As much as developers want it, certain things simply cannot be implemented by modifying the code. One can hardly count the amount of attempts to create perfect online radio powered by a robot, and yet we come back to the idea that nothing can please listeners as well as curated content. The reason is obvious. Music is about emotions in the first place, and this is where even the smartest algorithms permanently drop the ball.
Keeping up with the trend, let us review the key reasons why curated online radio content is the future.
Context is the king
Have you ever wondered why human-created playlists are so much better than recommendations from streaming services, like Spotify and iTunes Radio? Just think about it: people behind the fist three services know nothing about you, have no access to your music library or “favorite” artists. What makes them better than robots is a deep understanding of music context. There is a reason why “The New Radicals” groove goes right after “Sovereign Light Cafe”, followed by “Bittersweet Symphony” on a Saturday morning. Even though you may not have heard these names before, they are carefully picked up to create the right mood at the right moment.
What makes people better than robots is a deep understanding of music context.
Music has no boundaries
Speaking of the context, we cannot slip over the feeling familiar to every melomaniac – craving for music discoveries. That said, one way or another algorithms limit the adventure in the endless music ocean, making you float between your own preference settings. Even the co-founder of Audio Press, Justin Fowler admits: there is no way you can rely upon iTunes Radio to find new songs. At the same time, human-curated podcasts allow us to share someone else’s music taste.
Listeners stay with curated stations twice longer
Spotify and Pandora have proved their usefulness for a party or special occasion due to the ready-to-play track lists. However, the great majority of listeners chooses curated radio stations for their routine background and stay tuned for up to 4 hours daily.
According to the Radio Advertising Bureau recent research, 75% of listeners confirm that curated stations are a great way to discover new music, while 59% of the respondents combine AM/FM with online radio for the best experience.
75% of weekly online radio listeners are ok with ads
Podcast is the new sweet spot
Today people want to have a choice on what to listen, where and when – no wonder it is fairly called “a golden age of podcasts“. With the busy schedule and hours spent in the car or public transport, online radio has become an alternative to switching TV channels.
Given the above, Spotify recent update makes perfect sense being based on contextual playback and podcasting. With numerous content partners the company has high chances to become the only app to visit for any audio consuming among the loyal listeners.
As experience shows, we are talking about two-way communication, so as long as the service stays “human” and keeps up with the context – a listener will be staying with the service as well.
What about your preferences? Do you rely on people behind the microphone or stick to your “favorite artists”? Or are you a fan of podcasts?