Online music streaming site Dhingana has introduced a new curated radio stations functionality on its portal.
The company claims that these radio stations will be curated by its in-house music experts and the service will initially offer 16 radio stations across various music categories, genres and themes like time of day, weekend specials, meditation, and specific Bollywood star oriented stations.
Speaking to Medianama, Dhingana CEO Rohit Bhatia told that the service will be initially rolled out to its web app in the next few days, followed by a wider rollout to other remaining platforms next month. Dhingana currently offers a web app, a mobile web app and native apps for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian and Windows 8.
Bhatia claimed that these radio stations will be constantly updated with new content and it will display movie and artist information while the songs are being played on the service. One can also add the current song playing on a radio station to their playlist, thereby improving discoverability of new music tracks or archival music tracks the user might have forgotten over the years.
Besides this, one can like, favorite, comment or share these stations with their friends on Facebook and Twitter and it will also feature Open Graph integration to Facebook, which was introduced by the company in May 2012. Going forward, they also plans to introduce new radio stations across other music categories and genres.
Note that Dhingana already offers genre and theme based curated playlists on the web and across all its apps but Bhatia said that these are typically curated by Dhingana users while the radio station playlists will be curated by Dhingana chosen music experts like Radio Jockeys among others.
We feel this can eventually turn out to be an interesting monetization opportunity for the company, if it allows advertisers to create branded playlists on the portal. Dhingana’s competitor Saavn* also seems to working on a similar initiative and offers branded playlists for Vodafone, Rajshri, Smirnoff and Lava Mobiles at the time of writing this article.
Moving from Algorithmic approach to Manual in mobile apps: Dhingana offered a similar radio functionality on its mobile apps, which allowed one to switch on the radio mode within the app and the app would continuously play songs similar to the current song the user is listening to. However, in our experience, it had rarely played a similar song to the current song we were listening to.
Bhatia mentioned that previously they had opted for an automated algorithmic approach in this radio functionality, however they have now shifted to a more manual approach with the launch of the new radio functionality.
Radio Jockey Based Programming: Bhatia also said that they will be experimenting with regular radio jockey-based programming on a few of these radio stations shortly and later extend it to other radio stations depending upon the response from their users.
While online streaming sites like Dhingana, Saavn and Gaana* have typically been a pure music service till now, we feel this might be an interesting approach, since it will essentially turn the service to a regular radio service and could possibly open up revenue opportunities like voice ads, and sponsored content among others. However, its also possible that this move might alienate Dhingana users who had opted for this service rather than a traditional radio service.
*Disclosure: Saavn and Times Internet which operates Gaana.com are advertisers with Medianama