App You!

Let’s talk. Let’s talk about the elephant the room… the one the industry thankfully switched back on.


We know it’s back on most of the radio station websites – a nice industry win. But when it comes to an industry Radio Listening App to allow me to hear any station from my phone – it’s a different story.

Just last week the bulk of Canada’s major groups have banded together offer Radioplayer. It is an awesome radio-streaming app out of the UK and available throughout Europe. The free app gives listeners access to music, news, talk and entertainment content from nearly 500 stations on iOS and Android, and even has a desktop player.

Radioplayer’s tech not only streams live any station but they can also access other content on demand.

Ronnie Stanton, a regular on Radio Today is also the VP – Radio Programming Corus Entertainment – one of Canada’s largest radio networks. So what did Ronnie have to say about the move by the Canadian Radio Industry to unite and defend?

“It’s a really exciting development for Canadian Radio. As an industry, all over the world we are under attack from new foe. Spotify and similar services, iTunes, satellite radio, even the smart phone in our listener’s pocket. Agreeing as a group to unite on platform and compete on content is the only way we win as a united front”. 

Where is the Australian Commercial Radio Industry as a collective?

Is it time for the Australian Industry to come together as one and offer a similar thing in Australia as in the UK and now Canada?

A single application – that is promoted and positioned and supports all brands and commercial radio networks?

Live radio and other on demand content – in your pocket.  Sorry it ain’t DAB+.

While it would be nice to see chips galore activated be it FM or DAB+ in phones, with no headphones now to act as aerials – the game changed as the iPhone7 landed.

It is streaming.

Right now the Australian industry has a miss-mash of “stuff”.

SCA serves the Radio App – which is fairly user friendly and loops in all their brands along with the ABC suite and MRN’s brands. I’ve used it since the day it came out. It was positioned as being open to all comers and groups but hasn’t really got the traction to attract anymore beyond those who are already there.

ARN has iHeartRadio to serve its brands nationally – its good (but stop asking me to sign up}.

It also has all the iHeart sub-brands and MRN and the ABC. Push comes to shove, IHeartRadio serves the great global cause and brand proposition.

Nova Entertainment has apps for the Nova and smooth offerings and that’s about it. The ABC while not aggressive with dedicated apps per see, it is very much in the online and podcasting space.

But let’s focus on the commercial radio side.

As an industry we still place high value in car listening, we also know the car dashboard is quickly moving into the connected space.  Radio Today has featured heaps of articles that talk about the connected Car – Mark Ramsey has highlighted how there will come a time when the big players (Google/Apple) will bring to head how many apps can access the car dashboard as part of their default applications.

Already cars serve google Play or apple iPlay  as their entertainment system backbones.

Not forgetting that the Pandora’s and Spotify’s are already there front and centre.

There is no way really that Google or Apple is going to let hundreds or thousands of individual stations have their individual branded app slammed beside Pandora or Spotify.

Me, I am one of the ones that already has a connected car. A unit that serves whatever I want – FM, DAB+ (let’s not talk about driving into a tunnel), AM, streaming, dedicated apps – whatever. Why it has a DVD player – I have no idea. Its plug and play – the world of radio – from anywhere is at my command.

Perhaps highlighting online streaming is detrimental to the DAB+ cause in Australia, but that is another story all in itself.

Maybe the upcoming National Radio Conference will see a united industry app or something along those lines –  how awesome would that be!

Over to you – your thoughts?

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