Google partners with radio industry to bring stations to Google Nest

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 14 September 2020

Google Australia has partnered with radio industry body Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) to integrate the official aggregator radio app RadioApp into Google Nest devices.

As a result of the deal, more than 350 Australian AM, FM and DAB+ digital radio stations, including all commercial radio, ABC and SBS stations, are available via voice command on Google Nest speakers and displays.

“We have been working hard in partnership with Google locally and globally for the past 18 months to ensure that all commercial radio stations and DAB+ digital stations are easily available on Google Nest speakers and displays,” says CRA CEO Joan Warner.

“There is great value for radio audiences in being able to enjoy their favourite local radio station on these devices using a simple voice request.

“It’s also good news for advertisers looking to invest in audio, as the growth in smart speaker ownership, and radio’s presence on these devices, strengthens radio’s position and reach.”

There has also been an increase in smart speaker ownership, with 17% of Australians owning a device in 2020, up from 13% in 2019 and the 5% recorded in 2018, according to the Infinite Dial Australia 2020 study released by Edison Research. The study also showed that, of the smart speaker brands available in the country, 82% of smart speaker owners in Australia have Google Nest devices.

"This new integration of RadioApp on Google Nest devices gives listeners easier access to their preferred local radio stations and favourite radio personalities, all with a simple voice command,” says Mel Silva, Google AUNZ managing director.

“After many months of collaboration with CRA, it is great to see the results of our partnership become available for Australian radio listeners and Google Nest owners -- and by making this radio content discoverable, it will provide incredible value for local radio stations and advertisers too.”

A promotional campaign, which will include popular radio personalities, will roll out to highlight the new integration across radio, online and the RadioApp website.

The deal comes as Google protests against the government’s attempt to force the tech giant to pay news publishers for their content, saying it could put their services at “risk” in Australia.

CRA has backed the code and recently recommended changes to ensure radio networks benefit from the proposed legislation.

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