New York Market Radio (NYMRAD) unveiled NextRadio, the industry initiative to make FM broadcast radio available on mobile phones via a pre-loaded, downloadable app. The event was held 9/26 during Advertising Week at the Times Center in NYC. The FM radio mobile platform eliminates the costly data-usage fees associated with mobile streaming and features: a buy-button for purchases and coupons, hyper-local geo-targeting advertising opportunities, two-way listener interactive elements, and more.
The NextRadio panel was moderated by David Pogue, Technology Columnist at the New York Times, and included: David Owens, VP/Product, Sprint Corporation; Paul Brenner, SVP/CTO, Emmis Communications; Joel Klaiman, EVP/GM, Columbia Records; and Joe Riccitelli, EVP/GM, RCA Records.
It was announced earlier this month that NextRadio is up and running on two Sprint smartphones and consumers are downloading it and using it. The ground-breaking arrangement with Sprint led by Jeff Smulyan of Emmis Communications and marks the first time a U.S. wireless carrier is making FM broadcast radio accessible on a broad array of its devices.
Riccitelli confirmed that Radio is the number one driver for new music, putting to rest any unsubstantiated reports to the contrary. “Listening to radio on mobile phones is continuous distribution,” he added noting that consumers can transition from listening in their car to listening on their mobile phone without interruption. Klaiman agreed, observing that FM on radio also contributes “elongated listening.”
Owens highlighted the interactive elements of the platform, specifically pointing out real-time benefits, such as a consumer texting a friend what song they are listening to at that very moment and text-to-win-tickets options.
The panel discussed how the NextRadio app can increase music sales in addition to exposure, and how the revenue-generating capabilities apply to other advertising categories. Riccitelli noted the power of the “buy” button on the NextRadio app, and Brenner referenced location-based advertising, couponing, and click-to-route features.
“Radio will be even more dynamic and interactive with the enhanced advertiser capabilities of the NextRadio app on mobile phones,” observed Joe Puglise, President, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, NY, and Chairman of NYMRAD, who introduced the panel.
“Radio has always connected with its listeners,” commented Deborah Beagan, Executive Director, NYMRAD. “With NextRadio, advertisers can tap into that strong listener loyalty while engaging consumers directly.”
Immediately following the panel discussion, NYMRAD hosted a special “meet and greet” reception with some of New York Market’s biggest radio stars: Danielle Monaro from “The Elvis Duran Morning Show, Z-100; Paul “Cubby” Bryant, WKTU; Peter Rosenberg, Cipha Sounds, Laura Stylze, Shani Kulture and Ebro from HOT 97 Morning Show, along with Funk Master Flex; Lulu and LaLa, 92.3 NOW Morning Show; Wayne Cabot, WCBS Newsradio 880; Bill Plaxx, FRESH; DJ Envy, Angela Yee, and Charlamagne tha God from “The Breakfast Club Morning Show”, Power 105; Kelly Ford, Midday Personality on NASH; Race Taylor and John Foxx, WPLJ; Madelyn Rodriguez, Speedy, Diane Sanchez, Univision; Shaila and Bob Lee, WBLS.
This is NYMRAD’s fourth year presenting radio-centric events at Advertising Week. Previous speakers at NYMRAD’s events have included Richard Branson, Chris Hughes, Donny Deutsch, Mary J Blige and more.
From L: David Pogue, Joe Puglise, David Owens, Deborah Beagan, Joel Klaiman, Paul Brenner, and Joe Riccitelli
Top Row, from L: Bob Lee, WBLS; Ebro Darden, WQHT; Wayne Cabot, WCBS-AM; Kelly Ford, NASH; Cipha Sounds, WQHT; Danielle Monaro, Z100; Audrey Puente, Fox 5; Paul Cubby Bryant, WKTU. Bottom Row, From L: Shaila, WBLS; Marianela Gonzales, Lulu, WNOW; Peter Rosenberg, WQHT; Marissa Gonzales, Lala, WNOW; Speedy, WXNY; Race Taylor and John Foxx, WPLJ.
RBR-TVBR observation: Smartphones that have an FM chip/software inside save a tremendous amount of battery power. And, as Kevin Plumb, ESPN Audio VP/Audio Technology told us at NAB/RAB, “There are so many smartphones out there today with dormant FM radio chips/software embedded in their systems. It would not take much to activate them, should the manufacturer decide to do so.”
With NextRadio, Emmis/NAB Labs/iBiquity Digital’s TagStation also plays a role with a platform to manage album art, meta data and enhanced advertising that are sent to the phone in sync with the broadcast. This amps traditional radio’s terrestrial signal with the bells and whistles of internet radio—but also benefits local populations with emergency information when the power goes out or the cell towers are overloaded. Speaking of overloaded cell towers, ever try to listen to internet radio in a traffic jam? Good luck. You may hear the internet stream 10% of the time while it constantly buffers the stream. Too many data clients means data throttling. Online streaming is DOA quite often here in the DC area on I-95 and the Beltway as drivers sit in stopped traffic for miles daily.