Mobile is changing the way we do things, and smartphones are changing the way we do mobile. Smartphone ownership has tripled since 2009 – close to a third of Americans 12+ own a smartphone.
What’s really interesting to note is what smartphoners are doing with their devices. According to the new Arbitron/Edison Infinite Dial Study, 40% browse the Internet several times a day or more. 14% play games. 8% watch video. 8% listen to Pandora. While the most popular activity remains talking on the phone, texting is gaining fast, and other activites are growing.
Folks are looking for ways to use their smartphones and platforms that are well suited are the big winners. 27% of smartphoners use social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, a number that jumped 34% in a year. Sites and activities that are well positioned in the mobile game are winning audience big time: Facebook, YouTube, Pandora, Twitter.
The media landscape is changing. Mobile, and in particular smartphone usage is revolutionizing media delivery, use and expectations. And the pace of change is phenomenal. Are you thinking about ways to make mobile happen for your platform?
You probably caught the hullaballo about Apple rejecting single station radio apps forevermore, which turned out to be a false rumor. In fact, Fred Jacobs of JacAPPS, told us via Twitter yesterday morning that one of the apps they developed for a station in Chattanooga was approved.
Dan Anstandig reports in his weekly Radio3D that “Trudy Muller, an Apple spokesperson, told Radio3D, “There are many unique radio apps on the App Store, and we look forward to approving many more. One developer has attempted to spam the app store with hundreds of variations of essentially the same radio app, and that is against our guidelines.'”
Other reports have it that Apple has become a little more discriminating in their app approval process.
Whether Apple is or isn ‘t approving single station apps is only part of the point here, and this should be taken as a shot across the bow by broadcasters. Building an app that is simply a stream starter for a simulcast is not a great idea. Listeners aren’t likely to love it, and maybe Apple won’t either.
I don’t really know what was wrong with the apps that DJBApps recently had rejected, except that they reportedly did not provide an enriching end user experience. So if you’re going to invest in an app for your single station, make it a good one that gives a person something to play with, look at, interact with. Hire someone who can put some of your station’s personality into the app. But don’t expect the app to bring you a whole new audience, this is mainly a tool for your current listeners to use to listen on their smartphones.
To expand their audience, stations should be working together and building apps that feature lots of broadcast stations. How about a Philly or Boston Radio App that offers all the stations in an area along with news and information, restaurant and shopping guides, and more? A portal to area radio stations!
Pandora became famous because of the enormous popularity of its iPhone app. One click and the listener has access to millions of listening choices. The radio industry should be working on a way to offer its content cohesively that makes listening to their stations as appealing as that…
Joining the list of manufacturers moving into mobile streaming, Harman International purchased Aha Mobile. Aha Mobile is a technology platform that provides on-demand, interactive, personalized radio to mobile users. It uses location based and text to speech features to personalize and stream audio content. It enables a user to update or listen to a facebook or Twitter feed, receive or share traffic reports, find out what’s nearby for lunch, and listen to podcasts.
“Streaming, on-demand Web content technology is a natural complement to HARMAN’s premium infotainment systems, and we look forward to expanding the reach of this innovative platform,” said Dinesh C. Paliwal, HARMAN Chairman, President and CEO. “We will deploy this new technology to strengthen our global leadership as the provider of choice for rich, interactive infotainment on the road, around the home, or on the go.”
Mobile connectivity has become a key feature for auto industry leaders Ford with Sync, and GM with OnStar. GM just announced a new extension of its OnStar connected platform called MyLink which will feature wifi connectivity, streaming audio featuring Pandora, and other voice activated online options.
Aha Mobile had recently signed a deal with Internet radio Ad Network TargetSpot to sell location based audio ads on their mobile streams.
I’m a fan of Chumby – mainly because of its name. Chumbys are tabletop internet radios and a lot more – they’re actually tabletop internet ready devices, designed to be a digital photo frame and alarm clock that also allows you to listen online, check news and weather, watch videos, play games.
Last year Sony licensed their unique dashboard for its Sony Dash. Now Best Buy has a new device – the Infocast – which uses the Chumby dashboard as well. Its on Best Buy’s house label Insignia, sells for $169, and would make a downright smart conversation starter on the desks of Internet radio executives. It looks more than a little like an iPad if you ask me.
The Infocast has an 8 inch touchscreen that is larger than the Chumby or Sony Dash screens. It has access to Pandora and Shoutcast, New York Times, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Photobucket. It even has a sharing feature that enables folks to share apps, photos and more with friends that have similar devices.
CNET calls it a best of breed, and I’m thinking it sounds like a winner for tech savvy family members this Christmas.
There’s a lot of buzz about Internet radio in cars at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. Pandora is in the middle of most of it. They have announced a deal with Pioneer that will make it easier for Pandora listeners to use their iPhones to listen in their cars. Pioneer will market a Pandora enabled navigation system that will detect iPhones and iTouches and put the user’s Pandora settings on the nav screen. The system will cost about $1200.
Ford announced several new apps for its Sync connected in-car communication system. Openbeak will read twitter messages while you drive (and enable steering wheel controls like skipping forward or going back). Stitcher “allows listeners to create personalized, on-demand Internet radio stations with news, talk and entertainment programming. Within the Stitcher app, users choose the programs they want “stitched” together, and the app then streams that content to the user’s mobile device. Pandora, according to the press release, is ” the most popular Internet radio service in the world. Users simply enter a favorite song or artist into Pandora and the app quickly creates personalized radio stations, based on that musical style.”
Pandora Founder Tim Westergren told WSJ.com “Maybe a year ago people would have said Pandora is a computer thing, Now, “they’re beginning to realize that Internet radio is an anytime, anywhere thing.”
Good news about Pandora at CES wasn’t just about the car though. Sony is debuting a personal Internet viewer called the Dash, which resembles the Chumby, and enables more than 1000 Chumby apps as well as Youtube and Pandora.