VOA Programming is Now Available in U.S. by Mobile Phone

Left to right: George Cernat (Chief Marketing Officer of AudioNow), David Ensor (VOA Director), and Addie Nascimento (Chief of Digital Syndication, BBG’s Office of Strategy and Development) signed today’s agreement.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Voice of America has signed a new agreement with the leading digital call-to-listen platform, AudioNow, to provide VOA programming inside the United States. The new agreement expands an on-going relationship between VOA and AudioNow, which already distributes programming from VOA in 34 languages by phone.

“We are delighted that for the first time in its 72 year history VOA broadcasts will now be available inside the United States,” said VOA Director David Ensor. “There are so many people in diaspora communities in this country who want to hear news in their own language, and we can provide it.”

People in the United States can dial a U.S. area code and a seven-digit phone number and hear the same audio from VOA radio or television programming that they once received in their home country.

Sample access numbers for VOA programming on AudioNow are as follows:

Amharic 213.493.0122
Creole 213.493.0190
Somali 231.460.1083
Vietnamese 213.493.0225

The Somali diaspora in Canada, Norway, and Sweden have received VOA programs through AudioNow for several years. In April, AudioNow tracked over 500,000 calls to its two phone numbers for VOA Somali in Canada. Calls averaged about twenty minutes.

“We have had a huge success reaching a Somali-speaking audience outside the United States via AudioNow,” said Abdirahman Yabarow, Chief of VOA’s Somali Service. “Our Somali audience in Canada and other countries listens to our programs by phone because they know that they can trust VOA broadcasts.”

The Voice of America’s agreement with AudioNow sets a new course for VOA, following the U.S. Congress’ amendment of legislation in January 2013 that had prohibited VOA from providing programs in the United States for most of the 72 years it has been on the air. The agreement also gives AudioNow the potential to offer a U.S. audience all 46 of the languages broadcast by VOA.

“Our mission is to connect anyone, anywhere to the news that matters with just a simple telephone call,” said Elan Blutinger, CEO of AudioNow. “We’re very proud of our long partnership with VOA, whose programs play a tremendous role in informing and engaging audiences around the world.”

The Voice of America is a multimedia international broadcast service providing programming in 46 languages on radio, television, the Internet, live streamed audio and video, over social media platforms, and through more than 2,300 media outlets worldwide. It broadcasts approximately 1,800 hours of programming to an estimated audience of 164 million people each week. VOA is funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

AudioNow, based in Washington, DC, is the leading call-to-listen platform in the world. With broadcast partners on every continent, AudioNow extends the reach of radio by connecting mobile listeners to their favorite radio stations through a simple telephone call. The AudioNow platform uses proprietary “HD” voice design and patent-pending technology that serves all mobile platforms. AudioNow has more than 1,800 broadcast partners, including global leaders such as the United Nations, BBC, RFI, Voice of America, Entravision, C-SPAN and IMG College. In 2013, AudioNow delivered 2 billion listening minutes to its broadcast partners and connected users 84 million times to its platform. For more information, please contact Rebecca Walker at rebecca.walker@audionow.com.
For more information about this release, contact the VOA Public Relations office in Washington at (202) 203-4959, or write to publicrelations@voanews.com. For more information about VOA, visit the Public Relations website at www.insidevoa.com, or the main news site at www.voanews.com.

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