The endless winter of 2014 is finally fading, and with the thaw comes the sprouts and shoots of a promising Spring for TagStation and NextRadio. The release of both the HTC One (M8) and the Samsung Galaxy S5 has created an impressive uptick in new listeners and furthered the adoption of NextRadio even faster than we could have hoped. Our presence at the NAB Show in Vegas has generated new TagStation partnerships, and listeners across the country (and in other countries!) are inundating us with feedback for NextRadio and FM in their smartphones.
More on those developments in a moment. But first, this week’s NextRadio numbers update.
By the Numbers
- Over 350,000 app downloads
- Over 8,650 FM radio stations tuned to from the app
- Over 325,000 hours of listening through NextRadio
- A 4.1/5.0 Google Play Store user rating
The numbers continue to trend up, up, and up, but how are broadcasters responding? And what’s an everyday consumer think of having an FM tuner in their phone? Let’s find out!
In the Wake of the NAB Show
We provided a big NAB show wrap-up in the last post, but now that we’re a few weeks out from the show we’re seeing a wave of interest from broadcasters that were able to get hands-on time with NextRadio and TagStation. With keynote mentions and quotes from a wide range of industry analysts and leaders, carmakers, and tech gurus, the value of TagStation services and the NextRadio FM listening experience was made clear.
Broadcasters are responding in kind: we’ve seen a substantial uptick in inquiries for full TagStation services and we’re delighted to be sharing the big picture value of enhanced data services for HD, hybrid radio, and the connected dashboards of the future. Keep it coming! If you’d like to hear more about how your stations can catch the wave, contact us today.
If You Build It, They Will Listen
We spend a lot of time on the blog highlighting industry news, tracking NextRadio trends and growth, and sharing insights from industry events. But what about the listeners? What do they have to say about NextRadio and the new (to them!) entertainment option of an FM receiver and local radio just a tap away wherever they go?
When we built NextRadio, there was a common consensus that FM radio in a smartphone wasn’t something that consumers were interested in. The problem, of course, is that no one had created a compelling reason for listeners to choose FM over other services in the tiny number of phones that had an active FM chip at the time. A simple tuner that scrolls through the radio dial doesn’t even meet the bare minimum of interaction and metadata provided by other music services.
That’s why NextRadio had to be different. We developed a fresh and interactive FM listening experience that could stand toe-to-toe with other mobile music offerings while leveraging the most powerful asset a broadcaster owns: the terrestrial signal. The concept is simple enough – enhance existing radio programming with artwork and interactions in real-time – but the consumer response was still an unknown. Would listeners care enough about the features and benefits to choose FM listening over other options?
As it turns out, listeners love having FM in their pocket.
Word on the Street
But you don’t have to take our word for it. We built feedback mechanisms into NextRadio so that we could hear from listeners directly – they can send us comments, issues they’ve discovered, or just some love for the app, and we place an incredible amount of value on every piece of feedback we receive. Without further ado, here are some of the most interesting comments we’ve accumulated from NextRadio users over the last few months.
FM radio is an appreciated entertainment option on the phone
“I’ve been wanting to listen to my favorite radio station at work for a long time but couldn’t access their streaming service due to firewalls… now with NextRadio I can listen all day!”
“I used to download music which would take up a lot of memory in my phone, but now all I do is turn on the radio, switch stations, and I’m good.”
“Because I don’t have a very good WiFi or cell signal in many places I go, it is a huge plus to have this app. It works great and is super easy.”
“I use to hop from browser to browser changing radio websites and listening to music…NOW. THIS IS MY GO TO APP!”
Battery savings are a big plus
“Like it very much. This app came on my phone (Boost Mobile Max LTE) – it doesn’t mess with my battery life. I play it when I’m at work (8hrs).”
“I’m always listening. Love it a lot and I still have a lot of battery life left.”
“I don’t lose battery life.”
—Michael E., keeping it short and sweet.
Listeners love good radio, especially when they can take it on the go
“I am able to listen to the stations that are set to the buttons in my car. I don’t have to miss any of my favorite songs. Thank you for giving us this.”
“Anything I want to hear is there. Look for an artist, all albums are right there. Have not had an issue with connections or nonsense.”
“Love it for work – I am a maintenance guy.”
“I listen to this app every day. Love some talk shows that’s on the radio, and this app lets me listen to it wherever I am.”
“I can’t live without music, but I don’t want to get an unlimited data plan at the moment. So this app is perfect since it pulls all the music and song names (if applicable) using radio waves and not my data plan.”
Of course, not every piece of feedback we get has NextRadio coming up roses. Listeners want it on other phones, they want it in other countries, and they want to have Bluetooth compatibility, for crying out loud! These are good problems to have, though — problems that will be addressed as we grow. The point is, they want it.
Portable radios may be a thing of the past, but NextRadio is proving that FM is a valuable entertainment option once listeners have it on their phone and in their pocket. We look forward to continued growth of the app and are excited about bringing radio engagement to the next level with the enhanced data services that TagStation can deliver today to HD receivers and FM-enabled smartphones and the connected car dashboards and devices (including tablets!) of tomorrow.
Expect a new batch of phones to be released over the next month or two, and return to this spot in a couple of weeks for highlights of those releases and all the latest and greatest TagStation details and NextRadio numbers. Until then!