I want to believe that the iHeartRadio page on Facebook streams unlimited amounts of live music video, and perhaps that’s how this application succeeds: The YouTube link on Facebook/iHeartRadio whets the appetite for live Internet radio, and motivates you to click on the links for downloads to handheld devices.
IHeartRadio asks you for your email address to send you a download address for applications that deliver the live radio streams to your iPhone, Android or BlackBerry device. So, no, there isn’t a live feed on Facebook yet. The page on the social network is just a tease, a place where people can “like” the website.
“We are doing very well on our Facebook page and add over 1,000 new fans a week — this is without any advertising, budget, apps or anything,” said a spokesperson for iHeart radio, Vanessa Wojtusiak, via email. “At this time, fans can embed their favorite station’s widget to their Facebook profile to listen. We used to create Facebook apps that would allow for this in the left rail of a user’s profile but have since moved away from it (since studies have shown that most activity happens and is shared on the wall).”
So far, about 10 million people have downloaded iHeartRadio from its website, which includes a link to Facebook that doesn’t yet involve the Connect log-in dialogue.
Here’s how the company describes itself:
Your phone is now a radio! Stream America’s favorite radio stations to your device for free! More than 750 of America’s favorite local radio stations, celebrity-hosted channels from Christina Aguilera, Eagles and Weezer, local traffic reports and exclusive videos as well as commercial-free premium content from America’s favorite talkers: Sean Hannity, Dr. Laura, Jim Rome and Bob & Tom.
Free to download and free to use. There are no additional charges to listen to your favorite local radio stations beyond your mobile carrier or wifi provider’s standard data rates. Premium content from Hannity, Dr. Laura, Bob & Tom, Jim Rome are subject to a subscription fee.
The current ability to embed one live station on a Facebook page is cool, but putting 750 stations onto one’s profile would be exponentially cooler. However, I hope that it would be accompanied by a centralized setting asking users whether they want to be prompted before hearing any audio on others’ profiles. The lack of such an option on MySpace was just one of the things that made the site so annoying that I killed my profile there. People’s tastes in music are more varied than ever, and I believe that Facebook’s sociologically savvy programmers will get that.