The Streema Blog

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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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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


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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

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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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The World Cup 2014 finished roughly a week ago and we can see how people are feeling the withdrawal syndrome of having no national football team - or soccer ;) - to watch on a daily basis!

Here at Streema, we have many football fans that were very enthusiastic about the World Cup. Also, since this was a huge global event that was going to be broadcasted on radio as well as television, many of us thought it would be a good opportunity to experiment with a live event - the following were the challenges, surprises and results.

Experiment

The goal was to research how many people we could reach if we designed and implemented custom pages for each Match for an event such as the World Cup. To do so, we developed new assets to make sure people were able to watch and listen to the games as well as notifications on our site to make sure people were aware of the games, specially when they were live.

We focused a lot of our energy on the Match Page, which contained the main TV and radio stations that were broadcasting each match. In order to stimulate some discussion - or banter between opposing team fans ;) - we also added the possibility to interact with other users with a Facebook comment box.

matchpage.watching.V2.fw

Additionally, we developed a Notification Bar that appeared 1 hour before each match, and stayed open during the 2 hours informing the game that was being played.

matchpage.watching.blogV1

As for general communication, we wrote 10 blog posts (including this one) that were posted through Hootsuite, which means it was replicated in our Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Linkedin accounts.

As this was the first live event we’ve worked on, we divided the work in 3 stages: from June 12-15 for the first 11 matches, from June 16-22 for the next 21 matches, and from June 23-July 13 for the remaining 32. In each stage we made a revision and introduced some minor changes.

Here were some of the questions we had at the beginning:

- How many people can we reach?

- How could it affect our monetization?

- Would our tech infrastructure be ready?

- How many TV and/or Radio stations will we find for each match?

- How many bugs, updates and additional work will this represent?

We made sure to check all of the questions in each stage - if the results we’re good, we would decide to discontinue the experiment. Fortunately enought though, this wasn’t the case. :)

Challenges

The first challenge was finding the TV and radio stations that would broadcast each the first 32 matches of the Cup (or in other words, the two first stages of our plan). This was a whole lot of work since we never did this before and since most of the stations did not have a timetable with all their programming, so it was really difficult to know which station would broadcast each match. Actually, this would be one of the main reasons people refer to Streema to find particular live show and it is a yet unresolved problem on the web.

Another challenge was that many stations were not prepared to handle such traffic spikes, so in many cases, when a station reached a certain threshold in number of viewers, it would stop working for any new users and we’d have to scramble looking for alternative channels.

And the final challenge, the toughest one, was that most of the stations had a license to broadcast in a particular country, so more often than not, when people from outside the country tried to tune in those people wouldn’t be able to listen to or watch anything. :/

Surprises

For the kickoff match of the cup, between Brazil and Croatia, we had to add new webservers because we clearly couldn’t handle the traffic with our current setup. In particular, we made a deploy in the middle of the match and the servers were not able to handle the load while it got redistributed.

Another surprise was that the social interactions in a live event tend to be more frequent and intense than during a regular broadcast.  Even though we didn't put the comment box front and center (it was actually below the fold) we found more usage of that feature than is usually seen on our site.  We found this to be very interesting and in line with our origins as a social network for radio listeners.

And finally, the sheer amount of work and attention to detail required to cover a live event with all the right content and timing.  This was a first for us, so we take many learnings from this experience!

Results

Roughly a quarter million people watched and listened to the 64 Matches over the 25 days of the World Cup through our Match Pages, while an equal amount watched through the actual radio and TV profile pages.

Also, which would you think was the most viewed/listen to match of the World Cup through Streema? You would have never guessed that it was: Germany vs Portugal in the Group Phase; then the opening game, Brazil vs Croatia; and in the third place of our rankings, the Final between Germany vs Argentina .

On the social media front, the Infographic we developed for the Group Phase called “The Best (and Worst) Predictions of the World Cup’s Group Phase” became our most popular post to date. We hope the same happens with our last one: “The Best (and Worst) Predictions of the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil [Infographic]”. :)

To wrap up, we can truthfully say it was an exciting experience to finally work on a live event and we’re glad it was useful to so many of our users!

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

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Hi Streema Soccer Fans!

Following the interest that our post on World Cup predictions generated around the web, we decided to do another one - this time covering the entire tournament, from start to finish.

We analyzed the original predictions from the Group Stage through to the World Cup Final for the same organizations as before - ESPN, PwC, Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg, The Economist, and Yahoo - and then added EA Sports and Reuters. These last two hadn't been included in the previous analysis and we're glad we included them this time!

Again we found some surprising results, you would never guess which organizations made the best predictions! Check it out in the infographic below.

If you like it, share it with your friends!

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2014 WORLD CUP - THE BEST (AND WORST) PREDICTIONS

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If you're interested, you can find the details of the analysis here.

Brought to you (again) by your favorite radio and tv station directory. :)

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

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Hello Streema Soccer Fans!

The FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil came to a close yesterday after a weekend full of football.

On Saturday it was Brazil's turn to show that they could earn 3rd place against the tough Dutch side. Those hopes didn't last very long as the Netherlands went up 2-0 in the first 20 minutes of the game. And at the end of the match, the 3-0 score showed that the Netherlands were fair winners of the 3rd place game.

On Sunday, on a beautiful afternoon in Maracana Stadium, everyone was getting ready for the final match of the tournament, between Germany and Argentina. Leading up to the match we had the Closing Ceremony featuring Shakira, guitarist Carlos Santana, and renowned Brazilian artists like Ivete Sangalo, Carlinhos Brown, and Alexandre Pires. As soon as FIFATV has an official video we'll be sure to post it!

After the Closing Ceremony ended, the game between Germany and Argentina began. To summarize a very exciting match in very few words: Germany took the initiative with more possession throughout the game while Argentina had the better scoring chances. But as former English forward Gary Lineker once said: "Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win." And yes, the Germans won it in the 113th minute and became the FIFA World Cup 2014 Champions, winning their 4th World Cup!

Germany Champion FIFA World Cup 2014

Anyway, for those soccer fans out there that follow our blog, we are close to wrapping up our series of World Cup posts. It's been an exciting - and surprising - World Cup and we can't wait for Russia 2018.

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

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Hello!

It's been a crazy couple of days at the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil in which the semifinals we're as exciting as they were unpredictable. On Tuesday Germany crushed Brazil 7-1 in a game that was decided within the first 30 minutes of the match and on Wednesday Argentina defeated The Netherlands in a penalty shootout after a 0-0 game, where Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero became the hero by saving two penalty shots.

We're now in the last stretch of the tournament, with the World Cup Final this Sunday between Germany and Argentina. And of course, to warm things up, Brazil and The Netherlands will be vying for 3rd place on Saturday. More details below!

Saturday July 12 at 4pm EST
3rd Place Match: Brazil vs Netherlands

Sunday July 13 at 3pm EST
World Cup Final: Germany vs Argentina

Who will finally be World Cup Champion? Will it be Germany for the 4th time in history or will it be Argentina's 3rd? Follow the game live at Streema on Sunday and find out!

Stay tuned!

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