Emmis predicts the NextRadio app will be on 60 million handsets by end of 2016.
That’s why proponents are trying to boost the number of stations, especially small market facilities, that go beyond the free logo and develop an experience for consumers tuning to their station in a particular market.
Carriers especially want the radio industry to develop a consistent, rich experience for NextRadio app users. Some have told Emmis they don’t think the industry is up to the challenge.
That’s why, in an effort to boost station participation in NextRadio, Emmis has dropped the price for its TagStation software and eliminated the set-up fee.
TagStation has also formed content acceleration teams to help stations create visual and interactive content for their station when consumers use the NextRadio app.
TagStation takes information from a station’s automation system, pushes that into the cloud, and powers the interactive experience. It allows radio stations to synchronize their radio broadcasts with album artwork, images, text and interactive touch points for visual display in NextRadio. Stations can also build their station promotions, broadcast schedule content, and enhance advertising on the NextRadio app.
The monthly charge has dropped to $10/month per analog FM from $35 per station. The monthly TagStation fees for HD channels will remain at $35/month due to the higher cost of supporting HD Radio systems, but the set-up fees for HD channels have been eliminated.
NextRadio President Paul Brenner is hoping the price drop will address cost concerns raised by small market station owners and take those worries “off the table.”
With 60 million FM-enabled smartphones expected in 2016, next year is going to be a big growth year for NextRadio and the U.S. radio industry,” said TagStation President Paul Brenner. “Our research shows that a consistent, interactive NextRadio experience will be critical for supporting new AT&T and T-Mobile FM smartphone owners and for winning other carriers.”
At last count the NextRadio app had 4.6M activated users and 12,000 stations have been tuned to through the app, Brenner said at the recent Dash conference, co-sponsored by our sister publication Radio Ink.