Updated Rhapsody iOS app built around curated playlists and editorial content

Monday, July 22, 2013 - 12:55pm

Rhapsody's new update to its Apple mobile app is focused on "lean back" listening and print content that "bring(s) the full editorial experience to iOS devices," the company announced. 

Rhapsody editors curate both playlists and extra content like new artist recommendations, album reviews, artist interviews, and videos.

"We guide listeners through that massive catalog by introducing them to new music and old favorites via curated editorial programming. It's like the difference between shopping at Nordstrom versus Costco," said Brendan Benzing, general manager, Americas, Rhapsody.

Rhapsody redesigned the app's look and navigation, upgraded album and artist pages, and added new full-screen play and pop-up menus to add, download, queue, or "favorite" tracks and albums.

Pandora cap on free mobile usage drives it to top of App Store revenue list

Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 12:45pm

Following its 40-hour/month cap on ad-supported mobile listening, Pandora has become the top-grossing "non-game" app publisher in Apple's App Store, according to app tracking firm App Annie.

"Pandora’s (app) revenue has been climbing steadily since it implemented fees for users who want to listen beyond forty hours a month on their mobile devices," reads the App Annie blog here. "It has now become the new top-grossing publisher based on revenue excluding games in the iOS App Store as of April. Its accomplishment is even more impressive given that it was based on just a single app."

Following the cap on free mobile listening (which came in February), Pandora added more than 700-thousand new subscribers to its ad-free Pandora One service in its first quarter (which ended April 30), up 114% to more than two-and-a-half million (and more net new subscribers in the quarter than in all of fiscal 2013, which means Pandora has the largest U.S. streaming subscription audience of any music service). Read more in RAIN here.

Online radio and music apps will be driver-controllable via BMW Apps option

Friday, March 29, 2013 - 12:05pm

Automaker BMW will integrate dashboard/steering control for Apple iPhone apps that include TuneIn, Rhapsody, and Audible. (Glympse, a fourth app partner, is a location sharing service.)

The apps will be available in the BMW Apps option in model year 2011 and later BMWs, and require an Apple smartphone. The iPhone links to the center console via USB cable or through an available snap-in adapter. All functions can then be operated with the car's iDrive controller, steering wheel buttons, and on-board monitor.

Strategy Analytics Associate Director Roger Lanctot will moderate the "Dashboard Discussions" panel at RAIN Summit West on April 7 in Las Vegas. Lanctot, a leading authority in the automotive technology field, and industry experts will discuss how best radio and webcasting can exploit the new technology that is bringing IP services to the car dashboard. Panelists include TuneIn's Carl Rohling, Panasonic's Hakan Kostepen, jacAPPS' Paul Jacobs, Aha by Harman's Chia-Lin Simmons, and Entercom's Amy Van Hook.

Stitcher adds Topic Search to iOS app, rehauls Android app

Monday, February 11, 2013 - 12:15pm

With a new update to its iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch app, Stitcher has launched its new "Topic Search" feature, which allows users to discover and search "trending topics" across more than 15-thousand talk radio shows and podcasts.

The Stitcher app delivers personalized news, sports, talk, and non-music entertainment audio on-demand, directly to mobile devices.

"Listeners will now be able to easily discover topic based audio at their fingertips, across a vast range of sources and episodes," said Noah Shanok, CEO of Stitcher. "We see this as part of our mission to further the evolution of radio by making it more relevant and accessible than ever."

Stitcher has also given its Android app a complete redesign, with better Google integration and content discovery.

Read more on the app updates in Stitcher's press release here and in here.

Some see "radio" icon found in iOS as evidence of impending Apple streaming radio

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 1:20pm

Graphical buttons uncovered by iPhone "jailbreakers" are reinvigorating the rumor mill concerning an Apple streaming radio serviceArsTechnica reports the graphical buttons (one that looks like a transmitter tower with "radiating" lines) were discovered in the Music app in iOS 6.1. 

It's been rumored since late last year that Apple would launch a customizable streaming radio service (a la Pandora) some time in 2013.

There's really nothing more than that to report. Ars says there's no explicit reference to a streaming service within the iOS, and the images don't connect to anything.

Read more in Ars Technica here.

"Gen Y young enough to value mobile, old enough to afford it," says eMarketer

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 1:15pm

Millenials (or "Gen Y") -- 24- to 32-year-olds -- are the leading U.S. age demo using mobile devices, reports eMarketer (from Forrester research). The group has the highest ownership rate of mobile phones (97%) and smartphones (72%).

This age group is also the only generation more likely to own an iPhone than less-expensive handsets. In the study, there was no stronger manufacturer/age demo correlation.

A separate study from Flurry shows a similar age group (25-34) has the greatest percentage of those who use smartphone apps (33%) and tablet apps (26%).

"Members of Generation Y are young enough to value smartphones but old enough to be able to buy them, suggesting that they will be smartphone power users for years to come," explains eMarketer.

Pandora was the only webcaster to rank in the Top 10 Mobile Properties of 2012. It was the #6 top U.S. Android app in 2012, as ranked by the number of monthly average unique users, says eMarketer. It's 10.7 million put it ahead of Twitter (the fastest-growing Android app), but was just more than one-third #5 YouTube's 32.2 million. Google Search was 2012's top Android app.

Pandora ranked #9 (9.6 million average uniques per month in 2012) on the iPhone, slightly behind Twitter.

Read more from eMarketer on Generation Y and smartphones here; and more on the top Android and iPhone apps here.

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