LiSTN up! New app is a game-changer for audio lovers in South Africa

LiSTN Audio app aggregates audio brands that South Africans already know and love.

“Looking for something to listen to?” I get this prompt from a popular streaming app whenever I don’t have any new episodes of my favourite podcast to listen to.

“Sure,” I think to myself. It’s great of them to ask, although I’m 99% sure that the algorithm is just doing what it can to immerse me in content from one of its (paid, high-profile, global) creators.

From time to time, I do enjoy this, but over the years, the fact that these are usually devoid of local nuance — I’m talking Gqeberha updates on the water crisis, Cape Town taxi strikes or the freshest amapiano. The lack of local bothers me. The algorithm picks up my listening preferences but doesn’t actually reach into my South African-ness. In a modern world filled with noise, subscriptions and clutter, I’d very much like for more local nuance in language, music and news.

Those who share these sentiments will be happy to hear that there is something on the horizon to change this. I’m talking about the LiSTN Audio app, an aggregator of local audio brands that people already know and love.

So why LiSTN?

Audio anytime, anywhere

From streaming favourite radio stations to exploring captivating podcasts, the LiSTN Audio app presents a world of audio at the touch of a button. Fundamentally designed with the user experience in mind, the app knows that audio enthusiasts have an ever-evolving list of wants and needs. That’s why it offers instant access to an abundance of other content too, including real-time news updates, expert-curated playlists and bespoke channels.

All of this content is accessible anytime and anywhere without sign-up or sign-in. Users simply have to download the app and start listening. As it’s launching simultaneously on Android and iOS, nobody is left behind.

Zero subscription fees

It would be safe to expect a service like LiSTN to launch with a premium tier, but this isn’t the case. People are free to access the extensive library of audio content (and live radio shows) at zero personal expense.

There are no subscription fees to add to debit orders and in an age where data for audio streaming can cost as little as R1.50 an hour, the time is truly ripe for South Africans to fully immerse themselves in the world of digital audio.

Key features

Freshly launched, the app is live in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. The following features lay a solid foundation for features that will be added as users start engaging and listening.

  • Live radio streaming capabilities give users access to an extensive list of stations to enjoy in real time. Expect a variety of genres, talk shows and more.
  • Heartwarming podcasts encourage listeners to engage with storytelling through in-house podcasts curated by voices from their favourite audio brands and subject matter as well as specialised topic experts. It is more than what you’re used to on other players, it’s a home to more variety and options, and this will continue to grow.
  • These brands also create and share tailored playlists to suit different moods and preferences. Easy scrolling carousels at the top offer a variety of tabs to explore and keep people entertained at their leisure, no matter the mood or setting.
  • In the age of fake news, reliable, real-time news updates are essential. LiSTN taps into content providers with a long history of journalistic freedom and transparency in South Africa.

Premium content

Considering the rise of the medium over the last 20 years, it’s no surprise that podcasting is integral to the LiSTN experience. This LiSTN Audio app is about premium content, local and international. LiSTN is also not about delaying the content, it’s all available from when you install the app. The balance between local and international content is highlighted in two podcast contributors.

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The first is the popular MoneyWeb programme, which has roots in a website that still gets two million unique visitors every month. Its highly engaged audience is working hard towards achieving financial freedom, with LiSTN creating the opportunity for more South Africans to improve their financial literacy and well-being. The platform also connects you to expert insight and continual market updates.

Wondery is another notable brand presence on LiSTN, as it has been leveraging new opportunities in the local podcasting arena for some time. AME holds the rights to promote all Wondery podcasts through its subsidiaries; an integral part of a strategy to grow the South Africa podcast listener numbers to the tens of millions over the coming years.

First impressions matter

The team behind the app know all too well that making a good first impression matters, so the user experience is captivating. Here’s why:

  • There are a lot of cool brands on it already. From the Citizen to Jozi FM, to Algoa FM, OFM and Simply Smooth (AME’s online radio station), LiSTN is already populated with around 15 polished, interesting curators. More will keep being added over time.
  • The platform is 100% radio station agnostic. From SABC shows to FM stations, digital streams and Namibian partners, LiSTN puts a wide range of voices, available in one place.
  • Brand profiles are vast, giving people more than just one form of entertainment. From live stream capabilities to catch-up content, the latest videos and even competitions, listeners can access a dynamic range of content no matter which curators they choose to follow.

Real-world use case

South Africans that are avid travellers know all about feeling homesick from time to time. With LiSTN, accessing your favourite audio content from back home is as easy as connecting to WiFi and opening the app. Whether you’re in a coffee shop in Paris or eating roosterkoek in Parys, the experience is the same.

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This matters because people now have access to what is happening on the ground in the country as a whole, while also creating a space for different voices across specific geographical regions to thrive. Users won’t be bombarded with push notifications either – essential content only, and you get to decide.

So, when can I start LiSTNing?

The big question is when people will be able to start exploring the groundbreaking app. I’m happy to report that it is available for download now for Android and Apple users alike.

LiSTN promises to do all the hard work of finding great content itself, so users can sit back, relax and enjoy a transformative medium that continues to enhance daily life for millions of people.

Once you’ve streamed the rest, LiSTN to the best.

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