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 PCMag.com 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.

UK RadioPlayer releases mobile app for Apple devices

Monday, October 8, 2012 - 11:25am

RadioPlayer, the online radio platform that aggregates more than 300 UK commercial and BBC stations, has launched its app for the Apple iPhone and iPad.

"Our aim was to create a simple app that showcases the amazing variety of UK radio," said Michael Hill, Managing Director of RadioPlayer. "The fact we’ve built one that’s also beautiful, innovative, and a joy to use, is testament to the power of partnerships." Hill spoke at both our recent RAIN Summit Dallas (here) and at Friday's RAIN Summit Europe in Berlin.

RadioPlayer, which launched in March of last year, reportedly attracts seven million unique listeners a month. The group says an app for Android phones is in the works.

Read more in TheNextWeb here.

Apple reportedly negotiating with labels to stream with fewer restrictions on interactivity and content

Friday, September 7, 2012 - 1:05pm

"In a move that could shake up the growing field of Internet radio," writes The New York Times, "Apple plans to develop a service that would compete with Pandora Media by sending streams of music customized to users’ tastes," news broke late yesterday.

The Wall Street Journal wrote, "Such services create virtual 'stations' that play music similar to a song or artist of the user's choosing, either on Web browsers or smartphone apps. Like traditional radio, they are typically free for users, but incorporate advertisements."

Interestingly, Apple is reportedly negotiating with major labels regarding the service. Webcasters wanting to operate a non-interactive service don't need label agreements to stream -- as long as they adhere to DMCA rules (and pay royalties at the established rates), there's a statutory license available to them.

The fact that Apple is looking to forge deals with the labels indicates (and some sources have confirmed) they want to operate on terms other than the statutory -- in regards to the rates they pay, or the level of user-interactivity (on-demand song play, offline play, downloading, etc.), or content presentation (the DMCA limits the amount of music by a single artist a webcaster can stream in a given time frame, for instance).

Sources say the Apple service would likely be free to the user, and ad-supported. The service would like come preinstalled as an app on devices like iPhones and iPads, and might be able to connect to users’ iTunes accounts to collect usage info and better understand their tastes (both huge competitive advantages for Apple over services like Pandora). The service, reportedly, will not work on the Google Android mobile platform.

"Going head-to-head with Pandora pits Apple against one of the only other companies to gain real consumer traction in online music," writes The Journal. "According to a recent consumer survey by Nielsen Co., more adults said they use Pandora to listen to music than Apple's iTunes."

Read more from The New York Times here and The Wall Street Journal here, and look for more on this in RAIN.

Glenn Beck and Clear Channel to launch online talk radio channel

Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 12:05pm

TheBlazePundit Glenn Beck has partnered with Clear Channel to launch "The Blaze Radio Network," an online talk radio stream that will be the home of talk personality Jay Severin.

The channel will stream from Beck's The Blaze website, and via an iPhone/iPad app and the iHeartRadio app. In addition to Severin's show, the new channel will include a simulcast of "The Glenn Beck Radio Program," another show called "Pat & Stu" hosted by Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray, and audio simulcasts of shows by TheBlaze TV, Glenn Beck's media enterprise.

According to the company, "TheBlaze now combines one of the world’s largest subscription streaming video networks, a website that generates over 9 million unique visitors per month, a radio network, a curated marketplace platform to help local small businesses reach consumers across the country and a monthly magazine."

"The Blaze Radio Network" is scheduled to launch later this month.

The press release is here.

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