Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Audio content from the United Nations is now available on mobile

New York, NY (December 10, 2013) – AudioNow, the world’s leading call-to-listen platform, and the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI) today announced that audio content from the United Nations including news and features as well as live coverage, is now accessible by phone in eight languages. Based on an agreement signed by both parties, the service will begin in the United States and will expand globally within the next few months.

Listeners can access UN Audio content – including radio programmes, news bulletins and features stories, interviews, daily press briefings and live coverage of many UN General Assembly and Security Council meetings – by simply dialing in a local access phone number on any landline or mobile device. This service does not require a smartphone or apps and it uses voices minutes rather than data plans, making it the least expensive way to access such content. As data costs continue to rise on mobile devices, and as feature phones remain in high use in many parts of the world, this kind of call-to-listen platform is emerging as one of the most affordable ways for listeners to connect to their favorite broadcasters and organizations.

“We are excited to join forces with AudioNow to make it easier for people to access UN programming,” says Mr. Stéphane Dujarric, Director of the News and Media Division at the United Nations. “This collaboration is an example of an innovative and cost effective way to take UN stories and issues directly to audiences worldwide in multiple languages.”

In the United States, listeners can now access daily UN Radio news in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Kiswahili, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish as well as audio from TV features and live briefings and meetings coverage in multiple languages. Recent UN Audio coverage includes: continued humanitarian relief following Typhoon Haiyan; debates on the current crisis in the Central African Republic; and discussions on the interim agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. The call-to-listen phone numbers incur no extra charge and are the equivalent of making a standard mobile call.

“Our mission is to help shrink the digital divide and reach the hard-to-reach” says Mr. Elan Blutinger, Chairman and CEO of AudioNow. “UN audio programs play a tremendous role in updating people on the ground and providing information critical to the UN’s mandates. We’re honored to expand the UN’s reach to mobile phones particularly in the developing world. This fits with our core objective, which is to enable anyone, anywhere to connect to the news that matters with just a simple phone call."

Following today’s launch of phone numbers in the U.S., AudioNow and the UN will expand this new listening service to Brazil, South Africa, Switzerland, Morocco, and Mexico, with additional countries to follow.

The complete listing of UN in-language programming available immediately in the U.S. through AudioNow is as follows:

UN Audio Channel (Arabic): 712.432.9912
UN Audio Channel (Chinese): 712.432.9911
UN Audio Channel (English): 712.432.9910
UN Audio Channel (French): 712.432.9913
UN Audio Channel (Kiswahili): 712.432.9916
UN Audio Channel (Portuguese): 712.432.9917
UN Audio Channel (Russian): 712.432.9914
UN Audio Channel (Spanish): 712.432.9915

AudioNow is providing its services to the UN on a pro bono basis.

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