In case you’ve been hibernating for the last years, let me put you up-to-speed : Clear Channel, #1 radio operator in the US, opened an online service a few years ago [iHeart] and some mobile platform players [Apple Appstore], which allow US listeners to enjoy all the group’s stations (more than 850 brands, including Z100 and KIIS LA) and to customise their “own radio”, with the help of a 11+m songs catalog.This was already a very cool “step 1”.
But what Clear Channel is starting now is one more step in a deeper integration of radio contents into the whole digital universe. Clear Channel has just decided to open int platform to the outside worls, by providing an API to developers.
An API [Wikipedia], is what allows a system to connect to another system, to exchange data.
It will be now possible for every non-radio brand to integrate the Clear Channel radios (FM radios and digital-only iHeart feeds) in their digital offer (website, hardware).First example ? Xbox 360 + Kinect + iHeartRadio !
iHeartRadio is now available for free to Xbox LIVE Gold members. Gold members who have Kinect for Xbox 360 can use the product’s revolutionary sensor to experience an entertainment first: the ability to control digital radio in their living room using their voice and body !
There will be only one limit to the possibilities offered by this API : developers’ imagination !
By making iHeartRadio’s API available, we’re empowering developers to bring the full strength of iHeartRadio to life in their own creative ways. Opening our API will unlock exciting opportunities to enrich the unique, combined live and custom radio experience that only iHeartRadio provides. This move also builds on our commitment to be everywhere our listeners expect us to be, with the best products and services.Brian Lakamp, President of Clear Channel Digital
While, somewhere in some European markets, consultants still need to convince radio operators that “going online is quite important” :-), Clear Channels paves the way, a tremendously open way. This moves proves that Clear Channel has perfectly understood that the mission of a “radio” group was to create contents and deliver them to the widest audience as possible, using every possible medium.
Which, by the way, is the ethymology of “broad-cast” ;)