AudioNow® and BBC World Service Announce Launch of the First BBC Somali App

BBC Somali news headlines and radio programmes are now available globally via the free BBC Somali App. Launched by BBC World Service and the in-language mobile distribution platform AudioNow, the app can be accessed on mobile phones, tablets or other connected devices. It is available through the iOS and Android app stores (via the AudioNow Digital account).

The light-touch BBC Somali App provides free radio programmes globally through an audio player, or via a standard-rate telephone call in selected territories. Headlines and news summaries in text are also available globally free of charge.

The app takes callers to BBC Somali radio content via a standard-rate telephone number (free with many mobile call bundles)* using Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology. The IVR feature is available to app users in the UK, US, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Sweden, Norway and Australia. A visual and audio prompt is given before the first phone call is made, to ensure listeners are aware of any costs they may incur.

Users can also play BBC Somali radio programmes using the app’s audio player. This gives the choice of listening via the IVR or streaming the content, while using the least possible amount of mobile data.

The BBC Somali App gives access to top news headlines and summaries from Additionally, by clicking on the summary, users are taken to the website where they can read stories in full.

BBC World Service Business Development Director, Simon Kendall, says: “The World Service is keen to connect with audiences on the devices and platforms most relevant to them, and the launch of the BBC Somali App will help us reach Somali communities living all over the world.”

BBC Somali Editor, Caroline Karobia, comments: “BBC Somali has a strong radio presence, with around 3.4 million people – in Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya and other countries – tuning in every week, while the vast majority of traffic to comes via mobile phones. Digital audio mobile technology such as the new BBC Somali App serves this mobile-first audience, providing them with a direct way to access our content in audio and text.”

AudioNow is a US-based company, building targeted, in-language phone services and apps for broadcasters globally. Its mobile platform links various language broadcasters to diaspora audiences worldwide. This new app builds on the existing call-to-listen service provided by AudioNow, which, in the US alone, already delivers around one million calls a month to BBC Somali radio content.

“BBC World Service and AudioNow are focused on expanding the reach of the BBC’s world-class content to mobile audiences on any device,” adds Elan Blutinger, Chairman and CEO of AudioNow Holdings. “Since 2008, we have been a partner of the BBC, developing new ways to engage listeners, and let them discover and share multilingual content.”

BBC Somali is part of BBC World Service.

*Users are recommended to check call charges with their service provider.