The evidence indicates that, in fact, they have not. But all single-station apps are not created equal, and if you are out to make a “lazy app” – an app redundant to your over-the-air station with functionality that is unworthy of Apple’s (or anybody else’s) mobile experience, don’t be surprised if the Gods of Cuptertino turn up their nose at you (and don’t be surprised if your audience does the same).
I’ve spoken with Apple, as have several developers and the situation, while not crystal clear, is certainly very clear on principal. There is no ‘ban’ on Single station Apps.
My own summary is that App developers submitting identical apps with just a logo/stream change under their own developer accounts are not looked well upon. (and if you take the time to download a few of this chap’s apps, you’ll see how uninspiring they are, and similar too)
However, if a station has an app developed, and submitted under their own name, it should breeze through.
Likewise, if an individual or group create an app that links to a single station stream or show, it might face some hurdles.
From a station owner perspective I think that’s a good thing – but, from Apples point of view, good on them for ‘encouraging’ the development of rich apps with a user experience that is more than ‘just a stream’ – in the end, if it was ‘just a stream’ the industry won’t survive!
Moral of this story for Radio stations – be creative, own the rights, own the application submission.
In other words, Apple is reinforcing a standard for the app environment – an “effort-standard” for you and an “experience-standard” for Apple consumers and your audiences.
That can be nothing but a good thing.
Even if can legitimately be argued that your audience does not need a technology parent to tell them what they can and cannot have.