The Streema Blog

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A few months ago we launched Simple Radio for iOS and we are happy to say that the response from our users has been fantastic. Our app recently reached 500,000 installs with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars in the App Store. All thanks to your support!

But today’s post isn’t about iOS, it’s about the other great mobile platform that our users love. We’re happy to welcome Simple Radio for Android!

simpleradio.android3simpleradio.android1simpleradio.android4

As with its iOS cousin, Simple Radio for Android is free and super easy to use. You’ll be able to get to your favorite stations blazingly fast and listen to them without any interruptions.

The official press release can be found here.

We really hope you will enjoy it - we’re excited to get your comments and feedback at simple at streema.com!

Stay Tuned,

The Streema Team

PS. We’re just getting started with the Simple Radio experience! More coming soon... :)

Posted on by Streema Team | Posted in Android, Mobile | Tagged , , , , ,


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2014 has been an exciting year at Streema. It flew by really fast and, before it ends, we wanted to share some of the highlights that made this year so special for us.

Simple Radio Launch: Probably our most important announcement was the Simple Radio launch, only in iOS for now. Android users, don’t despair, great news coming very very soon!

FIFA World Cup: We covered the 2014 World Cup with more than 10 blog posts and a customized event microsite, all of which generated some interesting results.

Streema.com Redesign: We started redesigning our entire site early this year, and one of the most challenging parts were the radio station profiles - in case you’re interested, here was the method behind the scenes.

Infographics: We also started developing infographics, to add a little quantitative research as well as color to our blog. Additionally, the first infographic we did for the World Cup was shared a lot around the web. So far we’ve done 4, and there are more coming. :)

Experiments: There were also projects we developed and experiments that we carried out, such as the map showing the location of radio listeners around the world.

And of course, there were also some initiatives we started a while ago but we didn’t announce until this year, such as “Everyone does Customer Support” and “Streema in Multiple Languages”.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the read.

Happy holidays and see you in 2015!

The Streema Team

Posted on by Streema Team | Posted in Community, Infographic, iOS, Mobile, Multilanguage, Streema.com, World Cup | Tagged , , , ,


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Have you ever wondered how the World Map would looks like if we were able to see which radio station is listened in any place? Now you can do that!

Which radio stations would people walking along the Central Park be listening to? And which ones at Abbey Road 3, St. John's Wood, London? And what about your very own neighbourhood?

Maybe you can remember some developments displaying the most listened artists in every US state according to Spotify, simultaneous listening worldwide or even a less known but very interesting work by Andrew Filer who mapped the reach of public radio stations in the United Stations, based on data from Wikipedia and the stations search from the Federal Communications Commission.

But what about the Radio Stations audience around the world? Well, this is what it looks like when the Listeners in Streema’s Platform (Streema.com & Simple Radio App for iOS):

World Online Radio Listeners

You can zoom in and out, and see a detail about what radio station is listening each user in real time:

New York World Online Radio Listeners

How we built it?

In order to develop this map, we've employed a few tools and services. In first place, we used Mapbox, whose Javascript Open Source Library allows you to create beautiful interactive maps and data visualizations and integrate them to your website in minutes. Mapbox also has a customizable map layer of streets, buildings and places around the World, known as Mapbox Streets, powered by open data from OpenStreetMap.

In addition, Mapbox also provides an easy way to add some really useful Leaflet plugins to add some awesome features and interactions. By instance, markers clustering is done using Leaflet.markercluster, and the zoom slider widget it's here thanks to Leaflet.zoomslider.

Behind the scenes

So far, this is what you see. But how do we make everything work behind the scenes? Here at Streema, we have a set of services and applications, and between them we have Streema’s website and Simple Radio App for iOS.

Both applications keep track of several user actions and general metrics using an internal tracking tool which sends that information to a central service. By instance, we track every radio station played by every user. This central service also provides an interface to all our applications for listening to a subset of that actions and metrics. This way, we've been able to build a pretty simple application (using Tornado, a python framework and asynchronous networking library), that listens to every radio-played event and sends that information (using a websocket connection) to each visitor who’s seeing this map.

The simplicity of the application wouldn’t have been possible without the help from Maxmind whose geoip2 library gives us the power to localize each user; without the help from Heroku to get up and running quickly a production website; and NewRelic for keeping it constantly monitored and trace all the errors.

So, go and take a look at who's near you and what radio station are they listening to. :D

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

Posted on by Streema Team | Posted in api, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , ,


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Learn or improve your Spanish skills with Radio! And check out these other fun ways too!

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Click to enlarge

 Master your Spanish speaking skills in 10 ultimate steps

1) Register in duolingo.com and download the app
2) Level Up in Duolingo!
3) Watch TV/Movies in Spanish with Subtitles on Netflix or Mexican TV with Streema.com
4) Install the Dictionary.com app, available for Android and iOS. Learn a new word every day
5) Join a MeetUp in your city and have live conversations spanish.meetup.com
Try Japaños!
6) Learn slang listening to radio with Streema.com/radios/genre/Spanish
Have a Taco!
7) Learn about "Lucha Libre"
8) Practice video calling real people with Verbling.com
9) Travel to Mexico
Have a Tequila shot
10) Date a Spanish-speaking person ;)

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

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Hi!

Last week we said there was something new coming at Streema. After several months of hard work, we are proud to announce our new iPhone application: Simple Radio.

At Streema, we’ve been wanting to develop a mobile application for a long time. Additionally, it was the #1 most popular request we got from our users over the past few years. Finally, this year we made it happen!

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[640x1136]-1-landing

When you first launch Simple Radio, you’ll notice that it’s super easy to use, comes with just the essentials and has a beautiful design. We wanted to create a pure radio experience, removing everything that could get in the way of you and your favorite radio stations. Just go to the App Store, install Simple Radio (it’s free!) and experience it for yourself. Once you have tried it, we would love to hear what you think of it: you can always email us at simple at streema.com.Also, if you want to make us really happy, go ahead and tweet about the launch and use the following link ( http://bit.ly/simpleradioapp ) to help drive others to download for free and enjoy.

The official press release can be found here.

Believe us when we say that this is a very exciting time for our company! Really looking forward to the world finding out about Simple Radio over the next few weeks. :)

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

PS: Android users, we love you too! We are working on an Android version to be shipped soon, so stay tuned for more news in the coming months!

Posted on by Streema Team | Posted in iOS, Mobile, News | Tagged , , ,


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Posted on by Streema Team


Hi!

We’re writing today because we wanted to give you a heads up that next week we’ll be announcing something new at Streema. It’s something that we’ve been wanting to do for a long time, but it was not until this year that we felt we could work on it.

We can’t say more right now, but soon you’ll find out - and we know many of you Streema users will be happy about it. :)

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

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english.german.french.spanish.portuguese

Hi there!

Every day at Streema we have people from all over the world using our service, spanning over 200 countries. People speaking all of the major languages come to our site to listen to radio and watch tv and for a long time our site was only in English.

The truth is that we’ve always thought of our site as a global service and to that end, not to long ago, we started translating our site to other languages. Back in the day, we initially started with German and French. We wanted to see what the uptake would be and, given the positive feedback, we decided this year to do Spanish and Portuguese.

Here are the direct sites:

English: http://streema.com
German: http://de.streema.com
French: http://fr.streema.com
Spanish: http://es.streema.com
Portuguese: http://pt.streema.com

Now, we are considering expanding to more languages at Streema. So we ask you: which ones do you think we should add next? Please let us know in the comments below and stay tuned for more language-related updates in the future!

The Streema Team

Posted on by Streema Team | Posted in Multilanguage | Tagged , , , ,


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Hello Streema friends!

On this opportunity we would like to share some tips for our fellow Christian radio station listeners.

More tips and fun is coming for our wide spectrum of communities listening to online radio every day!

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

If you like it, share it with your friends!

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The 7 Ways to Connect with God using your Smartphone

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-----------------

Text Version

The 7 ways to connect with God using your Smartphone

7 - The Holy Bible app

The app simply called “Bible” is a fantastic free and popular app by YouVersion. Offline reading & multi platform available. Check it out at www.bible.com

6 - Christian Music

Listen to your favorite Christian music with apps such as Spotify, Pandora, iTunes or even YouTube. You may like bands such as:

Hillsong United and Rosa de Saron

5 - Christian Radio on the go

Listen to live mass and prayers on your phone for free with these radio stations that have a wide variety of content

Rádio Evangelizar

Hope FM

K-Love

4 - Follow Pope Francis on Twitter

Read his updates, news and wise words from your phone. Follow @Pontifex And join his more than 10 million followers

3 - Social Media for a Good Cause

Connect with God by helping others. Use the social tools to engage, inspire or give real aid to real people in your community or an NGO: Food for the hungry and Caritas

2 - Take care of Friends and Family

With a simple WhatsApp message you can make someone happier and show them you care. Spread God’s love and be instantly connected

1 - Turn your phone off*

Connect with God by turning your phone off for a little while and try praying or meditating without any distractions. Now try talking to Him from your heart

He will listen and He may even answer!

*for a little while if you can!

-----------------

We hope you enjoyed these tips. Thanks for sharing them!

Brought to you by Streema

Listen to your favorite Christian radio stations at Streema.com

Posted on by Streema Team | Posted in Infographic | Tagged , , , ,


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Hi there! Not too long ago we redesigned our radio station profiles at Streema and we wanted to take a minute to share with you the reasons behind it.

At Streema we understand the user experience as a continuous improvement. We believe it’s the result of research that is constantly evolving and not the end of a path that is reached without looking backwards nor forwards. Earlier this year we analyzed the layout of our radio profiles and saw an opportunity to make it better. Among the aspects that we wanted to take to the next level was the interface; we felt it lacked the clarity and simplicity that a mass market site like Streema needs.

In case you don’t remember how the old interface looked, here is a screenshot of the station profile for CNN Radio we use to have at Streema:

It is good practice, when thinking about a new interface, that you have to consider three variables: the user, the “context of use”, and the task that is being performed. If any of these ingredients is missing when you design the layout, the result won’t be as useful.

streemaradioprofile-old

 

Context - did we arrive to the right place?

Thanks to a combination of Google Analytics and user interviews that we conducted, we knew that a significant percentage of users land directly on radio profiles. For these users, this meant that the radio profile was the first contact with Streema. And as the saying goes: there's only one chance to make a good first impression... without affecting the bounce rate. (Yes, we added the last part. :) )

With this in mind, we thought: what is the first thing you want to know when you land on a site? The first need is to figure out whether you’re in the right place, if you think you can find the content you are looking for. So, our next question was the following: what is the unique identifier for the Streema user when trying to figure out if they have arrived to the desired content?

To identify the key indicators from the user’s point of view, we conducted what are called “Five Second Tests” with different layout proposals. A Five Second Test consists of showing a certain page to a user for about 5 seconds and then asking the user to remember specific details. In our case, before the users saw the page, we would give them a “task” and then ask them if they believed that they had arrived at the page they were looking for (according to the task) and how they knew they had done it correctly. The tool we used to conduct the Five Second Test was a service called UsabilityHub.

There is only one chance to make first impression

One of our initial working hypotheses was that the station logos, being visual markers, had a greater visual impact and better reading time. Therefore, we felt they should be clear indicators for the user. Boy, were we wrong!

Among the findings that caught our attention was the relationship between content and logo identification. We noticed in successive iterations that users not necessarily associated the logo as the main sign of having found the right radio. This fact isn’t a minor detail, because we are generally used to think that it’s always a best practice to use visual identifiers, since they are likely to get recognized faster. As we iterated through the design we realized that the name of the radio station was the piece of data that gave certainty. Due to this finding, the name of the station won more prominence in the layout and the logo gradually decreased in size, just enough not compete with the rest of the user interface.

Additionally, we learned that with the old interface users confused the opportunity to make comments with the ability to write reviews, they also had trouble finding the place where they could save their favorite radios and finally the ads had too much preponderance.

For those of you interested in the methodology around these tests, one thing to point out is that we prefer the view professed by usability expert Jared Spool regarding giving context to a user before they do a test. As users we all come to a site as a result of a reference or a search and this generates two equally important feelings: anxiety and expectation. When we click on a link we have the expectation of finding a certain type of content. And when we get to the site, we use those first few seconds to analyze a number of variables, for example: if the site is trustworthy, if we’ve arrived at the right place, and so on.

Task

Another equally important aspect of this research was to understand what users are looking for when they come to the site. Although we’ve had many conversations with users in the past, we thought it was a good time to add some more quantitative data to our analysis. In order to do this, we conducted several surveys using a service called Qualaroo. One big objective was to dispel any delay between intention and fulfillment, since the time mentally assigned to a task must be replicated on the site, or else using the site becomes frustrating and seconds later the user abandons the site.

After the research we confirmed that the need to listen to a radio program (dedicated to news or to discover new music) was immediate, so the tolerance to frustration was very low. Users interested in a particular content do not want to wait more than a few seconds. Because of this, we decided to make the play button more prominent in the interface layout.

In terms of how we used the surveys, we mainly leveraged them as a resource to give us context about the users. We iterated in surveys that went from open responses to more specific ones with options allowing us to learn more about the needs of our users. In case you’re interested, in a survey, open responses give you the unknown response, the one you will never expect; while surveys with options give you the quantitative view of the problem. Additionally, it was also very helpful to use a service like Intercom, that allowed us to contact users who were exposed to an AB Test on our site in order to ask them questions about what they saw and how their interaction went.

The types of users on our site

As we were moving forward with this work, we sought to explicitly define people who inhabit our site, so it could be like a magnetic compass to our design and functionality roadmap. We broadly outlined two kinds of people. The first were users who need to listen to a specific radio, without any offline replacement - for example, a case of this can be following your college basketball team that is only broadcasted by one station, where listening to other matches makes no sense. The second group of people were users that were exploring what was out there, wanting to find stations stations dedicated to a particular musical genre or stations from other parts of the world.

The challenge

Now that we had broadly defined these two groups of users, we continued with our work. The main issues from our old design that we picked up by learning from our users were the following three: the low ranking of the visual content, the saturation with text, and the inflexibility of the site structure to experience new ideas. So we sketched some high fidelity wireframes in order to try new ways of displaying content. As a first premise we wanted to maintain a structure of two thirds and one third. The first two-thirds would have the main content the user is expecting to find and the other third would have additional content that we judge as relevant to what the user is seeking.

We went through several iterations and testing until reaching the current profile:

streemaradioprofile-new

 

Changes
So, what changed?

  • Now the main actions are in the hotspot of the template, the most important being to listen to the station.
  • The clearest indicator of the radio, the name, is the central element of the interface, to help the user to recognize if they are in the right place.
  • The rest of the radio-related information, like bitrate, country, city, genre, description, etc., is no longer crammed along the page. Now it is sectioned into tabs to avoid visual pollution in the interface and to offer the user the possibility of accessing it only if they want to, as a progressive disclosure of the data.
  • We made a better distinction between comments and reviews. We relied not only on iconography but we also used a text alternative that is a sure sign of functionality, thus meeting WCAG accessibility standards

Anyway, now a few months have passed since we deployed the redesigned radio profile and the user metrics indicate that we are on the right track.

However, the last word is always yours, so if you have any additional feedback, please feel free to get in touch. :)

Exciting times at Streema, stay tuned!

The Streema Team

Posted on by Streema Team | Posted in Radios, Streema.com, Usability | Tagged , , , ,


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Hello Streema Friends!

Labor Day is coming up this Monday in the US and here at Streema we were just reflecting on the labor related to this blog, so we wanted to share some thoughts with you. :)

First of all, we can honestly say we've enjoyed taking the time to let you know about what we're up to at Streema on this blog, whether it's telling you about new features that we launch or about a methodology we are using. We've also enjoyed commenting on popular events going on around the globe, like the Glastonbury Festival or the World Cup 2014.

Speaking of the World Cup, regular blog readers may have noticed that we got really excited about it - and as a result we published more blog posts in that month than we did in the first half of the year. We even published two infographics! This is something we had never done at our blog before and got us thinking that we should do more of it.

So, over the next few months we're going to be more active on this blog, sharing more with you, as well as adding different types of content that are related to the world of radio.

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

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