Streaming music on your phone uses a hefty amount of data. Recognising consumers aren’t thrilled with this, Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) and LG have partnered to launch the first phone with digital radio embedded in the device.
Spruiking the initiative as a “world-first”, Gino Casha, general manager of mobile communications at LG launched the phone in Sydney Wednesday afternoon, after it was officially announced at radio conference Radiodays Europe in Paris.
The new LG phone – LG Stylus DAB+ – comes with a DAB+ chip included which allows all radio stations, including 30 digital ones, to be broadcast to the phone. You have to plug in the headphones to make the sound work – they essentially become the broadcaster.
Joan Warner, CEO of CRA said those who have heard her harping on about it for years understand her excitement the day has finally come.
And she expressed her admiration at LG for having the foresight into coming on board.
“Smartphones and radio are perfect partners,” she said, showcasing how both are ubiquitous and penetrates everywhere.
Warner poo-pooed the assumption many have that streaming will overtake traditional radio as the main way of listening to radio. “Using streaming over a mobile network to reach a mass audience of hundreds of thousands of people all listening at the same time, to the same program in good quality, is not practical or technically possible,” she said.
“Especially when you have to take into account there are probably hundreds of thousands of other people using the same network for other things at the same time.”
It would require far too much bandwidth. “As DAB+ is broadcast one to many it is more efficient than one to one streaming.”
That’s not to say radio does not consider radio important, she stressed though.
“We believe we have a hybrid future where…still the main mode of delivery will be broadcast… supplemented or complemented by streaming or simulcast.”
Casha said the LG phone will be available from May 2 from most major retailers for $449.
A consumer marketing campaign will launch May 9.