On April 5, PLNU’s radio station, Point Radio, launched a new application for IOS and Android devices. After a year of developing the radio app, students are just a tap away from tuning into Point Radio.
The campus radio station hosted an app launch in front of the cafeteria to not only promote the app but Point Radio as well. Students who operate the radio station raffled off two Hydro Flasks and $100 cash for anyone who downloaded the app, said Point Radio station manager, Braden Haycock.
“Even if students didn’t download the app, they at least know that there is a radio station,” said Rick Moncauskas, who is the advisor for Point Radio and an adjunct professor at PLNU. “Being in the back of Ryan Library, unless you have business in the back of the library, you probably would never see us.”
The student-run station broadcasts talk-shows every weekday with topics ranging from Point Loma sports to national news to Disney. Additionally, Point Radio plays songs and music genres that are picked by the students who work on staff. Point Radio and PointTV are both apart of the Department of Communication and Theater, but anyone can get involved in the radio station, Moncauskas said.
“I think the app will definitely bring us more listeners and motivate those students working at the station to do news segments, sports segments, music and much more,” said Point Radio news director, Ana Ybarra.
Studies have shown that listening to the radio remains a primary source of entertainment and information among adults in the United States. However, ease of accessibility to audio content plays a key role in audience numbers.
According to 2014 data from Edison Research, 73% of Americans 12 years of age or older listened to radio on smartphones while 61% listened on desktops and laptops.
Before the app was released, students could only stream Point Radio through the station’s website. The Point Radio staff worked with a company called Radio.co, to develop the app over the past year. When the app is opened, it instantly plays music and features a clean design with images of waves to reflect PLNU.
“In the future we are going to see a lot more of the PointRadio and PointTV because [the media communication department] has gone through a lot of internal structural change and modernization,” Haycock said. “[The app] kind of elevates us and our program. So hopefully, it puts more emphasis on radio broadcasting within the school and so increases the resources available to students at the station.”
Though the new radio app has only been available for a few weeks, past trials with creating a radio app have shown a positive impact on Point Radio. Moncauskas said the radio station saw a substantial jump in audience numbers a couple years ago when they created an app through a company called Live365. However, when Live365 shut down in the beginning of 2016, due to changes in U.S. copyright policies, Point Radio had to start from square one to create a new app.
“When we finally got the app going, it changed the attitude of the people in the radio station, quite a bit,” Moncauskas said. “The easier it is for people to find our signal, the more people are going to listen. Now they are really performing for people and that’s the difference.”
The Point Radio app is available for free download in the App Store and Google Play.