Radio group starts Radio League listening app — not a radio stream

radio league app 250wThe Journal Broadcast Group has launched a streaming music app that hopes to attract an audience seeking music with fewer commercials. Accordingly, the app, called Radio League, does not present digital streams of Journal’s radio stations. Instead, it is more like a miniature online music service, offering curated streams in seven categories.

We asked Michael J. Gay, VP of Interactive Media, who joined Journal Broadcasting in 2012, about his motivation for launching the app. He seemed to embrace the reasons often cited by listeners who adopt online music services: “The goal is entertainment selection for the audience. As music lovers, we have felt that the options for local music were limited. We wanted to provide more choices, with more music and fewer commercial interruptions. The digital audience expects that.”

We downloaded the Android app, and immediately noticed the lack of crossover branding, with the exception of the Variety station which is “powered by 94.5, the Lake” — the Journal’s flagship Milwaukee station. Sporting a Justice League of America-style design ethic, with heroic shields for the stations, Radio League is a pureplay online music app. The user experience is simple, with limited interactivity. There is a play button and a pause button … and that’s all. As such, the app emulates the simplicity of radio.

“We are producing some of the stations internally,” Michael Gay told us, “and also have top-notch radio programmers around the country who are involved in this project. Today we’re announcing that Summerfest is joining Radio League. Summerfest is one of the largest outdoor music festivals in the country. It happens here in Milwaukee, and having them in Radio League is very exciting for us.”

We asked Gay about the app’s business goal, and he de-emphasized revenue potential in the short term. “Right now our goal is awareness, and getting the audience excited about it. We’ll be exploring ways to track revenue from this effort, that supports the desire to have more music and fewer interruptions.”

Brad Hill