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Apple Bans Single Radio Station Apps From The App Store

by Sean P. Aune | November 27, 2010November 27, 2010 8:00 am PDT

Apple has struck another blow for cleaning up its popular App Store: Single radio station apps.

Some time back Apple put its foot down when it came to fart apps. While one or two of them were funny, several hundred was just getting to the point of silly. In an effort to make sure that the store didn’t get flooded with with them, and in turn become a form of spam, the company opted to just outright say that no more would be approved in the future.

Apple App StoreNow Apple is turning its eye towards the Music category and the proliferation of apps that do nothing more than stream one radio station’s Internet feed.

All I can say is, “thank goodness”.

As someone who is big on music apps, I welcome this as it was getting tedious trying to find good ones amongst the pages of “Radio Station X” entries in the category.  This has been an issue for some time now, so it’s good to see Apple finally doing something about it.

Not so happy with it is Jim Barcus, the president of DJB Radio Apps.  Since April of this year his company has been creating apps for various radio stations, but as of Nov. 10th Apple started rejecting them when his company submitted ten of them.  According to what the company has told Mr. Barcus, “a single-station app is not an enriching end-user experience.”  His counter-argument is that his company’s apps saw 44,000 downloads in a month.

Apparently the new Apple policy is that single radio station apps are similar to the fart app issue, and that unless a new submission covers hundreds of stations, they just aren’t going to be accepted.

Mr. Barcus has taken his argument to an article he wrote for Radio Magazine, and tries to suggest that radio stations should lodge complaints with the company.

I think after enough broadcast professionals complain and make Apple aware of the fact that radio stations are in fierce competition with each other and listener loyalty makes the listener want to only listen to his favorite radio station, Apple may change this rule.

We have to agree with what  Cade Metz said in the post on The Register, “Good luck with that, Jim.”

Apple is running a store, and as a retailer, they have every right to choose what they carry on their “shelves”.  They are under no obligation to carry any app they don’t choose to, and if they feel their virtual shelves are over stocked with a certain type of item, they can just stop taking any more of them in.

Mr. Barcus does raise a valid point that there are hundreds of flashlight and map apps out there also.  Our comment to that would be, “Every category should get ready for a similar policy to be put in place.”  How about all of these apps that are a single book?  I can almost see the point to children’s books due to the graphics, but there are multiple apps that are nothing more than the novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  Yes, they have different features, but do you really need an app for one book?  Why not put all the books you’ve worked on and put them in one app?  If they’re free apps to begin with, you aren’t losing money.  If it’s about ads, well, I hate to tell you, I’m not downloading a single app, especially for a public domain work that I can just as easily download for free inside any of the major e-reader apps.

It’s time for Apple to clean up the App Store a bit, and I definitely support the concept.

What say you?  Was Apple right to stop the single station radio apps?

[via Inquisitr]


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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