iHeartRadio Launches 'Talk Back' Tool: Send Voice Messages to Show Hosts!
Do you have something to say about the latest episode of your favorite show? Now, you can tell the host directly! iHeartRadio has just launched its new "Talk Back" feature, which allows listeners to send voice messages to their favorite radio shows. This is a great way to connect with your favorite hosts and share your thoughts on the latest episode.
iHeartRadio today announced a new feature called Talk Back that allows listeners to participate in shows directly from the iHR app. When hosting an episode, hosts can receive feedback or respond with questions by recording 30-second voice messages and submitting them through our proprietary CMS system so they are available live on air during broadcasts!
The new Talk Back feature in the iHeartRadio app is easy to access on any channel or show page. There are two ways you can use it: through a red microphone button that'll appear when viewing full-screen, and also by pressing “Talk back” from within stations' profiles for podcasts too
When you push the button, a countdown timer will appear to let you know the recording is about to start, then users can record their message. The 30-second limit is meant to keep the recordings concise, but there’s nothing to prevent users from sending multiple messages. However, if the system is abused, the host can block users on their end — though this may not be obvious to the user as the in-app feature would still appear to work.
After recording, you can hit play to preview the message before sending it. And if you don’t like your recording, you have the option to re-record.
On-air posts may prompt users to introduce themselves by name when leaving a recording, but there's nothing in the feature that specifically requires you to identify yourself. That said, you're not really anonymous - all iHeartRadio users would be identifiable on the back end with their user ID which is associated email address and general location. In some cases, companies might also have full names if they had engaged before—like contests were this information.
According to iHeartMedia’s Chief Product Officer Chris Williams, Talk Back has been in active development since Q3 2021, which also happens to be when Spotify rolled out its own interactive podcast tools, including polls and Q&As, to those who use its Anchor podcast creation platform to publish and distribute their shows. But iHeartRadio’s tool isn’t limited to podcasts — in fact, it’s largely designed for on-air talent who want to make their radio programs more interactive, given the tool’s near real-time nature.
The feature will initially be made available to all 900-plus owned and operated broadcast stations across iHeartMedia starting today and will roll out to interested iHeartRadio podcasters who opt-in sometime in early April.
Talk Back was born from a desire to give the iHeart radio air talent and podcast hosts more control of their content. The On-Air Talent loved that audiences would text them but also wanted listeners' voices heard too!
That’s our lifeblood. We want the audience to participate as much as possible,” Williams explains. “We want to be able to hear from them and to use that to help drive the conversation and expand the voices that are being heard on the air.”
“Talkback lets listeners send song requests and participate in on-air conversations by recording their own voices. Simply tap to record when you have something to say, and when you’re done, tap again to send. Once sent, listeners’ recordings are then delivered directly to the studio, where they can be heard by… DJs or podcast hosts.
“This first-of-its-kind feature makes it simple for listeners to pause their listening, join in the conversation or make a request using their voice, and then seamlessly unpause and return them back to the content they were listening to. And with Talkback, the studios aren’t just receiving a transcript of what was said, but will hear users’ actual voices and be able to play them back in front of millions of other listeners.”
The function is available now for live radio streams and will soon be added for podcasts soon
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