It’s a little different, but TuneIn radio wants to give fans the opportunity to turn on, tune in, and not drop out of touch with their favorite team. The TuneIn radio app lets users listen to linear radio broadcasts and podcasts. The company also has a premium option that allows fans to stream out of market games to their phone, smart speaker, or car. In an age of connectivity, TuneIn is focusing on fans that want to stay in touch, but can’t because of arcane media rights limits.
For example, a fan in Los Angeles wouldn’t be able to listen to the Celtics game on radio streaming even in the native app of the local rights holder. TuneIn allows fans to do just that. Don’t like a certain announcing team, stream the game via TuneIn. Fans can also stream the game if they are traveling. In fact, even if they miss the game, TuneIn will have access to play by play if a fan can avoid finding out the score.
“All four major league deals were done in a seven month span,” said Kevin Straley, chief content officer of TuneIn. “This a bit of a perfect storm.” Straley also commented that as fans started to use their phones as radios, it was a perfect time for the leagues and a partner to make sure they could provide access to their fans no matter where they were located. As long as someone is connected to the internet, they can access TuneIn content.
That is a big deal as more and more people move to connected devices. “We see people connected to Amazon Echo, Google Home is coming out, smart cars are connected constantly. People can listen on their device, on their Sonos, it’s a way to stay connected,” explained Straley. This type of connection allows people to hear the voices of the teams they are used to. That Celtics fan in Los Angeles can listen to Sean Grande at 4 p.m. PT on their commute home. They can connect to their house speakers while making dinner.
The NBA has been making a push for more technology. TuneIn also has deals with MLB, the NFL and NHL. That means teams can also create additive content. There will be team 24/7 channels. NBA TV talking heads content can easily be transitioned to a podcast. The NFL actually has 23 of its 32 teams activating their own content on TuneIn.
TuneIn is in a great spot to take advantage of all the internet and media connection going on in the home. It’s not much of a change because users are familiar with consuming content via streaming digital options. The fact they could land all the major leagues this early as the Echo and Google Home will be huge purchases during the holiday season should help subscriber growth.