Radio Sawa mobile app launches to engage Arab youth

Radio Sawa is giving fans access, anywhere and at any time, to the most popular radio network in the Middle East through the launch of the new Radio Sawa app. Owners of iPhones, iPads and Android phones and tablets will have instant access to Radio Sawa’s streams of breaking news, music, Radio Sawa programs and hourly news updates. Listeners can click here to download the Radio Sawa app.

Content and features available through the Radio Sawa app include:

  • Live Broadcasts of Seven Streams—Listeners can tune in to one of Radio Sawa’s seven streams to listen to Western and Arabic music, newscasts and news updates twice an hour, and Radio Sawa’s information programs. The country and regional streams available include Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Gulf, Lebanon and Sudan.
  • User Participation Through Sawa Chat—Listeners can now interact with Radio Sawa’s popular interactive feature Sawa Chat on their phones. The feature asks listeners a question about social issues, and phone users can immediately record their audio answers and upload them. In conjunction with the launch of the Radio Sawa app, the first Sawa Chat question will be this:  What is the one thing in your country that needs to change and how would you change it?
  • Ease of Use and Sharing Content – The app features gesture-based navigation via swiping and using graphics and photos without complicated menus. Original content, such as the “Have You Read This?” social news section can be easily shared with friends and colleagues on Facebook, Twitter and e-mail. 
  • On Demand Podcasts—Radio Sawa’s news and information programs such as Sawa Magazine and its hourly newscasts will be available for listeners to tune in when it is convenient for them.  If they miss an episode, it takes just a click on the app to hear stories such as child labor in Jordan, the Syrian refugee crisis, the Iraqi government’s fight against ISIL and corruption in Lebanon.
  • Continuous Audio Playing—Audiences can tune into Radio Sawa while using other apps. This new feature will provide continuous Radio Sawa audio while listeners are multi-tasking and using other apps on their phone.

The Radio Sawa app is produced in partnership with the Broadcasting Board of Governors Office of Digital & Design Innovation (ODDI).

“We are very excited that this app will fundamentally change the way people can listen to Radio Sawa,” stated Brian Conniff President of Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN), which manages and operates Radio Sawa. “The new app allows listeners from across the region to have access Radio Sawa’s brand of accurate and objective news in a way that is easy for them. This is especially important in countries where Radio Sawa does not have an FM transmitter.”

“We joined forces with MBN to design and build an app unlike any in the Arab market,” said Will Sullivan, Director of Mobile for the BBG’s Office of Digital & Design Innovation.  “We focused on building a gorgeously designed, touch-driven, mobile-only application which played to the huge popularity of streaming radio on smartphone devices.”

Radio Sawa is an Arabic-language radio network that broadcasts music and news 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with more than 370 newscasts per week. Newscasts range in length from 30-minute in-depth reports (including interviews and analysis) to 90-second headline reports. Radio Sawa’s flexible format permits the station to respond quickly to developing news events and expand both newscasts and live coverage as required. According to international research firms, Radio Sawa has a weekly reach of more than 11 million people.

In addition to Radio Sawa, MBN also operates and manages Alhurra Television. MBN is financed by the U.S. Government through a grant from the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), an independent federal agency.  The BBG provides oversight and serves as a firewall to protect the professional independence and integrity of the broadcasters.

The BBG’s Office of Digital & Design Innovation (ODDI) builds the solutions to the biggest digital challenges faced by U.S. international media. ODDI works with technology to improve US international news media by creating new ways for journalists to reach their critical audiences and understand the audience from a technology standpoint. The ODDI Mobile team’s previous apps have been internationally-recognized for their innovation by being selected as finalists for the 2014 GSMA Global Mobile Awards “Best Mobile Publishing Product or Service” and the 2014 Appy Award for “Best Multicultural App.”

Find out more

Contact Deirdre Kline
Director of Communications, Alhurra Television, Radio Sawa