Big broadcast radio groups are hurrying to keep pace with new digital platforms and media consumption patterns. In the latest move, CBS Radio has introduced an iPhone app for Radio.com, which allows users to stream over 200 music, news, sports and talk radio stations, as well as custom channels and pure-play Internet music channels associated with CBS Radio, including AOL Radio and Yahoo Music.
CBS Radio has also tweaked the independent iPhone apps for AOL Radio and Yahoo Music.
The new iPhone app includes features like background streaming; users can also tag stations and songs as "favorites" for subsequent visits and purchases at Apple's iTunes store. Users can also share and rate content and stations via email, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking utilities.
On the advertising side, the Radio.com app offers new formats, positioning and sponsorship opportunities on CBS Radio station channels, AOL Radio and Yahoo Music. These include full-screen ads and banners adjacent to the app's "Now Playing" display, with messages tailored by station, genre or location.
Overall, CBS Radio's various apps, developed by the CBS Interactive Music Group, have been downloaded over 17 million times, according to the company. The new iPhone app for Radio.com appears to be adapted from the iPad app recently introduced by CBS Radio.
Apple has sold over 50 million iPhones since the device went on sale three years ago, with some analysts predicting further sales of over 20 million units in the U.S. alone in 2011.
In addition, Apple sold about 7.5 million iPads in the second and third quarters of 2010, following the device's debut in April of this year. iSuppli is forecasting total iPad sales of 12.9 million by the end of the year, with another 28 million units sold in 2011.