Radiolicious Brings AM FM Radio to iPhones
     

In the war between radio and Internet-based technologies, Radiolicious is trying to build a business model by striking back on broadcasters' behalf. Radiolicious is a free downloadable player for iPhone users. Once on their wireless handsets, Radiolicious allows them to stream audio and Web content from any AM/FM station that is signed up to the service, at no cost to the iPhone user.

"Radiolicious is the third leg of the modern broadcasting stool, the other two being over-the-air transmission and the Web," said Rick Brancadora, an early affiliate. He is the CEO, licensee and GM of LifeRadio WIBG(AM), a Christian talk station that has signed up to Radiolicious.

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"With more than 20 million iPhones out there, Radiolicious is a great way for us to grow our audience."

The technology

Radiolicious is a software application developed by MySimBook.com, a developer/marketer of awareness-based advertising products. The company is owned by Global Security Systems, also known in the radio industry for its FM Alert technology.

"Radiolicious is a truly native iPhone radio player," said Doug Daigle, co-founder of MySimBook. "It provides all of the Web streams, including WMA, from subscribing broadcasters directly to iPhone users."

Radiolicious works on all commercial wireless networks, including EDGE, WiFi and 3G. Besides delivering audio, it provides iPhone users with graphics and the ability to request songs, send comments and enter contests from their handsets.

Operationally, Radiolicious is simple; after subscribing to the service — usually by purchasing a subscription based on market size or bartering commercial airtime to MySimBook — the station logs onto MySimBook's business Web site and links their audio streams. They can also provide the other content described earlier and arrange for interactive traffic between their station's e-mails and Radiolicious users.

At the consumer end, "The user simply downloads a Radiolicious from the app store," said Daigle. "It is free to download, and there are no additional charges."

Stations are categorized by genre and location, making it easy for Radiolicious users to find the stations they want and add them to their Favorites list for fast access. Radiolicious subscribers can also access Internet-only audio streams, share music with friends and buy songs directly from iTunes while using the player.

"The mobile phone has profoundly changed how people interact with media when they're on foot or in their cars," he says. "Radiolicious makes it easy for broadcasters to reconnect to this audience; many of whom have forsaken conventional AM/FM radio for newer technologies."

Benefits

LifeRadio is based in Ocean City, N.J. It is licensed as a daytime AM, operating at 1,900 watts; it signs off every sunset to make way for clear channel KDKA. But WIBG runs on the Internet 24/7, and with its appearance on Radiolicious, the station says it has found a second way to keep reaching its audience at night without broadcasting.

"We are finding more and more people are tuning into our Web-based audio stream," said Brancadora. "With iPhone now included via Radiolicious, we've got the necessary second half of this one-two punch."

Being on Radiolicious isn't just a way around being a daytimer. "On the Web and Radiolicious, we have as big a footprint as ABC and CBS," Brancadora said. "But it's really Radiolicious that makes the difference, because we are now available on a portable medium unfettered by radio's physical limits."

To further promote LifeRadio online, Brancadora hopes to take advantage of blogging sites offered by Radiolicious, plus the system's two-way messaging capability.

"We are already a two-way station, because we're talk radio," he said. "Instant messaging is also proving to be big, which is where Radiolicious comes in. With this platform, people will be able to hear us all over America, and interact with us as well."


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