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Radio app TuneIn launches premium service

By | Published on Wednesday 26 August 2015


TuneIn, the radio app that gives you free access to radio stations and podcasts from across the world, has launched a new premium version of its service.

It puts the app into competition with Sirius in North America, and possibly any other radio firms with ambitions in the subscription service space. Though arguably – if it works – TuneIn Premium could be a way for radio programme makers to generate new indirect subscription revenues, in much the same way Netflix works with TV companies.

People who sign up to TuneIn Premium – which is available in the US, Canada and UK at launch – will get access to 600 commercial-free radio stations provided by a stack of broadcasting partners, and which together will offer a lot of music options.

Though the premium app is being mainly marketed at the moment with the sporting content that has been secured, with deals in place to provide coverage of Major League Baseball games in the US, and football from the UK Premier League and German Bundesliga.

Announcing the new premium level, TuneIn CEO John Donham said: “With the introduction of TuneIn Premium we are taking the world’s best audio content and putting it all in one place. In today’s crowded audio landscape, our focus on exclusive news, talk, sports, and music allows us to deliver an unparalleled listening experience to our users”.

Of course, if apps like this, offering a plethora of music-based radio channels, were ever seen to be competing with streaming music services of the Spotify model, that might throw up some interesting licensing chatter within the music industry.

In that, should radio services operating under something akin to a traditional broadcast music license, usually provided by the music industry’s collective licensing system, be then bundled up into a subscription-based app that competes with a Spotify, which is more directly licensed by the music rights sector at considerably higher rates? That could be a fun conversation to have someday, couldn’t it?