Pilot at NPO: the Audio To Go app

Netflix, Spotify and Dutch personalised news apps such as Blendle and Topics all fulfill the need of delivering relevant content in the quickest way possible. Within the MARCONI project, the question was raised: how could we achieve this with audio content?

A personalised playlist based on your interests and available time

NPO developed a pilot app for iOS where users can create a personalised playlist based on their available time and preferred subjects, such as sports, arts and politics. This pilot focused on the news station NPO Radio 1. Their service is targeted at commuters, that have a too busy morning schedule to read the latest news but do spend a lot of time in the car - an environment ideally suited for listening.

With the Audio to Go App from NPO, a listener can decide when they want to hear content based on their selected interests. The app would then filter the content created in the radio production tool of NPO Radio 1, which consists of segmented items from radio shows, tagged by keywords such as ‘science’ or ‘politics’. The resulting personalised playlist would update twice a day and always starts with the latest news bulletin.

The beta app

The beta app

Create your own playlist

Create your own playlist

My personal playlist

My personal playlist

The pilot: setup and results

NPO recruited about 200 listeners that installed the beta app on their device and tested it for a period of 6 weeks.

Based on three different surveys and a statistical analysis of the app usage, we were able to draw conclusions and recommendations for further development.

The main outcomes:       

  • There is enough content to keep the app relevant for users

  • It is also important to focus on ‘catching up’ content, aside from the ‘to go’ content, as people use the app at night or during lunchtime to find out what they missed that day

  • Popular subjects were: Domestic news, Politics, Opinion, Culture and Media

  • The popular times to listen are drivetime (morning and afternoon), lunchtime and late in the evening

  • The metadata entered by the radio editors is not suitable for the app (titles are too long, etc.)

  • Users like the interface and the fact that your playlist starts with the latest news bulletin

  • People would like to combine this app with the regular NPO Radio 1 app, so that they can combine it with listening to live radio and podcasts

  • The app should remember where you stopped listening, so that you can resume later on

The next step for Audio To Go

The next step is that NPO starts working on creating a personalised experience within the Radio 1 app for its segments and podcasts. Radio teams need to upgrade the quality of metadata for the segments they produce, such as creating better titles and tags, and need to be aware that they are creating on-demand content while producing. In addition, the production tools and studio environment have to be adjusted to stimulate and help radio producers to create more on-demand content.

Interested in hearing more about the Audio to Go App? Contact us via contact@projectmarconi.eu!