Group heads plan to focus on radio's mobile experience in 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 11:00am

Radio predictions for 2012Inside Radio today highlights digital radio trends to watch for in 2012, including the improvement of radio streams, the desire for a universal streaming radio platform and the transition from Flash to HTML5.

"Stations need to think of how their websites are built beyond the desktop browser," said Hubbard Radio VP of digital media Mark Preston. That especially includes iPads, which don't support Flash. Instead, Preston recommends adopting HTML5 (for more on HTML5 and Flash, find more RAIN coverage here).

Meanwhile, other digital radio executives tell Inside Radio that the industry "needs to collectively embrace a universal app where consumers can access all broadcast radio streams, not just those owned by one company." A similar platform, Radioplayer, exists in the UK (RAIN coverage here).

Finally, radio execs also spoke to the need to improve the streaming listening experience. "For Clear Channel and others," writes Inside Radio, "that includes limiting the number of in-stream commercials to better align the online experience with audience expectations."

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HTML 5 may be Net radio's mobile future after Adobe quits on mobile Flash

Friday, November 11, 2011 - 11:55am

Mobile devicesThis week Adobe announced it would cease developing its Flash technology for mobile devices, instead focusing on HTML5. Such a move could impact Internet radio, as many webcasters use Flash to stream and mobile is arguably the future of the medium.

HTML5 is a new, developing technology for web browsers that enables -- among many features -- native audio streaming without plug-ins like Flash. Pandora already uses HTML5 in its new website (RAIN coverage here), as did 35% of the 100 most popular websites in Q3 2011.

Plus, said Adobe VP and General Manager of Interactive Development Danny Winokur, “HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices," (whereas Flash was notably not supported on Apple mobile devices).

HTML5 and audioThe promise of HTML5 then, writes the Wall Street Journal (here), is that "developers can use HTML5 to get their creations on a variety of smartphones, tablets and PCs without tailoring apps for specific hardware or the online stores that have become gatekeepers to mobile commerce."

Though currently, most webcasters reach mobile listeners through apps, some argue that the future lies with mobile webpages -- not apps. Firefox-maker Mozilla's VP/Products Jay Sullivan recently argued, "If you want to have a variety of mobile apps, it gets expensive...that’s a lot of apps to build" (read more from VentureBeat here). A mobile HTML5 webpage, on the other hand, could be a single "product" that's accessible from a variety of devices.

In other words, with the demise of mobile Flash, HTML5 may very well be the technology that supports mobile Internet radio in the foreseeable future.

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