It was interesting to receive an email announcing the launch of a claimed first in terms of a mobile internet streaming radio station over the weekend. The announcement concerns When I’m Mobile (http://www.whenimmobile.com) teaming up with internet radio station Radio Paradise (http://www.radioparadise.com), albeit TMV do question the statement that it is a world first, what about the Pandora iPhone app?
Let’s drill down a little further into the actual launch and what the proposition offers the consumer. Radio Paradise founder Bill Goldsmith is on point when he states “you can’t expect people to navigate a site designed for a 19-inch computer monitor on a tiny Blackberry screen without getting very annoyed with someone – most likely the company whose site you are looking at”. What’s commendable is that the service automatically detects the device being used and optimizes the screen for that particular device.
The juicy bit? Whether it is an iPhone, Blackberry, Palm or any mobile web enabled device, the service just detects the device and provides the correct viewing experience. Going further, a When I’m Mobile optimized site “will load faster and present cleaner than a comparable non-mobile optimized site, and is fully integrated with the main computer site, reducing the need to duplicate content and maintenance”.
Users of the service can purchase music directly from Amazon within the service. According to Radio Paradise, the launch of the Radio Paradise mobile service has become the largest mobile portal to Amazon across any industry “with tens of thousands of click through purchase links” from users of the service. TMV are waiting for Amazon to provide full verification on this claim.
Upon further examination, Radio Paradise was established in 2000 and as of 2009 apparently has over 30,000 registered users on a global basis. Is this small in comparison to Pandora, Spotify et al? Of course, it is, but the fact is it opens up the closed walled garden of the iPhone and its app store and surely that alone has to be a positive thing?
Users of this new service are also able to comment on and rate songs, view the live playlist, and also get more detailed information on the music being played. From the backend capabilities, data interaction between the mobile and main site allows for the main site to be updated through a mobile device and vice versa.
Is this service a serious competitor to the current incumbents Pandora and Spotify? Probably not, but the user experience in TMV’s view is rather good for such a small company.