More importantly, though, the folks behind NextRadio say they need stronger participation from broadcasters if the business is really going to maximize the potential of radio on mobile. Also, social media is playing a major role in shaping the messaging to consumers.
The latest TagStation update provides the following news stats:
* Over 48,000 app downloads
* An 84% app retention rate
* Over 4,400 FM radio stations tuned to from the app – up 20% from last month
* Over 17,000 hours of listening through NextRadio – that’s over 1 MILLION MINUTES!
The powers that be behind the NextRadio app are paying close attention to what consumers are saying on the web: One consumer notes that the lack of fully participating stations takes the luster off of the app; another was thrilled to have renewed access to over-the-air broadcast radio, but also was disappointed stations weren’t taking full advantage of the graphics and other features.
On managing expectations, TagStation said there was some consumer complaining about the need to use earbuds or headphones to get the most out of the feature – to the people behind the feature it was a given but to the end users it was a surprising annoyance.
TagStation wrote, “From now on, in all future downloads and updates, when you try to tune without a headset plugged in, you’ll get an alert that explains why they’re necessary. It also explains that you can still output to speaker if you wish. Though it won’t solve everyone’s problem, we hope the attempt to educate will be well-received.”
The call is out for full participation: “Quantity and quality of content will ultimately decide the adoption of FM in smartphones. It’s not enough to tell people that the content is coming. In the world of mobile apps, we have only one chance to make a first impression. We must give them compelling reasons to stay tuned the very first time they launch the app. Please visit tagstation.com/signup for information about delivering your station’s content to the NextRadio app.”
At least one group head is enthusiastically on board. Radio One’s Al Liggins said,”In order to continue thriving, the radio industry has to keep evolving. Making FM radio stations available on smartphones — the place where more and more of our listeners access our stations’ content — makes perfect sense. That’s why Radio One is so proud to be part of NextRadio.”
According to TagStation, NextRadio is fully aware of the need to be its own most severe critic, to identify strengths and weaknesses and cement the service’s place in the total US media mix.
RBR-TVBR observation: NextRadio will eventually get the chance to prove itself when there is an emergency of some sort somewhere and it will demonstrate its ability to get critical information out to people on the street when the one-to-one cell phone infrastructure is swamped to the point of uselessness.
But it can be so much more than that – and every radio group that wishes to be part of the future should be jumping on this bandwagon so that the service goes into use all the time, not just when there’s trouble.