Given my history and loyalty to the Australian Radio Industry it’s not likely I’m going to be too critical about the timing here, but gee wiz it’s about bloody time. All Australian major radio stations are now available in a single app for your smartphone.
Until now things have been a bit segregated when it comes to radio stations and apps. We’ve had individual station apps, we’ve had network apps and even international network apps like iHeart Radio – but getting all your major stations and a large number of regional and rural stations in one place is a big deal.
I can tell you for a fact this has been discussed for years, literally years within the industry, sadly for some reason it’s taken this long for the entire industry to realise what was blindingly obvious from the get-go – Streaming is where the future is.
While Digital Radio offers a higher quality broadcast output with more channels in the five key metro areas, it has huge issues with tunnel and fringe area access and there is essentially no hope of any government funding it’s roll-out to rural and regional areas. So while the industry mocked streaming as an expensive delivery platform, for both the stations and the listeners, other entertainment industries and apps have been capitalising.
Here’s what the app looks like:
When you install the app, you firstly choose your “favourites”, this doesn’t prevent you from listening to other stations at any time, it just makes swiping for a new station a faster process as you’re always swiping your favourite stations.
There is data coming through also which shows what’s on in terms of programs and songs – however in my testing today that seemed somewhat buggy given in the video above it’s still showing some “morning” shows when it’s clearly late afternoon. That’s an easy fix though.
“RadioApp is the best way to stream radio on your smartphone because it puts commercial AM, FM and DAB+ digital radio stations as well as ABC and SBS stations all into one place,” said CRA chief executive officer Joan Warner.
“It’s about setting commercial rivalries aside and putting the consumer experience first, so listeners can simply swipe and listen to their favourite stations wherever they are.”
Not only can you get the key metro FM and AM stations, but also digital only stations like Buddha, Koffee, SBS Chill, SBS PopAsia and even the Australian Radio Network’s annual (and Award winning) Elf Radio at Christmas time.
It’s a magnificently well designed interface, with great usable features such as sorting and re-ordering your favourites and searching by town, station name or even radio frequency.
In total there are 250 stations, and while it may not be all of them, it’s certainly the lions share.
Coming soon will be integration with podcasts for easy subscription to your favorite shows on demand content also.
I was disappointed there was no Apple Car Play integration as this would certainly have been a killer feature, however EFTM understands both Apple Car Play and Android Auto are in development for launch soon.
Reports of Radio’s death are greatly exaggerated (mainly on the younger oriented social networking platforms), but believe me, Radio is a strong and important part of the daily listening habits of many millions of Australians.
Radio App means they can enjoy it now wherever they are from the simplicity of a smartphone.