Tuesday marked “an exciting new day in audio,” according to Entercom Communications President/CEO David Field.
That’s because Entercom’s radio stations are now fully integrated with Apple‘s iOS 13 software — as are all radio stations using a streaming platform Entercom pulled its AMs and FMs from in June 2018.
That would be TuneIn, a once dominant audio streaming platform that is absent of some of the nation’s biggest radio stations, namely those from Entercom and iHeartRadio.
On a global scale, however, TuneIn is a major player, with some 100,000 radio stations available via streaming audio featuring a short pre-roll advertisement it controls.
For TuneIn and for Entercom, the integration into the new iOs 13.1 operating system, which features new ways to browse and edit photos and requires 3.13GB of space on a phone to download, is a big positive.
“We are delighted to partner with Apple to provide listeners with enhanced access to our lineup of many of the country’s leading radio brands and personalities and other rich audio content,” Field said. “By integrating radio directly into their latest technology, Apple sends a clear message about the importance of local radio, the country’s No. 1 reach medium.”
Yet, Apple has remained reluctant to place an activated FM chip in its headsets — something that contributed to the ultimate demise of NextRadio, despite calls by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and the editorial board of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (following Hurricane Irma in 2017) to act.
While access to radio stations is now easier, it still relies on a data plan or WiFi.
Nevertheless, Entercom has reason to cheer: All Apple platforms, including iOS, macOS, tvOS, Windows, watchOS, CarPlay and HomePod now feature direct access to RADIO.COM stations via Siri and Apple Music.
For TuneIn users, it is a similar situation.
How does it work? As TuneIn explains, one can just ask Siri to “play FOX News Talk,” or “Clemson Football,” or any one of Global‘s national radio brands in the U.K., for example.
TuneIn says the complete feature will be rolling out to Apple Music and all Siri-enabled devices across various stages of this week.
TuneIn VP/Distribution & Business Development Tony Archibong said, “As our 75 million users around the world can attest, radio is one of the most popular categories of audio listening on connected devices, and this important partnership serves to heighten our user experience and be everywhere our listener is.”
Entercom on June 25, 2018 revealed that its radio stations would exclusively be offered in the digital realm via its retooled Radio.com, which came from CBS Radio through its tax-free merger with Entercom.
With Radio.com rapidly gaining users and the iHeartRadio app one of the most ubiquitous, TuneIn’s U.S. station guide is somewhat limited. Among the major national companies still using TuneIn are Beasley Media Group, Saga Communications, Cox Media Group, Spanish Broadcasting System, Hubbard Radio, and Univision Radio.