Every time RAIN (the Radio and Internet Newsletter) announces semi-finalists in its upcoming Internet radio awards, I learn about some interesting new online radio service. The latest is Zeno Radio, one of four semi-finalists in RAIN’s “Best Overall Digital Strategy” category. ZenoRadio lets North Americans hook up to radio and audio from anywhere via their mobile phone line.
How does Zeno Radio work? A radio station in, say, Ethiopia sends ZenoRadio its stream via a URL and Zeno assigns a dedicated phone line to the operation. Ethiopian expats in the United States can then listen as long as they have an unlimited mobile voice plan. According to Salon Ethiopia, ZenoRadio has worked with radio stations in 30 countries to build a user network of 500,000 listeners.
In January, ZenoRadio signed up Pio Deportes, the Dominican Republic’s biggest sports station, as a client. The service also has its own immigrant oriented radio network, immigrationnation.us. All this reconfirms my impression that immigrants are Internet radio’s vanguard market.
Other semi-finalists in this category: ESPN Radio, iHeartRadio, and Tunein. The finalists will be announced next week, and the winners disclosed at the RAIN Summit in Orlando, scheduled for September 17.
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