If you're here, chances are you own a radio station and are looking for ways to take it to the next level. First, kudos for laboring tirelessly to launch it despite all the naysayers that promote the false ideology that radio is dead. After all, radio is more alive today than ever before, with more people listening to it for longer. In fact, 91% of Americans aged 18 years and above listen to the radio every month. Likewise, 89.6% of UK residents tune in to their favorite radio stations at least once every week. But anyway, let's not get carried away! We're here to discuss how radio mobile applications can further boost your radio station's bottom line and increase loyal listenership. We have also included 8 must-have features your radio mobile app needs. So, let's jump in!
1. Live Stream Feature
You have to rush to a scheduled meeting or do several tasks that require your attention, hindering you from listening to your favorite live broadcast or live show. We've all been there. For this reason, giving your listeners a chance to tune into your radio station live from their mobile devices is a sure way to drive up your numbers (loyal listeners).
Not only that. The live stream function should be smooth sailing, providing only high-quality audio. While MP3 quality is better for desktops, mobile devices require AAC+ (HE-AAC) at least 64Kbps for maximum streaming quality. Don't forget the aesthetics! Preferably, that of the app should match your brand's theme and color schemes.
What's more? Switching to another app shouldn't interfere with the listening sessions. For example, BBC Sounds enables users to efficiently multitask on their devices while it plays in the background. As a result, listeners don't have to miss a thing despite their busy schedules.
2. Android and iOS Compatibility
Among the most overlooked factors when creating a radio mobile app is ensuring it is compatible with multiple operating systems. As a matter of fact, nothing frustrates a radio listener more than being unable to download their favorite radio station on their device.
There are countless radio apps designed with the iOS user in mind while ignoring their Android listeners. That's because developing an iOS radio app is fairly easy compared to its Android alternative. Nonetheless, doing this in today's market would alienate you from the larger share of web users. In this case, it's definitely worthwhile to ensure your radio mobile app is fully functional, at least on the two major operating systems, Android and iOS.
3. Song Details
While designing the app, ensure that the details of the current song playing are well-displayed on the screen. You can even include the album artwork to add a touch of professionalism to the app. Additionally, it adds to the app's interactive element while also encouraging more frequent listening sessions.
Want to kick it up a notch and even earn potential revenue? Include a link to iTunes, Spotify, or Apple Music, where they can buy the track. Here’s an example from BBC Sounds.
4. Connect Your App to Your Radio Website
Like many businesses, radio stations compete with thousands, if not millions, of other similar stations. That's why creating a radio website is advisable to further connect with your listeners. Here, you can post exclusive content like podcasts, behind-the-scenes videos, interviews, and even past shows.
But to have an edge over your competition, it's best to ensure your radio site is SEO-friendly. That means including common search queries that your users are likely to use, increasing your chances of appearing on top search engine results pages (SERPs).
Making your radio site easily accessible via your app will boost engagement and interactions with your listeners. Look at how vibrant KIIS-FM radio site is; and its listeners can access it directly from the iHeartradio mobile app.
5. Include a 'Share to Social Media' Button
Want to further connect with your audience while expanding your brand reach? Social media is the perfect tool. Including a 'Share to Social Media' button on your radio mobile app empowers your listeners to share their favorite shows and music with their friends and followers. That's equivalent to word-of-mouth endorsements; we all know how powerful they are in marketing. Further, you can also include a comment section during your live shows to create a sense of community among your listeners.
5. Acknowledge the Power of Push Notifications
Okay, at first, you don't need to incorporate Push notifications in your radio mobile application. But it's the extra piece of software that can boost engagement and overall tune-in rates during your live shows.
Rather than using those pesky pop-up alerts or assuming that your listeners will automatically tune in, a Push notification goes the extra mile of reminding you of the shows right as it starts. Such notifications are also effective in sharing promotions or competitions. However, you must be careful not to overuse these notifications. Thus, it's important to understand your audience and personalize your content.
6. Voting for Top Tracks
Apart from simply enjoying listening to their favorite tracks on your app, including a voting system for top tracks. But how? Whenever a song plays, include a 👍 or 👎 next to it, allowing listeners to disclose their likes and dislikes, like in the UK’s Smooth Radio.
Such direct interactions enable you to appreciate your audience better and create content that pleases them best. In fact, you can also create a 'dedication live show' where they tune in and request their favorite tracks.
7. A Sleep Timer
Yes, you heard it right! A sleep timer has proved to be an essential tool for listeners. And adding it to your radio mobile application increases its practicality. But why a timer? Well, it all boils down to your listener's busy schedules. At the end of a tiring day, many enjoy winding down to some relaxing tunes. And often, listeners are likely to fall asleep while listening to their favorite night shows or tracks.
A sleep timer enables them to switch off the app without having to wake up from their slumber. As a result, they engage with your app deeper while investing in its other features, besides live streaming.
Also, you can include an alarm clock further to integrate the app into your user's daily lives. It also increases the chances of your station being discovered by a new audience.
Of course, there are more features you can include in your radio mobile app, including a live radio recording button and a personalized playlist creation. But the 8 features listed above are what you need for a radio mobile app startup. We hope we have helped you start your radio mobile app development journey on the right foot. Stay tuned for more posts to help you crush your radio mobile application adventures.