There’s a crackle in the digital radio waves, and it has nothing to do with Spotify or Pandora. Streaming radio service TuneIn just hit 70,000 stations, had a 267 percent year-on-year increase in listeners across 230 countries and territories, and penned deals with Fox, Bloomberg, and HOT 97 including a slew of other broadcasters, as well as partnerships with Ford and HTC. And its only funding round was secretive and raised $6 million in 2010 from Sequoia Capital.
The company’s biggest source of listeners is based in the US, but the streaming service is heard around the world including someone listening from within Vatican City, says TuneIn’s CEO John Donham.
Why is the 70,000 mark important? Donham explains “Every time we add a new station, we grow.” He thinks the radio experience should be “lean back”, not “lean forward” – you shouldn’t have to work for your radio station. It should be already properly curated without needing to find what you’re looking for. Just turn it on and take it in. They’ve grown their channel offerings 53 percent in the last year alone.
“It feels like just yesterday we hit 60,000,” says Donham. That was March.
Just in the last year, they’ve partnered with HTC and are now packaged into every one of the company’s phones sold, and they’re included in Ford’s Sync services, the digital offerings that connect up driver’s digital world.
With a rapid growth in channels, platforms, and listenership, it seems like something is brewing at a company that’s kept below the radar for the past couple years.