Have you Heard of TuneIn?

You probably haven’t. But you likely know a radio station they broadcast. One of my favorite stations I listen to each day happens to be one of theirs. I think. Because there’s a little message they play when returning from a commercial break a that says “a TuneIn radio station” and I never knew what it was talking about until today.

TuneIn is aiming to compete directly with SiriusXM. They currently offer free listening of over 100,000 stations, but now they’re offering a paid tier. Which is nice, but I wouldn’t care about it if it didn’t have something to do with books. And it does. They’ve reached agreements with several Big 5 publishers to include some 40,000 audiobooks at launch with their paid service.

I’m not sure exactly how it’d work, but I guess there would be a few different stations that simply play audiobooks instead of music or talk shows on the radio? Maybe they’ll be separated by genre? I’m not sure. And I’m not sure I even like the idea.

We already have Audible, right? I think they’re currently the biggest player in audiobooks. They offer their audiobook library for a fee each month, but you can obviously decide on your own which books you listen to. And you can also always buy a single audiobook if you’re only interested in one. But audiobooks streamed through the radio seems a bit weird for me. I don’t think it’s the best use of the medium, and I’m not sure the company will see many new subscribers just for this part of the service. There’s also music and sports involved in their new deal.

What do you think of TuneIn offering audiobooks in their new paid tier? And how do you think it’ll work on the radio?


On this day in 2014 I published ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Blogger Edition. You can read the post, but the video is no longer online, so you’ll just have to believe that I did it.

 

21 thoughts on “Have you Heard of TuneIn?

  1. I haven’t heard of it but now that I have I’ll have to check and see if it’s here in Canada.
    I just checked and there are 36 stations just in my area :). I’ll have to do a little, or a lot, of research to see if it would be worth the cash but I can’t see myself doling out money for something I could get for free from the library or pay for the one book I want to listen to via iTunes or whatever.
    Frankly I can’t see myself getting a lot of use out of something like that. My commutes aren’t long enough to warrant listening to a book (It would take well over a week to listen to some of the books I read since it’s only a 10 minute commute each way) and I can’t see that there would be a guarantee that the same book would be read each time I started the car up so I could finish it.
    Nah, I think I’ll stick with what I know for now.
    Thanx for the info though.

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  2. Hmm… I don’t know how I feel about it. Since I don’t like audiobooks and won’t pay for radio, I guess it doesn’t make much difference to me. But not having the option of picking what you want to listen to? For music it’s different. The songs only last a few minutes. But a whole book? Will they post their selections somewhere so you can tune it at a certain time. I’d have to check that out before (hypothetically) subscribing.

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  3. From what I can gather, TuneIn is more like IHeartRadio than XM, because the format is more like a podcast than a streaming radio station. TuneIn seems to archive specific shows that you can listen to on demand.

    My Amazon Echo uses TuneIn whenever I ask for it to play specific NPR shows (like the latest episode of Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me). So I guess if I had a premium TuneIn subscription and was interested in audiobooks, I could ask my Echo to “Play The Da Vinci Code” or something and it would play the audiobook? That makes a lot more sense to me than random audiobook streaming that you have to catch at certain times. And if that’s how they’re going to do it, maybe that would be neat, but I probably wouldn’t pay for it. I prefer Audible, especially because Audible undoubtedly has a larger selection.

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