Visual Radio coming to U.S. listeners

HP and Infinity Broadcasting today announced they will work together to deploy Visual Radio to U.S. listeners. Infinity is the first broadcaster to commit to the delivery of the service in the United States.

Developed by Nokia and offered by HP, Visual Radio adds a new dimension to FM radio with interactive content and services for mobile listeners. Visual Radio allows listeners to tune in to local FM radio via their mobile phones while simultaneously receiving interactive information and graphics that are synchronized with the broadcast. Text and graphics are delivered via the cellular network onto the screen of the mobile handset.

“Mobile phones are the most widely used portable device and we’re thrilled to be leading the Visual Radio effort in the United States in concert with HP and Nokia,” said Joel Hollander, chairman and chief executive officer, Infinity Broadcasting. “Partnerships that afford us the opportunity to integrate our content with new technologies and serve our listeners with an additional interactive environment are central to Infinity’s long-term growth strategy.”

Adding to their listening experience, users can view the title and artist of a song playing, check upcoming concert dates, purchase ring tones or other content from the artist, and participate in radio station promotions. For radio station operators, Visual Radio can increase listener loyalty and advertising revenue. For mobile carriers, Visual Radio provides an opportunity to increase data services usage and revenue, as well as average revenue per user.

“Broadcasters and content creators are embracing new technologies and business models that enable them to reach listeners in new ways. Infinity’s adoption of the Visual Radio service in the United States is evidence of the exciting possibilities that lie ahead for the radio industry,” said Shane Robison, chief strategy and technology officer, HP. “Since introducing the Visual Radio service in 2004, HP has worked with industry leaders like Infinity to bring Visual Radio to listeners around the world, and we expect more and more broadcasters will soon follow Infinity’s lead.”

Outside of the United States, radio station operators such as Virgin Radio (UK), SBS stations such as Kiss FM (Finland), The Voice, Mix Megapol and Rockklassiker (Sweden), and FFH Hit Radio (Germany) are creating Visual Radio content to deliver it to listeners with Visual Radio-enabled Nokia mobile phones.

“Nokia is delighted to welcome Infinity Broadcasting into the family of Visual Radio broadcasters,” said Anssi Vanjoki, executive vice president and general manager, Multimedia, Nokia. “People are increasingly listening to radio on their mobile devices, and the Visual Radio service lets them participate more easily than ever in radio programs on Infinity stations.”

Visual Radio is sold and marketed by HP to both broadcasters and mobile operators. HP provides the Visual Radio service as a hosted solution and enables a mobile operator to provide it as a service to its subscribers. HP also installs the Visual Radio software tools broadcasters need to develop the interactive visual content synchronized to the radio broadcast.

Carriers provide the delivery of digital content and services to their customers. They bill their customers for data traffic and additional content and interactive services purchased by Visual Radio users.

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