SoundHound and Westwood One have partnered to create SoundHound for Radio, a mobile platform that connects SoundHound users to radio stations when people use SoundHound to identify a song playing on the radio.
Here’s how it works. When a user “SoundHounds” a radio station, the result is a station-branded screen that might contain exclusive content, coupons, contests, etc.. All of it is interactive, making the experience a living extension of the station’s online presence.
“We have enabled radio to be clickable.” –Katie McMahon, VP and GM, SoundHound.
RAIN News spoke with SoundHound GM Katie McMahon, who told us that a radio station’s broadcast can be “SoundHounded” at any time, not only during a song which would be the traditional use of the music-identification app. So, for example, if user heard a contest or coupon opportunity in progress, a tap in SoundHound would bring that opportunity up on-screen, within the SoundHound app.
“Listeners used to scramble to get a pencil and paper when they heard an opportunity on the radio,” Mcmahon said. “They hoped that the DJ would repeat a phone number, or concert information. We have enabled radio to be clickable.
SoundHound claims 100-million users, a substantial population. Radio stations might participate in this platform much as they have Facebook pages — you go where the audience already is, sometimes an easier way to gain followers than trying to bring visitors to a stand-alone website. It’s a clever offering from SoundHound and Westwood One, and makes tactical sense for stations.
“It’s a win-win-win,” McMahon told us. “It’s a win for the station, a win for the advertisers, and a win for end users.”
This unique platform clearly differentiates SoundHound from its main competitor Shazam, which is an important point during a long-running thrust-and-parry competitive battle that has seen the two apps introduce similar features. SoundHound is marketing the new platform as a revolution: “SoundHound users have always engaged with radio, and now with the SoundHound for Radio platform, we have made it possible for stations to keep the connection they have built with listeners. We view the ability to identify broadcast as transformative to an entire industry because we have, in essence, made ‘radio clickable’,” said McMahon.
While an interesting feature for users, and a good business advance for SoundHound, advertisers represent a third link in the value chain. “SoundHound for Radio is an incredible platform for advertisers, allowing them to reach consumers at the tap of a smartphone,” said Millie Mrvica, Westwood One’s General Manager, Interactive. “While extending the station’s brand, it also extends branding awareness for advertisers and marketers who want to connect with those listeners through the mobile platform.”