November 25, 2010 at 10:51 am
Given the fact that Apple is a true leader in the music industry and in many ways started a great process for artist and labels to make money selling tracks via iTunes as opposed to the illegal p2p downloads ( Lime wire and others still alive), one would think that they would look to the future with the Radio industry as well.
Many companies ( i.e. CBSradio) have been releasing and bringing amazing internet radio to the mobile world, but why limit this? What is the real logic? Is it because it is difficult for them to extract revenues from the radio feeds integrated with Advertising?
This announcement today was again a shocking bit of news that really needs to be looked at. When we think of AM/FM Radio’s from the past, we do think of mobile devices ( Either mobile in the car, or that portable Receiver that we all used to take with us to the Beach, the Base Ball Game.
I myself with my boutique strategic consultancy was amazed by this announcement. Why not let a single radio station build up its own App with a variety of their own offers and direct consumer value propositions. Is it like telling an artist they can not launch their own App unless it is a music app with hundreds of other Artists. Radio stations deserve to grow their own brand in this era of fierce competition and let the market decide. I am still not clear on their logic and maybe this post can bring some debate and discussion to really understand why this is good for Apple, their customers and the industry. I am a true believer in cross-media convergence of Radio in a variety of forms. I do see the value of having Radio Apps with hundred of stations, but in the programming world and with this new era of personalization, having one-station that can evolve to a true personalized station for that fan base in my mind only makes sense.
Apple bars ‘all single-station radio apps’ from iPhone
‘They’re like fart apps,’ howl Jobsian minions
By Cade Metz in San Francisco • Get more from this author
Posted , 24th November 2010 21:13 GMT
Apple is now barring all single-station radio applications from the iPhone and iPad, insisting that “single station apps are the same as a fart app and represent spam in the iTunes store.” So says Jim Barcus, the president of DJB Radio Apps, an outfit that has long helped build iPhone apps and other mobile apps for radio stations across the country.
According to Barcus, Apple began rejecting single-station radio apps on November 10, declaring that it “will no longer approve any more radio station apps unless there are hundreds of stations on the same app.” Barcus can’t see the logic. “[Apple doesn't] understand that radio stations are in fierce competition,” he tells The Reg. “[Apple] just wants all radio stations to be on one big fat app, and that’s just not going to happen.”
Barcus is now broadcasting his gripe via an article in Radio Magazine, urging radio station owners to complain directly to Apple and Steve Jobs. “I think after enough broadcast professionals complain and make Apple aware of the fact that radio stations are in fierce competition with each other and listener loyalty makes the listener want to only listen to his favorite radio station, Apple may change this rule,” he says.
Good luck with that, Jim.
As Barcus points out, Apple’s recently introduced App Store guidelines say that “developers ‘spamming’ the App Store with many versions of similar apps will be removed from the iOS Developer Program.” Although Barcus acknowledges that the apps he helps build for radio stations are similar, he says that each station has its own Apple developer account and that each app is named and tagged according to the station’s call letters and location. “If you search on ‘radio station app,’ you’re not going to see these applications,” he tells us. “This isn’t like you’re getting spam. It’s not like keying in ‘Fart app.’”
He also points out certain inconsistencies in Apple’s stance. “Every Pizza joint can have its own app. There are more than 900 flashlight apps. More than 3,000 apps that do maps,” he says. “But radio stations cannot have their own apps.”
Barcus has emailed Steve Jobs directly to appeal for a change of heart. But Jobs upheld Apple’s stance with typical brevity. “Sorry, we’ve made our decision,” Jobs replied.
Fart-app-like ‘spam’ aside, Apple could be angling to offer some sort of radio tool of its own. “This may be about money,” Barcus says. Rumors have long suggested that Apple is building its own FM radio app for the iPhone, and later versions of the Jesus Phone include an FM transmitter and receiver hardware.
Currently, this hardware goes unused. At the moment, apps must tap radio stations via the net, and there are myriad apps that do so. National Public Radio (NPR), for instance, offers an app for listening to hundreds of affiliate stations across the country, and ESPN offers a similar app for tapping some of its affiliate stations. ®