Thanks to everyone who has sent in their comments about the version 1.1. Keep those suggestions coming because the team is already working on new features for version 2.0. This morning, I checked the iTunes store and the Public Radio Tuner has broken the top ten of free music apps. We’ve already seen over 40,000 downloads of version 1.1 this week. And it’s getting great reviews from users on the download page. If you haven’t yet had the chance to try it out, go to the iTunes store and download the new version of the Public Radio Tuner today. We’re currently at #7 on the charts. Let’s bump it up to #1!
January 8th, 2009 → 4:40 pm @ Rekha at PRX // Comments Off
Greetings from the Public Radio Tuner team!
We want to thank the hundreds of you who are participating in this important project. Your streams and promotional efforts have made the Tuner an amazing success: 1.3 million downloads in just a couple of months!
The Public Radio Tuner team would like to invite you to an all-station webinar on Thursday, April 2, at 3pm EST. Click here to register for the Public Radio Tuner webinar
This webinar is open to anyone in the public radio system, particularly stations, whether or not you’re already in the Tuner. Please join us to learn more and contribute feedback and ideas. The webinar service can host 1000 people — we’ve got big hopes for attendance. So forward this email to people at your station who you think should attend.
We strongly encourage stations already in the Tuner to attend, as you need to be aware of several developments planned for the next few months.
As you may know, American Public Media launched the original Public Radio Tuner in December 2008 and has been handling stream submissions ever since. APM joined up with NPR, Public Radio International, Public Interactive, and Public Radio Exchange to develop the version of the Tuner that’s in the iTunes Store today. This unique collaboration of major public radio organizations was conceived of by PRX, which applied for the generous grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that is funding the project through May. PRX is leading this collaboration, which has brought together the talent and resources of all the collaborators to make the Tuner what it is now.
Since the release of the latest version in early January, things have really taken off. The app has consistently been in the top ten free music apps, and has spent significant time as the top free app in the iTunes catalog of over 25,000 other apps. People have expressed their love of (and sometimes confusion about) public radio in App Store reviews as well as comments at publicradiotuner.org. Media coverage has been generally very positive. NPR’s “All Things Considered” was even moved to interview PRX Executive Director Jake Shapiro about public radio’s own new media phenomenon.
But that’s just the half of it.
*An updated version of the Tuner will appear in the iTunes App Store in April, bringing improvements to how the Tuner handles stream connections.
*This version will move from the APM store to the PRX store in iTunes so PRX can more efficiently manage the project.
*The new app location means we won’t be able to automatically “push” an update to current users. Instead, they will need to download what’s effectively a new app in a new store. We have designed a user experience to facilitate this process.
*These changes will position us for a truly major Tuner update scheduled for late May. The May version will be called the Public Radio Player. It will include a dynamic, searchable program schedule and access to select on-demand content.
Leading up to the May release, we are planning a big marketing push that we hope will include testimonials from individual stations. If you’re in the Tuner, we invite you to post your experiences at publicradiotuner.org for inclusion in promotional materials.
You can all promote the Tuner, too. I know some of you are already having fun with this (share what you’ve done at the Tuner site!). We have graphics and suggested copy in the Guide for Stations, and we’ll be adding more soon.
These improvements are intended to further the Tuner’s original and enduring purpose: to grow awareness of public radio and engagement with public radio stations, and to simply reach public radio fans wherever they want us to be. This project has resulted in code, process, and promotion insights that we plan to share with all of you to support your own mobile efforts.
People already using the app are asking for their local stations’ streams. It’s never too late to submit your stream for inclusion in the Tuner (you don’t need to be an APM station to create a login.) We’re continually adding stations.
See you in April,
The Public Radio Tuner project collaborators
This message, announcing the release of Public Radio Tuner version 1.1 (the first results of the collaboration), appeared in a variety of network newsletters and public radio mailing lists. Stations: Feel free to excerpt this for your own promotional efforts.
A collaboration of APM, NPR, PI, PRI, and PRX
Public radio on the iPhone? Of course! We’re pleased to announce the launch of a new version of the Public Radio Tuner, an iPhone app with a sleek new look and state-of-the-art engineering. Version 1.1 made it into the iTunes Store earlier this week, and is continuing the Tuner’s record of success. Since the app’s initial launch, tens of thousands of people have downloaded it and over 200 stations have added their streams. Best of all, we’re getting overwhelmingly positive feedback, once again demonstrating how much people enjoy and rely on public radio and are eager for us to reach them in new ways.
A new collaboration for a new media platform
The January update came out of a unique collaboration between American Public Media (APM), National Public Radio (NPR), Public Interactive (PI), Public Radio Exchange (PRX), and Public Radio International (PRI). The project is led by PRX and supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. APM, which created the original Tuner, provided the code to the colloboration’s technology team so new features could be added quickly and the existing user base could be maintained. This latest update is the first of several updates funded by the CPB grant. More releases will take place throughout the spring of 2009.
CPB and the collaborators see this project as a way to encourage communication and knowledge sharing in order to harness the collective expertise, talents, and resources of the public radio system. We believe the Public Radio Tuner is an important way to keep pace with our technologically evolving listener base and bring public radio to a whole new set of people. Simply put, our listeners want us wherever they go. A recent study tells us that they have the mobile tools to find us – we just have to be there when they look.
Not just any application, a *public radio* application
The Public Radio Tuner essentially allows anyone with an iPhone or iPod Touch to listen to streams from stations across the country. It has the features iPhone users expect from any “tuner” application – search, a favorites list, and fast loading times. What sets this Tuner apart is how the collaborators’ experience and their direct relationships with stations can create a listening experience custom-made for public radio’s high-quality, diverse content. What does this mean for the listener?
Future plans will make the Tuner even more of an on-demand listening tool, with features such as a “What’s On Now” list of programs, searchable program audio, and more.
Not already part of the Public Radio Tuner? Sign up!
People already using the app are asking for their local stations’ streams. (If you have iTunes, check out the reviews here.) It’s not too late to submit your stream for inclusion in the Tuner. We’re continually adding stations.
Station support services (where you submit and maintain your stream information) are in the process of moving from American Public Media over to Public Interactive. We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, visit the Public Radio Tuner page on the APM stations site if you have stream-related questions (you can create a login if you don’t have one already). Please visit the project Web site and blog at www.publicradiotuner.com to stay up to date on the project and contribute your ideas for future versions of the app.
Tell everyone about it
If a tree falls in the forest, and no one’s around to broadcast it… Promotion is the key to success. Tell your listeners on air, on your Web site, in your Web streams and podcasts. Your involvement powers the Tuner. We’ll be posting promotional materials and ideas soon at www.publicradiotuner.com; in the meantime, you can get them from the APM stations site.
The Public Radio Tuner project collaborators
We are happy to announce that a major update to the Public Radio Tuner is now available in the iTunes store! Thousands of people have already downloaded the update this morning, and are enjoying mobile streaming from hundreds of public radio stations across the country.
The collaboration of organizations behind the Public Radio Tuner worked their fingers to the bone over these last months to improve the Tuner based on feedback from users.
Here’s what’s new in the new Public Radio Tuner:
iPhone and iPod Touch owners currently using the original application will get an automatic notice about the update. These new features, along with a healthy marketing push, will significantly grow the Public Radio Tuner’s reach and expand public radio’s audience (As you may have read yesterday, technology is changing audience expectations).
As always, your feedback is critical to this project. Give us your reviews – love letters and hate mail alike. We’ll be working on this app throughout the spring and plan to roll out more great improvements to the Public Radio Tuner.
The Public Radio Tuner, a free application for the iPhone featuring hundreds of public radio streams, will be the subject of the next Integrated Media Association Webinar on Thursday, January 8, at 3 pm EST. The webinar will outline the features of the Public Radio Tuner and the unique collaboration behind its development. Public Radio Exchange (PRX) coordinated the efforts of American Public Media (APM), National Public Radio (NPR), and Public Radio international (PRI) to build upon the original Tuner offered by APM. The Public Radio Tuner is a pilot project, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which was designed to encourage communication and knowledge sharing among the collaborators in order to harness the collective expertise, talents, and resources of the public radio system. The first milestone of the project has been delivered and Matt MacDonald, PRX’s Technical Projects Director, will provide a deep dive into the project details and answer your questions.
The Public Radio Tuner iPhone App Project is a collaborative effort lead by the Public Radio Exchange (PRX) in partnership with National Public Radio (NPR), Public Interactive (PI), American Public Media (APM), and Public Radio International (PRI), with participation from Doc Searls and Project VRM at Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, additional stations and producers, and in coordination with Apple’s U.S. Education division. The goal is to create the Public Radio Tuner – an application for the iPhone platform using Apple’s recently released software development kit (SDK) and iTunes App Store distribution service. The application will serve end users by initially offering access to local stations’ internet radio streams. Additional versions will offer program/content guides along with a catalog of on-demand audio content from local, independent, and national content providers. Future functionality will enable direct listener contributions to stations and content providers. The project will establish a coordinated approach to the iPhone as a powerful platform for public media, setting standards and shared resources for further application development.