Personalised radio service Rivet Radio adds podcasts, traffic news

By James Cridland for
Posted 22 October 2015, 2.00am edt

In June, I reviewed Rivet Radio. The app was impressive, playing pieces of news and other content that you might be interested in: radio with a skip button, timely alerts and a wide range of content.

Rivet have been busy. Over the past month, they have released v3 of their app, which includes a set of UX upgrades including swiping and better search. Their app upgrade also added, for certain US cities, automated travel reports. "TruTraffic", as I understand it, uses your GPS co-ordinates and the direction of travel to return relevant traffic, within the audio, as you listen.

Today, Rivet add over two hundred podcasts (from NPR, APM and similar services), and adds those into the content mix; and for the first time they've added a "follow" button to further personalise the experience.

Radio on a connected device deserves to be more than just a live stream; but a personalised, malleable and interactive service. NPR One has shown that algorithms can produce engaging radio; and Rivet's service is rapidly heading towards being best in breed.

On a UX note - each category of audio has a slightly different colour which is used as the main colour within the app window, and helps you quickly identify whether the piece of audio playing is, for example, technology (a warm green) or science (a colder teal). The Rivet logo itself follows this colour, in a nice piece of branding.

Rivet, and other apps like it, gives radio stations everywhere an understanding of possibilities when you merge radio with a connected device - the most interactive thing we own. Trying these services out gives you a good view on where the future might be.

Press releases

Rivet Radio Adds Podcasts, Launches New ‘Follow’ Feature to Provide A More Personalized Listening Experience

Listening experience now includes news, podcasts and current traffic and weather updates

CHICAGO, IL – October 22, 2015 – Rivet Radio, the smart audio platform, brings greater personalization to audio listening with today’s launch of a ‘Follow’ feature in its iOS mobile app. Users now have the ability to follow specific topics, shows, hosts or producers from Rivet’s feed of robust audio content. Listeners can easily stay informed about what matters to them most by curating their own personal channel of ‘followed’ content.

The launch of the feature complements Rivet’s expansion of its spoken word programming by giving listeners access to hundreds of the most popular podcasts, such as Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me, This American Life, 99% Invisible, TED Radio Hour, Freakonomics Radio, and Radio Lab.

“The new Follow feature, coupled with our addition of premiere podcasts, creates an even richer and more tailored listening experience for all users,” said Judy MacLeod, VP of Podcasts at Rivet Radio. “We recognize the remarkable demand for a thriving form of audio storytelling like podcasts, and are working to bring 200 leading podcasts to our listeners by the end of this month.”

Rivet Radio creates bespoke playlists for each user based on their unique preferences and listening habits, and aims to become a one-stop-shop for all spoken-word programming. Listeners can hear trending national and world news, enjoy a fresh mix of podcasts and receive current traffic and weather reports from the Rivet Radio app.

CHICAGO, IL - September 23, 2015 – Rivet Radio, the smart audio platform, today announced a complete update to its signature mobile app on both iOS and Android. Considered the “Pandora for News Radio,” Rivet Radio reimagines the digital audio experience with personalized playlists full of top news, features and podcasts.

Redesigned from ground up, Rivet 3.0 has a simple and elegant interface that is remarkably clutter-free and easy to use. The new Rivet app enables listeners to discover, curate and binge-play relevant audio content.

“We’ve learned a lot from our users and their listening habits in version 2.0,” VP, Engineering & Operations, Vivek Sundararaman, said. “With a clean design and focused ease of use, the new Rivet app customizes playlist around user preferences and location to help users discover and listen to the latest news, information and hyper-local content.”

The new Rivet Radio apps are available on iPhone, Android, and Amazon devices.

Key features:

  • Easily accessible playlist settings for increased personalization
  • Larger story displays for user on-the-go
  • Swiping to skip or repeat stories
  • Simple search and booking marking
  • Enhanced queue discovery

Rivet Radio’s award-winning content is hand-crafted and selected to bring a variety to listeners and change the way we experience audio. Rivet continues to deliver smart audio in innovative ways, having recently launched real-time, geo-targeted audio traffic reports in select U.S cities.

Rivet Radio both creates award-winning stories in their newsroom and works with an ever-growing list of media partners including The Associated Press, American Public Media, PRI, CustomWeather and Crain’s Business.

Rivet Radio has been featured on The Next Web, VentureBeat, TechCrunch and more for its simple solutions for reimagining radio. This new update is just one of Rivet’s ongoing efforts to bring smart audio wherever it can be heard – in the car, at home or on-the-go.

Chicago, IL - September 23, 2015 – Rivet Radio, the smart audio platform, today announces its partnership with independent broadcast solutions provider, Radiate Media, to deliver listeners on-demand audio traffic reports based on the driver’s location. Traffic reports will be integrated into the listener’s playlist interspersed with Rivet’s award-winning programming and podcasts.

“Drivers can now enjoy Rivet Radio’s bite-sized audio news and feature stories, while staying updated on the latest traffic conditions, without ever having to take their eyes off the road,” said John MacLeod, Rivet Radio CEO. “We’re thrilled to work with Radiate Media to empower today’s drivers and play a part in creating a safer, more informed and pleasant journey.”

The TruTraffic geo-targeted audio reports provide listeners with comprehensive and up to the minute traffic data including real-time speeds, travel time, road incidents and available public transport. As part of its initial Beta launch, the feature is currently available in select U.S. cities including Chicago, Seattle, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Atlanta and Philadelphia, with new cities being rolled out each quarter.

Together, Rivet Radio and Radiate Media are collaborating to define a new product standard and format for the universal delivery of content across diverse channels. Rivet Radio is available as an app for iOS and Android devices, and also available within select vehicles through partnerships with leading automotive companies including Bosch Automotive Technologies, Jaguar Land Rover and OpenCar.

"We are excited to be working closely with Rivet to drive innovation around our new traffic audio platform," Said Chris Rothey, Radiate Media CEO. “Short-form audio content has a bright future ahead and Rivet gets the importance of personalized and contextual audio experiences and has built a product that truly delights users. News, traffic and weather have always been a powerful combo in the radio space, and now by partnering with Rivet we can provide on-demand traffic reports to people anywhere and anytime. In addition to our best-of-breed traffic content we have the ability to monetize our services through branded audio ads by leveraging our nationally recognized advertising salesforce. We look forward to extending our ad sales capabilities to Rivet’s publisher network.”

Radiate Media joins a growing list of Rivet’s current premiere partnerships with media powerhouses including The Associated Press, American Public Media, and Crain’s Business.

James Cridland — James runs, and is a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. He also publishes a free daily newsletter about podcasting, Podnews, and a weekly radio trends newsletter.

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