90.9 WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station, debuted an all-new listening app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. It is a first-of-its-kind “listening app” that revolutionizes the live stream experience, delivering flawless audio anytime, anywhere.
The new app, WBUR Listen, features nearly 40 WBUR and NPR programs and podcasts, plus news stories on-demand, all of which can be saved and shared. Just like your DVR, the app remembers exactly where you were listening at any time, and iOS users can even rewind to the beginning of the live audio stream with just one tap, as well as scrub to a specific section.
This innovative mobile app, which is free, demonstrates WBUR’s commitment to make public radio more accessible to tech-savvy audiences, as well as to deliver WBUR’s content to radio listeners on-demand at their fingertips. The app also features “one-touch” donation capabilities, so users can tap the screen to pledge financial support, demonstrating they like what they hear.
“We wanted to create a new kind of app that’s like no other listening experience,” said WBUR general manager Charlie Kravetz. “The app combines the great content produced at WBUR with the highest quality streaming technology in the world with easy, intuitive controls and simple ways to stop, start, save, share and even support WBUR programming.”
To bring the app to market, WBUR worked with Intrepid, a Cambridge-based mobile products firm. In addition to honing the mobile strategy around audio rather than text, they built the app with a modern, modular look that matches the station’s website. Other features are a “history” section that archives the user’s time spent listening and a “saved” section for users to keep track of favorite episodes and save them for offline listening.
“WBUR is delivering a best-in-class listening experience, and we’re thrilled to be part of it,” said Matt Bridges, CTO of Intrepid. “We’re confident it will delight WBUR fans, and be a gateway product that attracts new listeners who’ll discover amazing content as they explore all the app’s offerings.” Users can discover stories from WBUR’s Boston newsroom and podcasts like Modern Love and Dear Sugar, plus international stories and programs from NPR like Fresh Air and Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. Listeners can stream WBUR live programming and listen on demand to hours of favorite programs such as On Point, Here & Now, Radio Boston and Only A Game.
“This has been an amazing year for WBUR's digital team,” said WBUR managing director of digital John Davidow. “With our recently rebuilt website at wbur.org and now the release of this new listening application, we are able to provide our listeners with mobile-first products that allow us to serve our diverse audience on devices that are almost always at their fingertips. We also developed WBUR Listen with the intention of sharing the back-end technology with other public radio stations.”
WBUR and Intrepid will co-host an App Release launch party at Somerville’s Aeronaut Brewing Co. on October 14. Complimentary food and drink starts at 6 p.m., with live music performances by post-rock group I/O and soul-rock act Gretchen and the Pickpockets presented by local music site Sound of Boston. Guests can register to get in free by showing the WBUR App at the door.