TuneIn Creeps Up on Pandora, With 40M Active Listeners
The TuneIn app keeps a low profile, despite being a much-depended-on utility for people who want to listen to audio streams and podcasts on their phones, in their cars, on their TVs and other devices.
Sequoia had previously invested $6 million in TuneIn, and helped move it from Texas, where it was founded in 2002 under the name RadioTime. (For a more detailed look at the company, see this profile I wrote last last year.)
TuneIn does have all sorts of competition, including Pandora, Spotify (which recently launched its own “real” Internet radio service) and iHeartRadio.
TuneIn is free and streams content as-is, complete with its original ads; for a one-time fee of $0.99, users can record unlimited radio.
The big advantages of the TuneIn app are its reliability and the range of content it offers — now up to 70,000 stations and two million on-demand programs.
TuneIn CEO John Donham told me his big plans for TuneIn are to improve content discovery and to raise the company’s profile. On that front, I’ve seen some TuneIn billboards cropping up alongside the highway in recent months.
“We need to do more to build a household brand name,” Donham said. “A lot of marketing will be to make people aware of all the content they can get.”