Turning the Tide


tagstationAs we talked about in our last post, one of the difficulties with regard to starting any kind of consumer marketing for NextRadio so far has been that the app didn’t start out with a compelling amount of station content – the kind of content that delivers on the potential of the app: a visual, immersive experience with the live, local radio that listeners love. Every local FM station can be tuned to and heard through NextRadio, and that in itself is fantastic and efficient (as you probably are within arm’s reach of your smartphone right now), but the true differentiators of NextRadio are the visual and interactive components that are ideally delivered to the listener.

In this week’s update, we’re excited to report that that dynamic has shifted in favor of diving into the consumer marketing push whole-heartedly, and we’ll fill you in on some findings to support that decision. But first…!

By the Numbers

  • Over 625,000 app downloads
  • Over 9,800 FM radio stations tuned to from the app – about 3,000 different stations tuned per day!
  • Over 700,000 hours of listening through NextRadio
  • A 4/5 Google Play Store user rating

A Special Report on Enhanced Content Coverage

Let’s cut to the chase, shall we? We’re happy to announce that the number of stations delivering interactive content to NextRadio through the TagStation data service now stands at 1129 and climbing. It’s a big change within the last couple weeks since it was reported that the number of TagStation licensees doubled after EMF’s stations came on board. This new jump was attributed to participating groups beginning to roll out interactivity on many more of their stations.

But what does this news mean for what consumers see when they tune into local radio in their area through the app? When we took a good look at markets and coverage, we found that this recent jump allowed NextRadio to turn an important corner: When we analyzed the top 20 stations by share in each of the top 25 markets (excluding Puerto Rico), we saw an average of 60% of those stations are now interactive. In short, 60% of the most listened to stations in the top 25 markets are delivering album art, programming schedule, and creating the experience users expect and appreciate from a mobile music app.

But that’s not all. There were other impressive takeaways: Most of the major markets have 70% coverage, and Chicago had the highest coverage at 80% of local stations displaying enhanced content (represent!). Jump out of the top 25 markets and give Kansas City, MO a high five for 90% interactive stations. Couple that with 3,800 stations now displaying at least their station logo, and we’re confident in saying that the consumer experience is one that we’re proud to show off to an increasingly tech-savvy public. There’s still a long way to go to that coveted 100% station interactivity utopia, but the tide has definitely turned. For the first time in the top 25 markets, the non-interactive stations are in the minority.

Consumer Marketing Now Makes A Lot More Sense

There are a few exciting updates in the new consumer marketing efforts around NextRadio. As a way to support local radio, Sprint has invested in a paid on-air campaign with over 100 stations in 11 markets. NextRadio is the required added value for the campaign that includes on-air promotions and DJ endorsements. The Sprint and NextRadio campaign will run through the end of September and will focus on the features and benefits of the app and also tout the public safety aspect that NextRadio offers.

To show continued consumer awareness support, Sprint has provided its 3,000 store sales staff members with Skills Enhancement Training regarding NextRadio. The training provides a NextRadio overview, shares the uniqueness of the app, and outlines key factors to discuss with customers. Educating a few thousand Sprint staff members translates to millions of customers receiving the NextRadio message!

And a new way we hope to mobilize consumers and demonstrate demand for FM in smartphones is through a campaign launched in cooperation with National Public Radio and American Public Media along with the Educational Media Foundation called FreeRadioOnMyPhone.org.

With the consumer economic and safety benefits of access to an activated smartphone FM receiver in mind, these broadcast groups have collaborated to create a platform to give their 30 million+ radio listeners, as well as concerned consumers everywhere, a voice in the matter. By sending messages to wireless carriers either directly or through social media, there is a potential for a groundswell in favor of a change of heart by the big wireless companies who have chosen to leave the FM chip dormant inside of the phones they sell.


Moving Forward

FRIENDLY REMINDERS: It’s not too late to sign up for Wednesday’s webinar, “NextRadio and the Connected Car: Growing Listeners with Interactive Content”. This event is open to all broadcasters interested in learning more about the future of radio in the car’s dashboard. Join Paul Jacobs and Paul Brenner for the live video event and Q&A.


Social media update:
Follow @TagStation on Twitter for broadcaster-focused news and events.
Follow @NextRadioApp for consumer-focused news and fun. And like us on Facebook!
Follow @RadioOnMyPhone to see progress on the Free Radio On My Phone campaign.