Astral Radio Updates Mobile Music App For iOS

Calling all music lovers: Astral Radio has released the new iOS edition of their Virgin Radio (English Canada) and NRJ Radio (French Canada) mobile apps, which treat listeners to an on-demand streaming service.

The updated app provides access to hundreds of songs from new and popular artists, as well as exclusive videos, interviews, and other digital content. Users can build customized playlists, share songs with their friends, and access blog posts from Virgin Radio writers.  For fans of specific genres, the app contains channels with tunes from individual categories, such as R&B, hip-hop, and lounge music.

The mobile app also provides a live stream of Virgin radio stations for users on the go.  As the largest radio broadcaster in the country, Astral Radio currently operates 84 licensed stations in major cities, including Toronto, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Montreal.

To produce the app, the company has partnered with major music labels and associations, including the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency and the Independent Digital Licensing Association. While the new version is currently only for iOS, an Android edition of the app is reportedly in development.

Astral Radio’s on-demand and music streaming program was first launched in February, and they are the only radio broadcaster in Canada to offer these services via a mobile app.  But according to reports, the company may soon be facing some tough competition in the digital streaming market. Following the release of iTunes 11, Apple is reportedly planning on launching its own online streaming service, perhaps as early as next year.

Astral’s newest foray into mobile technology arrives in the midst of an ongoing struggle over company ownership. Earlier this fall, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission blocked Bell Canada’s attempted acquisition of the company. The $3.4-billion bid would have granted Bell significant control over both the English and French television markets.

For now, Astral remains focused on using their digital services as a platform for new Canadian talent. “Astral Radio stations are the launch pad for emerging artists in Canada,” said Rob Farina, EVP of Content and Platforms, in a recent statement. “We are excited to offer Canadian consumers more ways to discover new artists and continue breaking Canadian stars.”

Last month, the company also launched the Canadian Radio Star competition, which invites budding musicians to compete for a $10,000 grand prize. More information on the competition and the Virgin Radio mobile app is available on the company’s official website.