WILL FRADIO KILL THE RADIO STAR?

WILL FRADIO KILL THE RADIO STAR?

GUVERA is revolutionising the radio industry, putting the power of broadcast into the hands of everyday people with a smart phone.

The Gold Coast music streaming group has launched Fradio, an app that allows users to curate their own radio broadcasts using the music available on the Guvera service and followers can listen and interact with the broadcaster on air through live talk-back, messaging and track requests. 

Co-founder Claes Loberg (pictured below) says radio has always been an important part of sharing and experiencing music. However, he sees the traditional model as outdated and failing to meet the demand of today's users who want real-time interaction and personalisation.

"We are already interrupting the radio industry, so rather than having a handful of stations, you suddenly have thousands of potential stations," says Loberg.

"In a massive city you could have people broadcasting from your street. I can imagine the scenario where in a city like New York, somebody could be in the Village broadcasting and just talking about things that are relevant to that area.  People will start looking for niche or underground broadcasters.

"It is definitely the evolution of radio, the next generation that has been taken out of the studio and put into your hands."

The app works similarly to social media accounts including Twitter and Instagram where people create profiles and try to establish a following.

It also works on push notifications so fans are alerted when one of the broadcasters they follow are about to go live.

The app is expected to attract both wannabe DJs and well established artists and celebrities.

"Fradio creates a brand new way for massive artists to engage with fans and opens the door for this one-on-one communication and live dialogue," says Loberg. 

At the moment, all profiles and artists are public, however the option to make broadcasts private and only listenable by certain people is in the pipeline.

Guvera has been active in the US for the past six months, although it faces a fiercely competitive streaming industry with big names such as Spotify, Beats and Rdio.

In the past, Guvera has put effort in targeting "emerging markets" including India, China and the Philippines. Loberg says the launch of Fradio gives Guvera another entry point into the American market by offering a differentiated experience.

The app made its debut at the SXSW music festival in Austin last month where a number of artists including Steve Aoki were among the first to test it. The next rollout of Fradio is expected to be in India. 

Fradio comes on the back of Guvera's recent acquisition of British music streaming company Blinkbox from supermarket giant Tesco, and a partnership with multinational technology PC company Lenovo which sees the Guvera app pre-loaded on all smartphones.

Guvera now has more than 10 million users worldwide.

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