There was more to be done, however, and we’ve done it: We’re proud to announce the launch of the WBUR app for iPhone and iPod, developed by PRX. The app is free. Get it now.
This app has many things going for it, and we list most of them here. There’s the live stream of WBUR’s excellent programming, top-of-the-hour news and weather, a program schedule, and access to past episodes.
But both WBUR and PRX wanted to push the limits of what a public radio mobile app could be. The result are some important new features we hope to see in other station apps in the future: Support, On Assignment, and Benefits.
You may have gathered that we’re passionate about channeling donations from iPhone users to the stations they listen to. It’s not easy, since Apple prohibits direct donations from iPhone apps, but our team got real close with just two buttons: “Call Now to Pledge” and “Remind Me Later”. The former requires the phone number of someone on WBUR’s development staff. The latter doesn’t need anything except the listener’s own email address, since they’re just emailing themselves a reminder with a link to WBUR’s pledge form. We can’t wait to see the impact of these two little buttons.
This feature brings public radio and its (iPhone toting) audience closer together, letting editors create assignments that anyone with the app can fulfill. A breaking news event is happening in your region? Put out an assignment asking for text, audio, or photos from the scene. Use PRX’s On Assignment curation tool to manage the submissions, then work them into your on-air or online coverage.
Here’s yet another groundbreaker for public radio. The WBUR app provides a list of underwriters offering discounts and other treats to WBUR listeners. Then it maps them. Then it lets you generate a Virtual Member Card right in the app that you can show to the participating business for instant gratification. Anyone involved with station membership and underwriting knows just how amazing this is.
These innovations, and the overall app, could not have been achieved without a true sense of partnership, collaboration, and vision among both WBUR and our own PRX team. We are also grateful to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for support that gave us the ability to explore, experiment, and refine. We look forward to hearing what you think!