KCRW, Now with Even More User-friendliness

Categories: radio

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Extraordinarily popular Santa Monica-based radio station KCRW 89.9 FM is introducing a new cutting-edge media player that, its publicist claims, “will empower online listeners to make KCRW their own.” (Does that mean we have to make the coffee, too?)

KCRW’s Director of New Media, Anil Dewan, explains that “The player allows [listeners] to access playlists, subscribe to podcasts, embed content on blogs, buy a CD from an artist or a book of the author being interviewed, and share links to their favorite programs with friends.” Rumors that, for a nominal fee, a KCRW intern will come to your home and alphabetize your CDs and LPs have not been confirmed. Yet.

But, seriously, this upgrade looks like it will be very beneficial. You can preview the media player here.

View the complete press release after the jump.

KCRW.com Launches State of the Art Media Player for Growing Listenership Worldwide

Groundbreaking new digital features empower online listeners to make KCRW their own.

Public radio station 89.9 FM KCRW-Santa Monica/KCRW.com is at the forefront of radio’s digital revolution and has taken a giant step by launching a custom-built media player created specifically to give their loyal listeners – and future fans – more of what they want.

"There isn't another media player that offers listeners all these features in one place,” said Anil Dewan, KCRW’s Director of New Media. “The player allows them to access playlists, subscribe to podcasts, embed content on blogs, buy a CD from an artist or a book of the author being interviewed, and share links to their favorite programs with friends.”

"The goal was to create a player that offers listeners the ability to listen to our streams or watch video while also encouraging them to explore -- and bookmark -- the station's deep on-demand archive," said Dewan.

Listeners think of the Santa Monica-based public radio station as their own and the new media player will put the power in their hands and personalize their listening experience. The station is opening up the doors to their archives in a way they never have before, allowing users to create their own “Channel” – a Tivo-like function that will enable them to bookmark shows, performances and interviews to listen to at their convenience. Their bookmarks will pop up on the player without any login necessary. They will also be able to easily share links to performances with friends or embed them into a blog – all with a click of a button from the media player. The station is actively encouraging blogs to embed its content on their sites, foster discussion -- especially around its news and talk programming -- and share it with a wider audience.

“The extraordinary diversity and variety of programming offered on KCRW makes it a unique webcasting operation as well as a broadcast station. Our archives go back more than ten years and our audience extends around the world thanks to podcasts, on-demand features and streaming capabilities,” said KCRW General Manager Ruth Seymour.

“While KCRW is seen as a cutting edge music station, it also enjoys a significant reputation as a producer of important public and cultural affairs programs. The media player will offer listeners the adventure of KCRW as a place of discovery.”

KCRW currently hosts three separate streams (an on air simulcast; a 24/7 online music channel; and an all news channel) and more podcasts than any other public radio station, including free audio/video podcasts of band performances on Morning Becomes Eclectic, Left Right and Center, and Harry Shearer’s Le Show. The online upgrades are made possible in part by a generous grant from the Annenberg Foundation to develop business models to sustain the station’s webcasting activities and to further its innovative online music service.

Digitaria, Inc. (www.digitaria.com ), a full-service digital marketing and technology firm, designed and developed KCRW's new media player. Additional delivery and media management support is provided by Castfire, AndoMedia, Sample Digital and Limelight Networks.

Remember this is a pre-release beta so it is a little buggy, but we're so close and working through these final issues now.


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