This week I spoke with Tom Brophy, Founder and CEO of Raditaz, a mobile and web-based radio service with a particularly interesting location-based aspect. Raditaz offers the option of creating your own station and listening to stations created by others along with some preprogrammed options.
Given that streaming music and the radio metaphor have been explored quite a bit, I found the location elements of special interest. Though, in all honesty, I have not been particularly drawn to location-based check-in systems and the like.
Raditaz emerged from a prior experiment with a playlist-based service. Finding that interest was not strong enough to continue that service, Tom Brophy and associates decided to pivot towards streaming music. After a period of development they made the service public late last year and officially announced it last month.
Raditaz is DMCA-compliant which means that radio stations created by users are not interactive and are somewhat limited. Currently the primary mode of station creation involves entering the name of a single artist. Raditaz then provides a stream of music featuring songs that are identified by a third party service as likely to be of interest to fans of the specified artist. In a few weeks, the creation process will be refined to allow for a choice of multiple artists, including artists from different genres of music, as part of ongoing development.
Additional listening options include programmed stations based on such formats as genres, decades and top hits by year. Given that the decades go back to the 20s, the options feel a bit richer than the generic labels imply. One can listen to stations on the web or via mobile devices.
EXPLORE Location-Specific User-Created Stations
[5 Point Icons Indicate Multiple Stations]
Stations created via mobile devices include location-specific information based on GPS technology. Though one can remain anonymous, the most interesting discovery element of the site is an option called "EXPLORE" that allows one to find stations via a Google-powered map. Listeners can change the location of stations if they wish to associate them with a different place.
Other discovery options include trending stations and a tagging system that offers some suggestions but is also open to whatever tag you wish to enter. Even a quick glance at the tags reveals that station creators are often tagging based on a specific location such as "moes_place" or "hay_home." So, even given the limits on music choice when creating stations, listeners are finding ways to personalize them via locations and tags.
The service is free and mobile access is currently provided via free apps for both iOS and Android powered devices. Currently there are no ads though long-term monetization is expected to occur via such ad possibilities as display ads, audio and video ads. However, Brophy feels that 2 minutes per hour of ads inserted in the audio stream will be adequate to properly monetize Raditaz and that sounds pretty good to me.
Brophy revealed that they are not planning on focusing on location-based stations alone but that listeners have been especially drawn to that option. Given that relating music content to location has a lot of possibilities, for example creating stations featuring music that was popular when you lived in a particular location, that aspect of Raditaz seems to be its most powerful differentiating feature.
Plus, given that shared listening is also growing in popularity, the personalized aspects of the stations might lend themselves to featuring that potential.
Note: I've been listening to music from the 1920s featuring Roaring '20s Jazz as I write this post and it's a refreshing change from my usual web diet of 21st Century singles.
Hypebot Features Writer Clyde Smith maintains his freelance writing hub at Flux Research and music industry resources at Music Biz Blogs. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.