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

Radio News: BBC’s 6 Music and Asian Network to be axed, and CBS Radio blocks streaming outside the U.S.

Today there are two big pieces of news that happened in the past month and that we wanted to share. Unfortunately, they are both bad news, but part of a natural process in a changing industry like radio; we’re hoping that in the longer term, the consequences will be better for the industry as a whole.

The first one, which brought a great deal of attention, was the announcement that the BBC will stop broadcasting BBC 6 Music and BBC Asian Network at the end of 2011. The decision prompted a backlash from listeners, trade unions and the music industry, and even the presenters and DJs of the BBC 6 Music station.  If you’re interested, check out the complete guide to support it.

The second piece of news actually appeared on the other side of the Atlantic and covers online media. CBS Radio decided to shut down its streams to non U.S. listeners, which affects all the content accessed via the AOL, Yahoo! and CBS streaming networks – that represents A LOT of radio stations in our radio directory.

It’s really interesting to see how two similar decisions elicited such different responses.  In one case, the CBS Radio decision affected a very large group of global listeners, but no one revolted.  In the other case, it seemed that it hit a smaller yet close-knit community of listeners, employees, and other radio-related folks – and the resulting effect is that they joined forces and have been rallying to stop the shutdown.  This situation reminds of the classic Margaret Mead quote…

“Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Anyway, we’ll keep you posted on all of this as it evolves.  Stay tuned for the next episode of Radio News!

The Streema Team

RadioDNS is born!

Two weeks ago we participated via web conferencing in the second general assembly for RadioDNS, an initiative we’ve written about before.  We’re happy to say this project will soon become a legally formed not-for-profit organization, which will enable it to provide the RadioDNS basis as well as promote the technology to device manufacturers and broadcasters.

RadioDNS is a very important project.  Among other things, it aims to create a standard that will let all of us access a complete content guide for any station, which means more broadcast-related information, more feedback from listeners… eventually providing a radio experience as it should be!  You can learn more in this video.

We want to specially thank Nick Piggott and James Cridland for their work on this great achievement. At Streema, we’re fully committed to give our support to this organization as well as to others who have a vision that is aligned with using technology innovation to improve the radio listening experience.

As the RadioDNS states on its website: “There’s a change happening to your radio. It’s getting more connected to the rest of the world”.  We certainly want to contribute to that change. 🙂

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

Royalty agreement finally reached – a big win for web radio!

We just posted about radio-related news recently, but what happened last week was so important for the online radio industry that we wanted to share it with you.

So, the news is that SoundExchange, the digital music fee collection agency owned by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), and the “pureplay” webcasters announced that they reached royalty agreement until 2015.  After a few long years of negotiations, it finally happened!  Basically, this new deal involves a discount on the rates for large webcasters, and offers smaller webcasters percentage-based payment options.  By the way, by “pureplay” we mean webcasters such as Digitally Imported and RadioIO, although companies such as Pandora Media, Inc. were also involved.

We’re bringing you this piece of news because this represents a very positive change in the industry moving forward, enabling small webcasters to stay in business and continue bringing you, the radio listener, the best music out there. And that’s a great reason to celebrate.  : )

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

Radio News – and news that’s not so new: RadioDNS, K-Rock and BBC

Hi everybody, here we are again with our current edition of radio-related news!

RadioDNS is presented globally

The first piece of news is that RadioDNS, the collaborative project that enables the convergence of radio broadcasting and IP-delivered services, has been presented worldwide with very positive feedback.

In non-techie words, the project aims to use the information that is already broadcasted and, by using standard technology, connect to the Internet to allow users to discover more about what they are listening to. This would enable you to have an electronic program guide and even let you ‘tag’ bits of the radio you find interesting such as your favorite song or something the presenter said.

Over here at Streema, we want to show our support for such an ambitious project!

K-Rock flipping to a pop format at 92.3Now FM

The second piece of news (which is not so new!) is that K-Rock, famously known because of Howard Stern, changed to 92.3NOW FM last March.  In a move that might not be the happiest one for most of us, it flipped from a Rock format to a Top 40 – for more info go to the following Rolling Stone article.

BBC Radio 2 and Radio 4 streaming worldwide

And last but not least, a very good one is that the BBC is now broadcasting Radio 2 (Entertainment, Comedy, Pop, Folk, more…) and Radio 4 (Arts, News, Comedy) to the whole world.  These two channels were previously streamed only in the UK, and they will now be in Windows Media Audio format, instead of Real Audio. We hope this makes it possible for more people to listen to these great BBC channels!

Anyway, that’s all for now. We hope you continue enjoying Streema!

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

Enhanced Profile Tab in our Facebook Application

Hi everybody, we’re back with some good news!

Lets start with some history. Back in the old ages of 2008, Facebook announced that it was going to launch a profile redesign. At Streema, we researched all the implications and developed a bunch of new stuff we thought our users would like: the Profile Tab was one of them.

To our pleasant surprise, the Profile Tab has been very popular amongst our users, so we thought it would be great to continue improving it! In the same way we did with the old Profile Box, your most listened radios will now appear. In addition, given that many radio fans and owners wanted to make one station stand out on their profile, you will now be able to “Feature” it. To do so, just go to our application, then to the Profile section, and follow the steps – you’ll be featuring a radio on your profile in less than a minute! Check out the screen shot below.

Also, remember that one of the best ways to share that radio is also to recommend it to all your friends. 😉

Okay, enough for now! If you haven’t added the Profile Tab yet, just go to your profile, click on the More Tabs menu which is displayed as a “+” (plus sign) and then select “Streema Radio Tuner”. 🙂

Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

Radio News – Virgin Radio relaunches as Absolute Radio

As mentioned in a previous post on the Streema blog, Virgin Radio was acquired a couple of months ago and was going to be rebranded. Well, it finally happened: Virgin Radio has now changed its name to Absolute Radio. This rebranding includes the three stations they have nowadays: Virgin Radio, Virgin Radio Classic Rock and Virgin Radio Xtreme – they are now called Absolute Radio, Absolute Classic Rock and Absolute Xtreme.

Meanwhile, you’ll find them in our directory as:

We’ve been listening to Absolute Classic Rock and… what can we say? It’s not the same! The presenters speak in the same way, but the music is already changing. Well, we’re total old schoolers, but it’s true that maybe this will make it a better station in the future… we’re not sure and we’d love to hear your opinion!

Stay tuned for the new design that’s coming to town… 😉

The Streema Team

Radio News – Virgin Radio acquired, Planet Rock “saved” and Glastonbury Festival rocked!

Hello Streema users!

We’re back with our Radio News update and, like it or not, again it’s all about the UK stations. The radio industry over there definitely has many movers and shakers!

First of all, our dear Virgin Radio has been acquired by an Indian media group, and it looks like it might undergo a name change. What do you think about this, should they keep the Virgin name or not? We ran a poll within the team and this was the unanimous result: we’d like it to stay the same!

Secondly, we wanted to let you know that Planet Rockhas been saved“! In our previous Radio News post we mentioned that is was near closing, but thankfully enough, it didn’t. : )

And last but not least, in case you’ve missed the Glastonbury Festival, you should listen to BBC Radio 1 and Q Radio during the next few days, as both stations are broadcasting the best of this year’s edition.

That’s all for now, hope you’ve enjoyed our latest bits of Radio News. Stay tuned!

The Streema Team

PS: Once again, thanks Cymon Humphries for providing us with the key industry information!

Radio News – Core, Capital Life, theJazz… and saving Planet Rock!

Starting today, we’ll periodically blog Radio News with station information that we think is important and relevant to our users.

This information will range from recently added radio stations to Streema’s Radio Directory to broader industry events like mergers or acquisitions which cause stations to change names and others to even cease to exist! After all, listening to great radio stations is one of the main reasons Streema was created and we want to make sure our users are up to date with the latest info!

This time around, we bring news about radio stations that have closed and wanted to let you know what we’ve done about it in our Radio Directory:

  • Core radio has closed (see more info here), so it will be erased from our directory and from the any Favorite Lists that included them.
  • Capital Life and theJazz have closed too (see more info here and here). Since Capital Life’s old website, owned by Gcap Media, offers a link to Gold (listen via Streema), we’ll recommend that previous Capital Life listeners try it out. Similarly, theJazz offers a link to Classic FM (listen via Streema) as an option, so give it a shot if you’re a previous listener of theJazz!
  • Planet Rock is near closing, but a campaign to save it that is supported by Brian May (yes, you read well!) has just started.

Although most of this is hardly news in the media industry, we still wanted to inform the Streema community since we did make those changes to our directory. If anyone has any concerns, feel free to contact us.

Finally, we’ll like to thank one of our Streema Facebook App users, Cymon Humphries, for bringing up this information.

That’s all for now. Stay tuned!

The Streema Team