Radioplayer has been a big success in Britain. In simple terms it is a player that sites on radio station website. When a listener comes to your website and clicks on the “Listen Live” button it opens the player and allows them to listen to that radio station. You still get the website traffic and use your preferred streaming provider, and you also control the look and feel of most of the real estate on the player. It is also a downloadable app for tablets and smartphones that has a common look and simple user interface. The British have worked out all the bugs and refined the look of the player to make it a better user experience.
It allows listeners to find all the local stations, save their favorite stations, search for other radio stations in similar formats, of find any radio station in the country by name. But your logo, station name and frequency are prominently displayed unlike TuneIn which is more about the title and artist. That information along with other configurable meta data can also be displayed on the player.
It launched in Britain three years ago and started with about 80% of all the major stations. Since that time it has grown and today almost every radio station in England is part of the Radioplayer platform.
The benefit to the radio industry and the radio stations in particular is that they get access to better analytic data, and radio listening hours actually increased overall. So when a song came on that a listener did not like rather than stop listening or play music from their computer, they would use the navigation tools on the player to find another radio station.
Now BBM Canada and Sparkent have joined forces to offer the radioplayer tools to all Canadian CRTC licensed radio stations. They hope to launch the service on 1 June in Canada, although pricing has not as yet been finalized. I think this will be a good thing for Canadian radio because it puts us all on the same platform and makes it easier for the listener to consume radio. It may also mean that the car companies will be more likely to put this button on the dash of a connected car so that radio still has a presence on the dashboard.
What is not known is how much each radio station will be expected to pay for this service. One option might be to fund it via revenue generated by one advertising spot on the player and national advertisers could reach all listeners no matter the platform with one simple buy.
The other interesting possibility down the line is that smarter car radios could automatically tune to a terrestrial signal, but when that signal becomes weak it would search and find the streaming version of that signal and deliver that seamlessly to the driver. So you might start out in Vancouver listening to The Peak on 102.7 but move to the streaming signal once you got further out of the city and into the mountains.