Some thoughts on Radio

Sometimes when we explain to people what we do, we hear a reaction such as: “Ahhh, broadcast radio… isn’t that industry going downhill, specially with all those services such as Pandora, Spotify…”. In this blog post we would like to give our point of view.

First, when we think about “radio”, we think about a song, talk, show, or any content that is delivered live to everyone. While some services offer music or content on demand, radio is essentially the same audio content at the same time to everybody.

Right now there is trend called “customization” that technology and the web have spread widely, but we think that even in this context a live stream that anyone can tune in to has very specific value. Actually, it’s a way to “connect” people and makes us feel in community. Think about a song that is released for the first time on a station or when a popular radio DJ ask a tough fun question to a caller on live radio – that is a very unique experience.

Second, as we’ve mentioned before, radio is not only about music, there are also live shows, sport events, and talk shows of every type that you can imagine and even more: anime, astrology, art, children, drama, gaming, language, military, transport… and the list goes on. There are more than 70 non music genres containing radio stations that represent more than 30% of our directory.

Now, let’s get back to music. Everybody would think that most people discover new music through sources such as YouTube, Spotify, or any similar. However, recent studies suggest that people still choose radio as their first source for music discovery.

And now, back to content. It’s true, a big part of the traditional radio industry is still doing the same thing that it was doing decades ago, but there is a lot changing too and there are many people experimenting with new things, like new sources to fund and reach audiences. For example, the case of radio show “99% Invisible“, they aimed to raise $ 42K at Kickstarter (a popular online crowdfunding platform) and this month they raised more than $170K!!! This may or may not be a trend, although it’s certainly not the only one, and while it’s also true that not every show can easily raise the money to make it happen, this is for sure a great success story!

To conclude, without a doubt radio has its threats and its weaknesses, but we believe it also has its strengths and its opportunities. We hope Streema can help with these last two, helping radio to reach places it has never reached before and connect with its listeners in ways it has never done before.

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

If you’re still interested on this topic, check this out: The Big Box Theory, or Why Radio Is and/or Isn’t Dead

The truth about…

Yes, it’s true, we didn’t post any news during the month of July – and that was the first time it happened since we opened this blog back in 2008!

The truth is… we’ve been quite busy here! But we do hate to say that, because busy is not a good explanation nor is the answer we think you should receive – this beautiful article tells why we think that: The ‘Busy’ Trap.

Now, it’s also true that if we don’t want this to happen again, we better start working on our next blog post. 🙂 Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

PS: BTW, Dilbert always explains it better (click on the image to see it in a larger size).

Dilbert.com

The Olympic Games are coming… follow them on Radio at Streema!

We’re about a month away from the next Olympic Games which will be held in London.  For those that didn’t know, London will become the first city to host the Olympic Games three times – the two previous being 1908 and 1948.

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games will start on July 27th and end on August 12th, where 205 nations will compete in 26 sports divided into 39 disciplines.  This will be followed by the 2012 Paralympic Games, from August 29th to September 9th, where 147 nations will take part in the competition.

The excitement generated by the Olympics is worldwide and it will be followed globally through TV, Radio, Newspapers… and of course, the Web. The media has traditionally played a significant role in this event, although one can say that this role has evolved a lot since the last time the Olympics were held in London!

Once again, the BBC will be the main broadcaster providing a special program from July 25th to August 13th, and in addition, many UK radio stations will follow the event, a few of which follow below:

We look forward to see an amazing show, where athletes value progress over victory, respect over rivalry, and motivation over fear. We also hope the best for your favorite countries, athletes and disciplines. 🙂

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

2012 Trends for Online Radio

In the last few months there have been a couple of conferences and events in the US (SXSW, RAIN Summit and Digital Music Forum East, to name a few) where many media industry leaders have been presenting their research and recent developments. The numbers are really positive for radio listening, so we wanted to share some of them with you. Bear in mind all these stats are for the US market, but they do show a trend that we believe is happening around the world too.

To start off, the report The Infinite Dial 2012 from Arbitron, the media & marketing research firm, shares a bit of data around the number of radio listeners out there:

Weekly online radio audience reaches an estimated 57 million people; audience doubled every five years since 2001.

When we talk about behaviour, TargetSpot, the digital audio advertising network, presented the First Digital Audio Advertising Research, a report that contained some interesting pieces of information, such as:

– 80% of internet radio audience listens for 1-3 hours per day, 40% listening 1-2 hours per session.

– 61% of listeners don’t keep player minimized, 64% often check the player for song/artist info. – this was added by TargetSpot’s CEO at the RAIN Summit.

– 73% of Internet radio listeners change stations stations multiple times a day.

Finally, based on Jacobs Media’s TechSurvey8, the most popular applications in the US are:

Pandora is the most popular pure-play Internet option, with 45% of “streamies” listening, topping competitors like iHeartRadio (19%), Spotify (7%), TuneIn Radio (7%) and Slacker Radio (5%). Its users are split as to whether internet pure play is actually considered “radio”: 43% said yep, 49% said nope. Listeners to alternative, Contemporary Christian, country, CHR and Variety Hits are more likely to consider Pandora “radio.”

That’s all for now!  Hope you find this data optimistic and relevant – we certainly do think it’s good news for Streema. 🙂

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

Copyrights and the Internet: Where are things going?

It has been a few weeks with a lot of buzz around copyrights and the Internet. Many of us have read about SOPA and/or PIPA, and as many people asked us about our opinion, we wanted to share it.

We believe in copyrights, and the right anyone has to receive royalties for work they’ve done: sound, video, literature or any kind of expression of art or science, among others. We also truly believe in freedom, the total absence of coercion, as the ultimate expression of human development, and how it is non-negotiable. And we also believe in balance, and when we say balance, we mean a solution that can suit the different parts that affect a system – in this case, creators and consumers.

The truth is technology is moving fast, and even though it doesn’t solve all of the world’s problems, it does generally provide better chances to learn and live. The Internet is part of this technological trend, and as with every technology in the past, it’s changing the economic and social model that we live by. At the end of the day, the truth is that we all have to adapt to this new reality – creators, consumers, media companies, and any other related entities.

As it stands now, SOPA and/or PIPA may not pass, but it’s important to still be aware of this for the future. More than ever, we need to have an appropriate legislation that will give us protection as well as the freedom to choose, learn and understand.

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

PS: If you feel you want to know more about the implications of SOPA and PIPA, check out the following video, it’s one of the best explanations we’ve found recently:

In addition, here are two interesting blog posts from well respected personalities in the technology industry:

An Open Letter to Pearson about SOPA/PIPA by Martin Fowler

It’s time to stop PROTECT IP by Matt Cutts

Happy Holidays from Streema!

Hi! It’s getting close to the end of 2011 and we can’t believe how quickly the last 12 months have gone by! This year has been a busy and rocking one for us, with improvements to our site Streema.com, our first steps in mobile, a growing community of users, and a growing team of awesome people.

Before the year is over though, we wanted to thank all of you that have been there with us – family, friends, colleagues, and of course, you, our community of radio listeners. Thanks for the support.

We wish you a wonderful Holiday Season and a great start in 2012 – see you in the new year!

Yours truly,
The Streema Team

PS: A small present from a man who knows to rock!

User Experience Improvements: Search, Radio Streams and Radios Without Stream

Today we want to send out a quick update about three user experience improvements we’ve released:

Search

We’ve improved our radio directory search using Indextank, an outsourced search service for web applications. This should provide faster and better results when you search by radio, city, country, etc. on Streema. We’ll soon be releasing other features, such as: Faceting and Autocomplete. Consider this is a recent implementation and might need some fixes, it’ll keep getting better. 🙂

Radio Streams

As part of the process we started a couple months – which we mentioned in a previous post – the streams of thousands of radio stations in our directory have been fixed. This should definitely result in a better user experience, because there’s nothing worse than trying to tune in a radio and not being able to listen to it. We want to continue working on this area, so please, help us by letting us know when a station doesn’t work.

Radios without Stream

You’ll find our directory has many stations without streams, this is either because the station doesn’t stream online, it doesn’t work, or we don’t have it stored in our database. For those stations, we thought it would be great to provide our users with similar options to listen, so in case you click on the “play button” of any of those radios, a message offering other streaming stations will appear. We want to specially thank Emiliano Castaño who has given his good advice on building this part of the user interface.
Disclaimer: this is a feature we are currently testing, so you’ll probably won’t see it every time you visit Streema.

That’s all for now, we hope you enjoy these improvements. 🙂

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

Reviews for Radio Stations!

Here’s a neat little feature we recently released and wanted to let you know about: Radio Reviews.  Now you can rate and review any station on our site!

We uploaded this feature a few days ago and we’ve already noticed some interesting activity. Check out these examples:

That’s all for now – we look forward to seeing your radio ratings and reviews!

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

PS: Soon soon very soooooon we’ll bring the present we promise!

New Design for the Radio Widget!

We have some good news for our lovely users who are embedding (or will like to embed) the Radio Widget on their blogs, websites and social profiles: we redesigned the widget we launched last year!

Based on user feedback, the redesign mainly consisted of giving the widget a more lively and fresh look. Additionally, now you can customize the background color with the following options: Vintage Grey, Streema Blue, Freaky Fuchsia, Sassy Orange, and for the audacious ones out there… Yoshi Green. 😉

Go ahead and check it out for Fusion Radio Chicago:

The redesign not only involved the Radio Widget for a single station, but also the Radio Badge for stations that don't have a streaming URL as well as the Radio Widget for multiple radio stations that appear on the right column of the Radio Station Directory.

As we mentioned in our previous widget post, that was a first version of the widget - so you can consider this the second one. We look forward to hearing from you and making new changes in the future, like offering more colors and even bigger dimensions.

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

PS: Just in case you're wondering: if you have already embedded the previous widget, in order to get the new design, you'll need to copy and paste the new code.

PS2: With regards to the "surprise" we mentioned previously, we promise it will be on our next blog post! 😉

Happy Holidays for all of Us

It’s the end of the year, a time for reflection, wishes and projections. But before we get into that, we would like to talk about “us” as a whole: people who listen to radio, people who express their ideas, people who develop features, people who report bugs, people who fix them… there are many of us and today we want to talk about us all.

YOU are the most important part of all this. Every day on Streema, you listen to thousands of stations, write comments on the station’s profile walls, send us loads of suggestions via the contact form and Facebook application, and even tweet about Streema!  Without you nothing would make sense.

WE have been developing this project since 2007 and we’re pretty happy to say it’s been a great journey. Streema has been a big part of our lives with lots of successes and failures. We’re still a small team (that’s why more than once we ask you to be patient with us) but the four of us are as committed as ever to make Streema a success.

Streema Team, from left to right: Juan, Martín, JC and Ricky.

WE are Streema and YOU are Streema. So, to all of the Streema fans out there: THANK YOU for being part of our journey. We wish you a great holiday season!

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

PS: We’ve got a little surprise for you in the works, but you’ll need to wait till early 2011 to find out. 😉