Plum Radio: DJ Talent and a Robust Tech Backbone

by: | Feb 4, 2015

We love music. With the strong Apple (think: iPod/iTunes) lineage we have at ArcTouch, we’re always keen to experience the newest music services and technology — including the six Sonos players that are constantly streaming music throughout our office.

So, we were pretty psyched when a startup called Plum Radio came to us last year wanting our help to execute on a vision for a completely new kind of music service.

And we’re thrilled to share that the app and the service is now available for both iOS and Android. In fact, this week it surged into the top 10 trending music apps on Google Play:

Plum Radio Trending

The service blends the experience of radio with a night club — you can choose from different genres of music, and you’ll get top titles from that genre mixed by professional DJs into one continuous stream. You can even make requests that DJs may incorporate into their mixes.

Part of what makes Plum Radio so unique is the human element of the DJ. While other music services like Pandora and iTunes Radio are heavy on sophisticated algorithms and machine learning, Plum Radio is a nod to the past, when over-the-air radio personalities chose songs and took phone requests — and helped listeners discover new musical gems. The technology enables the distribution of the music, but the music itself is driven 100% by the DJs.

The Plum Radio Project 411

Plum Radio came to ArcTouch in 2014 with a clear vision of the app, including design. What they needed help with was the technology to make it work as promised, including a cross-platform launch on Android and iOS. ArcTouch engineered the deep integrations the app needed, from a song request platform driven off a music database, to social platforms including Facebook and Instagram, to advertising (Leadbolt and TapJoy) and in-app purchasing.

To help with the cross-platform development, we leveraged the efficiency of Xamarin. ArcTouch’s Xamarin developers wrote a single code base in C# and built screens in Xamarin.Forms that mapped to both iOS and Android. It was a huge time saver — helping us complete the project faster — and more importantly, still offered a native app experience on both platforms.

So far, the user community is loving Plum Radio. It has a 4.6 rating (out of 5) on Google Play and a perfect 5 rating on the iTunes App Store. Naturally, we’re proud to have played a part in the app’s development. Even better — we get to enjoy the fruits of its success by listening to Plum Radio while we work.