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TuneIn Takes Voice-First Approach in Building Audience Engagement

The internet radio provider is betting on compelling speech tech to fuel the next generation of entertainment

Natural selection has directed our ears' biological evolution to be highly discerning of the human voice. Our ears can cut through a noisy environment and zero in on human speech. A byproduct of that is that we also feel compelled to interact with the human speech we hear.. That's something the radio industry understood long ago, and the folks at Tunein feel the time is right to take conversational audio to the next level.

TuneIn CEO Richard Stern will join us at VOICE Global 2021 on June 16 to share insights into the company’s  mission, philosophy, and future. And how these three points are all tied to interactive audio.

If you’re not familiar, TuneIn is a new kind of internet radio that combines news, sports, music, and podcasts. With Tunein, you can stream CNN, Fox News Radio, and MSNBC live from any connected device. TuneIn listeners - and there are 80 million of them so far - also get access to over 100 000 AM/FM radio stations. TuneIn may well have killed the radio star…


Radio 2.0 is voice-enabled 

The current pandemic and the lockdown culture that followed increased people's appetite for authentic conversation. And conversational audio is just what Tunein delivers: news, sports talk, political commentary, and podcasts. All accessible from a single voice-enabled app/website.

TuneIn is about 30% music and 70% conversational audio. It’s accessible on over 200 different connected devices, using either the TuneIn app or by visiting its website through your device's web browser. TuneIn's app/website-based model creates a new "always-on" infrastructure for conversational audio, effectively supplanting traditional radio. This new infrastructure enables unique ways to distribute content and engage listeners through interactions with vocal assistants, giving you access to conversational audio through voice interactions. We can even see TuneIn’s tech overtaking traditional radios in motor vehicles - as has already happened with some Tesla models.


Better insights, better experience

Being an internet-based service provider, TuneIn can also leverage content analytics, which provide context to what the user is listening to. This enables the platform to serve less intrusive and more relevant ads to each user, based on their individual preferences rather than broad data points. It also provides clear insights into how the product is used, which makes for a better product. But Tunein’s monetization strategy doesn’t hinge on ads only. The company  hopes to make a compelling case for its users to migrate from the free tier to a paid monthly subscription by offering an ad-free experience with better audio quality.

Voice tech is still an emerging field with lots of room to grow, and there's so much more to learn and experiment with, but its future is bright. As TuneIn CEO Richard Stern states, "The thing with conversational audio is that you want to interact with it, you want to join the conversation. And voice technology provides us with a tremendous capability in that regard. So much listening is happening on connected devices with voice assistant capabilities. I think there's lots of room to explore and innovate together using voice technology. That fundamental human instinct of wanting to interact creates a lot of opportunities and should propel our thinking looking forward."

Watch TuneIn CEO Richard Stern live, June 16, during VOICE Global. Check the speaker lineup and join us for this and other engaging speakers across a variety of industries. 

VOICE Global, Global