VRT – Radioplus

About the app

With VRT’s radio apps (Radioplus, Studio Brussel, MNM, Radio 1, Radio 2 and Klara) you have all of VRT’s radio stations in the palm of your hand! This way you’ll be able to listen to and replay your favorite shows anytime, anywhere, simply, quickly, reliably and in high quality!

Challenge

VRT radio has been present on the web for quite a while now. It’s only logical that a suite of mobile apps should follow, offering mobile listeners an interactive experience on-the-go. In other words, the ‘Radioplus’ platform would get a ‘mobile first‘ presence, with the following requirements:

  • One codebase with the possibility to release multiple, separately themed apps.
  • Designed and targeted specifically for each individual mobile platform (iOS vs. Android), guaranteeing an optimal user experience.
  • Straightforward with a focused set of core functionalities.
  • Streaming, overall user experience, etc. should be very stable. No hiccups.
  • A first release was required as soon as possible, with subsequent quick iterations / release cycles containing additional features

Solution

Thanks to its already present mobile development teams and mobile software factory, VRT’s ‘Digital Production Centre’ was able to release 6 separate radio apps for each platform in a mere 4 month development period.

These apps were developed by two dedicated mobile development teams (iOS & Android), both consisting of a mix of AppFoundry and VRT in-house expertise.

The project was managed using a Kanban approach, in close collaboration with the radio stations’ brand managers.

One codebase has been developed per platform, with a custom theme engine for leveraging each separately flavored radio app.

A new version of each app is released every time a new feature is developed and tested (‘continuous release‘). These short release cycles quickly added new features such as on-demand playlists, traffic announcements, user feedback, etc.

A strong focus was put on Test Driven Development (continuous integration, automatic testing) and Quality Assurance (dedicated QA testers), resulting in 99,5% crash-freeapps.

Technologies & integrations

  • Functional Reactive Programming
  • Test Driven Development
  • Continuous Delivery
  • iOS frameworks: Reliant dependency injection, Reactive Cocoa, AFNetworking, AVFoundation, …
  • Android frameworks: Dagger, Mosby, Picasso, Butterknife, Exoplayer, …
  • Integration with a mobile middleware layer (websockets via socket.io) on top of a legacy backend system
  • Livestreams supported by HLS

Numbers

  • 6.000 daily active users (August 2016)
  • 65.000 monthly active users (August 2016)
  • 105.000 total app installs (August 2016)
  • 99,5% crash-free

Result

The result is a series of separately flavored radio apps for both iOS and Android, each with a continuously growing feature set.

More info at radioplus.be.