considered an also-ran," Graham wrote. YouTube star Shane Dawson has just launched a podcast to complement his video channel. Actor Alec Baldwin, Extra's Maria Menounos, and comedians Joan Rivers, Jeff Garlin, and Tom Green are some of the other major names that have begun offering on-demand audio content online.

Radio broadcasters are noticing too. Clear Channel's president of digital Brian Lakamp says though podcasting is still a "small portion of overall listening... we need to invest in it. We need to be wherever consumers are." Last month Lakamp's company announced an agreement with Spreaker to enable listeners to record and upload their own podcasts to the iHeartRadio app (see RAIN coverage here).

Read more in USA Today here.