SCA invest in startup to personalise radio

Southern Cross Austereo have today announced their first ever early stage investment in a startup.

The startup is called 121 cast and they have developed 'Omny' (launched late last year in the market).

Omny's aim is to provide a radio type product, and will be supplying access to content (now from SCA), music (via Spotify, Songl, Rdio or your own iTunes library), weather and news – essentially making your own radio station. It can also tell you whose birthday it is via Facebook and read emails to you. Think of it like Pandora with radio content.

When we spoke with SCA's Director of Digital & Innovation Clive Dickens (left), the example he sites is of a user loving Hamish & Andy but is not a fan of hit music. They can now access the Hamish & Andy content they want and personalise the music to be whatever they like, with the ability to swipe songs to skip and, like other platforms, it's intuitive and gets to know what you are into.

How is the news and weather delivered to you ? Clive says users can choose their favourite site for this information and, if necessary, the details are then synthesized (think Siri) and will be read to you.

Initially, a few key SCA shows are supplying content to Omny including 2Day FM Breakfast, Fifi & Dave, Dan & Maz and The Hot Breakfast with the aim to expand that over a short period of time with many of their shows available to hear.

The content itself will be a selection of best moments from a show, separated so a user can choose what they listen to on Omny. Rather than listening to a long podcast (even though these will still be available), SCA will supply, for example, 8 key moments from a show and make them available separately to select.

Omny was designed initially for Australia but they have plans to go global. With the tech world being ready to copy anything quickly, expect to see a worldwide roll out soon.

It's worth a play to see how it all works. Check out www.omnyapp.com or search for Omny in the App Store for iPhone.

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