RAIN 12/2: Nearly one-third of mobile phone users now Internet radio-ready
iPHONE AND ANDROID LEAD IN DESIRABILITYIn Internet radio’s quest to conquer the mobile platform, the more folks who own an app-friendly smartphone the better. Now a new report from Nielsen shows nearly 30% of U.S. mobile phone users own such a smartphone. That’s up from 21% in Q1 of 2010 and confirms earlier research in November (RAIN coverage here). Moreover, 71% of current feature phone owners (non-smartphones) said they wanted to upgrade to an iPhone, Android, BlackBerry or Windows Mobile phone.
Apple’s iPhone is most popular among current smartphone owners (27.9% own one), but RIM’s BlackBerry is right behind at 27.4%. Android comes in at 22.7%. Additionally, 35% of current smartphone owners want their next phone to be an iPhone. Engadget has more on Nielsen’s research here.
CANADA’S ASTRAL MEDIA LAUNCHING APPS FOR 83 STATIONSAstral Media of Canada recently announced that it will launch apps for its 83 radio stations. The apps will be available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices. They’ll feature live streams plus on-demand content.
“A disproportionate amount of the population uses radio regularly, and that gives us a great ability to mobilize people around adoption of new platforms,” said Rob Farina, Astral Radio’s vice-president of content and platforms. The Globe and Mail has more coverage here.
FRERICHS: REAL QUESTION FOR IN-CAR NET RADIO IS WHAT’S COMING IN 2013?Radio entrepreneur David Frerichs doesn’t like how car makers currently rely on tethered smartphones to bring Internet radio to dashboards. “It is a poor consumer experience that will prevent a truly mass market,” he writes in a new blog post. “But for 2011 it is the only real choice…The question really is, what will automakers do for 2013 and beyond?”
Frerichs hopes car manufactures capitalize on their advantages over smartphones: “unlimited battery power, no weight limits, far more accurate sensors, and, of course, great sound…the driver needs to be able to power on, turn the knob, and enjoy great music without having to worry about getting their phone set up before they turn the key.” You can read more of Frerichs’ thoughts here.
TUBEIFY ADDS RADIO-LIKE QUALITIES TO YOUTUBEA new site called Tubeify reportedly turns YouTube into a radio-like jukebox. One of Tubeify’s “gems,” according to TorrentFreak, is “Timetravel” which lets users listen to a continuous stream of tracks from any weekly Billboard chart since 1964. Tubeify actually uses Last.fm’s API to search YouTube, allowing users to continue searching and queuing new music videos without stopping playback. Users can also create their own playlists.
It’s a neat idea, but this is YouTube after all. Some “songs” are simply embarrassing fan-made videos or grainy live videos that happen to feature bits of the song you want. TorrentFreak has more coverage and invitation codes to try Tubeify here.
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