A new feature by Abu Dhabi music streaming service Anghami makes you the life of the party.
Launched in May, Live Radio allows users to host online public and private listening sessions with music chosen from the platform’s 57 million-track library.
A rolling voice and text function will run alongside the live sessions, offering some background on the chosen tracks, as well as allowing listeners to interact.
The move, which Anghami co-founder Elie Habib describes as “social audio”, comes after the feature was first tested in September 2020.
“The social elements of music have always been part of our vision,” he says.
“In fact, ‘live radio rooms’ were part of our original business pitch in 2011, as we saw the opportunity for social audio features to take off.”
The ongoing pandemic has also played a role in the creation of the feature.
"With the pandemic keeping people at home and apart, the intimacy of voice and the need to be closer to others has become more valuable and we expect to see the social audio market realise significant growth," Habib says.
He also flags the future opportunities Live Radio could present to leading and independent artists, including subscription-only channels, which could result in added revenue.
In the meantime, here is how to use Live Radio:
1. Get the party started
Once logged on to your Anghami account, you will find a new symbol on the top left of your main page, titled Go Live.
Once clicked, you are taken to a set-up asking you to title the Live Radio session. While you can call it something simple, for example “Ahmed’s Radio", it’s best to give it some pizzazz to attract listeners.
After clicking the option of either going public or keep it limited to your Anghami friends, click the Go Live tab at the bottom of the screen.
2. On the air
Once the show is up and running, select and cue individual songs, albums and playlists from a panel below.
Below the selection panel you can see who joined the party, as well as options to invite others. A comments tab is available, which takes you to a chat screen, where you can interact with your guests.
3. Joining the party
Checking out a Live Radio session is also simple.
Once on your main page, scroll across your online contact list, located on a panel on top of the screen, and click on the person whose picture is vibrating with the Live Radio tag.
You are then immediately taken to the session and the music starts. As a visitor, you don’t have access to the playlist, thus allowing you to fully engage with what’s being played.
You will also see who else is in the room, and have the option of chatting to them and the host in the comments section.
Remember, the key to any good party, either physical or online, is to be social. So don’t be a wallflower – flash that metal salute emoji and say hello.