Apple TV

USA Today reports web radio apps landing in consumers' living rooms inside "smart" TVs, video game systems and Blu-ray players

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 - 11:05am

A "smart" TV with plenty of web apps built right inConsumers are increasingly purchasing gadgets that enable them to experience web services -- from Netflix to Pandora -- on their TVs, reports USA Today. "Driving it is the consumer [appetite] for a wide variety of content on demand and the availability of devices that allow them to get that content on their big-screen TV," said an analyst at market research firm In-Stat.

Plus, "this holiday season could be the perfect time to bring these new services to your living room," writes USA Today. "There are bargains to be had."

The publication proceeds to run-through the various ways you could bring Internet services into your living room, from set-top boxes (like offerings from Roku, Apple and Boxee) to Blu-ray players to video game consoles to TVs with web apps built right in.

Though USA Today mostly focuses on the video app side of things, Internet radio and on-demand music streaming services are available on nearly all of the devices the article recommends.

Pandora on Google TVIf the research in USA Today's article is any indication, web-connected TVs are becoming more and more mainstream. We've seen indications of the desire for web radio on TVs in the past, from Comcast testing a native Pandora app for Xfinity cable customers (here) to Roku adding a dedicated Pandora button to their remote controls (here).

In fact, Roku said then that Pandora was one of the top five most popular apps on its devices.

And even if consumers don't necessarily buy a "smart" TV or Boxee Box for Internet radio services, they will be exposed to apps from Pandora, TuneIn Radio, Last.fm, iHeartRadio and others. As we've written about before (here), that could very beneficial to webcasters.

Finally, it's not just on the TV that web radio and streaming music is making in-roads with mainstream consumers. The New York Times reports today on a wide range of stereo devices ready to stream music from Internet radio and other web services.

You can find USA Today's article here and the New York Times' article here.

From iTunes to iPad, RAIN highlights how Jobs impacted web radio

Thursday, October 6, 2011 - 12:00pm

Steve JobsYesterday Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, passed away. It's difficult to overstate Jobs' impact on the world -- from PCs to film to digital music and beyond. Today RAIN looks back at just some of the ways Jobs impacted Internet radio.

1) iTunes (January 2001)
An "all-in-one digital music program," the now ubiquitous media program included (as it still does) an Internet radio section. It brought hundreds of streams under one roof and exposed them to a mainstream user base. 

2) AirPlay / AirTunes (first released June 2004)
"Listen to music from all over your house from your mobile device," said Steve Jobs when introducing AirPlay -- a wireless music system that lets users stream music from iTunes, iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches to special receivers around the house. AirPlay supports audio from just about any Internet radio app and can stream to any stereo receiver hooked up with an AirPort Express (in addition to Apple TVs and special third-party receivers).

3) iPhone (January 2007) + App Store (July 2008)
"Before the iPhone," writes Billboard, "custom Internet radio, subscription music...among others, had yet to find their legs and their lack of mobility inhibited their ability to grow." But together, the widely-popular iPhone and App Store created a "platform that freed web-based music services from the chains of the computer and let them enter the real world...mobile usage of Pandora, Slacker, Rhapsody and Shazam skyrocketed, bringing users a renewed enthusiasm for music."

The mainstream popularity of the iPhone exposed new consumers to customizable Internet radio. "The iPhone placed web and traditional radio head-to-head, in a face off that continues today. Without it, Pandora and Slacker may not have become household names and many listeners would've never felt the pleasure of personalized music recommendations." (Billboard's full article is here).

4) Apple TV (March 2007)
Though of course geared towards video content, Internet radio was also included in Apple TV, exposing hundreds of streams to yet more consumers.

5) iTunes Genius (September 2008)
Since the debut of the iPod, anyone could create what amounted to their own personal radio station by simply clicking "Shuffle." With iTunes Genius, Steve Jobs made iPods and iTunes a smarter DJ. Genius creates Pandora-like playlists of music similar to a specified song. It also analyzes your library and creates personal genre mixes based on what music you own. Pandora on the iPad

6) iPod Nano, 5th gen (September 2009)
The fifth-generation iPod Nano include, among many new features, an FM radio tuner. The sixth generation generation Nano also includes an FM tuner.

7) iPad (January 2010)
Originally heralded as "the oversized iPhone," Apple's much-hyped tablet device provided yet another platform for Internet radio apps...but with a twist. That looming 9.7 inch screen called for more than just album art and metadata, prompting many webcasters to introduce new visual features to their mobile apps.

How else do you think Steve Jobs affected Internet radio? Did we overlook a service or product? Let us know by commenting on the story below.

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