Stories

Streema

Uses Algolia to power Radio-as-a-service to 8 million users worldwide

About Streema

8 million Users

8M Users
85,000 Radio Stations
>200 Countries
20ms Search Speed

Highlights

Problem

Streema was looking for an intelligent search solution that could help their users easily navigate the 85,000 radio stations available on their app.

Approach

Creation of an MVP in less than a day, followed by a full-fledged implementation and subsequent release.

Result
20ms
Average
Search Speed
< 8s
Average
Indexing Speed

Streema simplifies content consumption on the radio for each of its 8 million monthly users, empowering them with the choice of streaming music and podcasts from any of the 85,000 radio stations available on their platform.

The Streema Story

Streema was founded by Juan Trouilh, Martin Siniawski and Richard Monte when they decided to solve a common problem - the daunting task of finding the right radio station and familiar music no matter which part of the world one may be in. The trio knew only too well how frustrating it could be to be deprived of the soothing tones of familiar music because one couldn’t connect to the right radio station. So they went ahead and found a solution which could enable anyone, anywhere to listen to any radio station of their choice irrespective of whether they were using their phones or laptops.

Responsive image

Who Is Streema For?

Streema’s mission is to change the way audio is consumed in the very near future and one of the main things they did was market research to understand the context of radio consumption. They also wanted to launch a mobile app but before they could, a little bit of research was called for. Who were their customers? Why did they listen to the radio? What were they like? Extensive market research showed them that their customers fit into three main brackets :

  • People who lived away from home and craved familiarity.

  • People who were focused on learning a new language.

  • People who listened to a particular station they were absolutely in love with.

This last category of people was by far the largest at Streema and it was composed of people looking for the shortest path that would connect them to their preferred radio station. Furthermore, as mobile usage increased over time on the Streema.com website, Streema launched their native app Simple Radio, boosting the share of mobile in their service even further. This change put Search front-and-center and that meant taking Search to the next level.

The best part about search with Algolia is that it is an intelligent and smart search which has been devised in such a way that people understand the context of the search and it’s not merely a textual match.

Streema’s Algolia Journey

Streema started out testing several different methods of implementing search. They initially used an open source solution which was soon acquired by a tech giant and subsequently shut down. While evaluating alternatives, they found that they needed a search functionality that would be compatible with their apps and developing this from scratch was resource-intensive. A combination of thorough research and serendipity brought Streema to Algolia. The team at Streema was looking for an easy-to-implement, low-maintenance search solution that could enable their users to find what they were looking for on both their website and their mobile app easily. Algolia ticked all the boxes on paper, so they decided to try out the solution.

MVP in less than 1 Day

Creation of a prototype needed just one team member (skilled in both front-end and back-end development) who worked on the project for less than a day - it was merely to insert hooks on the data-bases so they could be updated automatically and to create a proof of concept of the unique UI experience that Streema could benefit from after implementation of Algolia. With a little bit of help from the Algolia team, this went pretty smoothly and Streema decided to move forward with Algolia.

The main change for Streema was getting accustomed to the fact that the results would not be crawled each time a search is performed, but indexed and pre-ranked. However, the team at Streema ensured that their users benefited from the instant-search results by tweaking their data a bit. “Algolia's ranking algorithm is easier to understand and easier to predict and reason with, but at the expense of some flexibility. We eventually managed to use some tricks to get to very good results. For example, we created filtered copies of some fields, in which we removed common keywords that were not relevant for the searches (e.g. 'radio') effectively reducing the weight of those words in rankings,” says Juan Catalano, CTO at Streema. The best part? Search results in 20 ms for their users, irrespective of where they were in the world.

I want to point out that Algolia's customer support was one of the best ones I have ever dealt with. One time we issued a feature request for the analytics panel, and they listened and delivered the feature in literally less than a day. That’s impressive!
Responsive image
Responsive image

Intelligent Search

Streema's global directory of broadcast radio stations is one of the largest in the world - this naturally means that a lot of searches take place with character-based keywords and not the Latin alphabet that English is based on. Moreover, a lot of names of radio stations overlap with the names of locations and cities. Juan needed a search which could understand the complexity of this use case. For example, the keyword “Brazil” not only matches with “Radio Brazil” but also pulls up a list of radio stations based in Brazil. Algolia was coded with just this kind of complex use-case in mind and this helped create the lightning fast search experience that most Streema users benefit from today.

When asked what he likes best about Algolia, Juan says “The best part about search with Algolia is that it is an intelligent and smart search which has been devised in such a way that the system understand the context of the search and it’s not merely a textual match.” Another thing that Juan found useful is Algolia’s typo-tolerance, since the search was designed for the fat-finger effect which is so common when searching via mobile.

After Algolia...

Implementing Algolia bought Streema more band-width. Band-width which was precious and allowed them to concentrate on aspects of their core-business. It allowed Juan and his team to perfect what they were experts at, knowing that search would work flawlessly because they had entrusted it to a company whose core business revolves around powering the “search bar”. They also began to see a marked rise in customer engagement on their apps - simply because it became easier and a lot faster to find what one was looking for. “What ultimately sold us on Algolia was the fact that it required almost no maintenance once set up and it brought us a great search functionality at an attractive price. Algolia is fundamental for any business to support the search functionality for thousands of people,” said Juan.

The Way Forward

Streema is growing rapidly with 8 million monthly users along with double digit growth every year. Scaling with Algolia though is not very hard “We really just have to add another cluster when the time is right and the code required to do this is minimal. Moreover, whenever we have problems, we simply reach out to Algolia’s impressive support team,” said Juan. Algolia makes it a point to provide round-the-clock support to its enterprise clients. “I want to point out that Algolia's customer support was one of the best ones I have ever dealt with. One time we issued a feature request for the analytics panel, and they listened and delivered the feature in literally less than a day. That’s impressive!” says Javier Silveira, the Lead Developer responsible for implementing Algolia at Streema.

At Algolia we believe in growing with our customers and in fact, try to support our customers in every way to make growth easier for them. It’s also heartening to see that together with Streema, our technology is becoming part of a movement - a movement that could change the way traditional radio is consumed in the next few years.

Get Started Today, For Free

Don't wait! Try Algolia! No credit card required. Try Algolia for free for 14 days.

}