Westwood One announced an agreement with NextRadio that enables all members of the U.S. Radio Industry to use ad inventory to fund the Industry’s Sprint payments.
NextRadio is an app that enhances over-the-air FM radio broadcasts with album art, buy song and station information, and allows stations and their listeners to interact directly using a smartphone’s built-in features such as calendaring, find nearby, text messaging, visit website, and more.
Over the past year, broadcasters have been asked to commit dollars and/or inventory to fund the Sprint NextRadio Initiative, which plans to sell at least 30 million FM receiver-enabled smartphones in the next three years. Broadcasters can meet their commitment by providing two minutes per station per day (Monday-Sunday, 6am to Midnight). Westwood One will sell the spots on NextRadio’s behalf and NextRadio will pay the proceeds to Sprint. The participating broadcasters’ donations will help to create the momentum needed to get FM receivers activated in the more than 300 million cell phones in the market today.
“We are confident that NextRadio is a game-changer for the radio industry and will reignite growth,” said Jeff Smulyan, Chairman and CEO of Emmis. “The addition of Westwood One to focus on the sales effort will allow companies to use ROS inventory to fulfill their pledges instead of writing checks. This gives every company an option.”
“As the leading network organization in radio today, we have always been on the frontlines in support of the industry. This is an important initiative which will bring our medium forward and further allow listeners to engage with the compelling content the industry produces. We are happy to help,” said, Charles Steinhauer, COO of Westwood One.
Westwood One is already working with several station ownership groups. Interested stations can contact [email protected] or (212) 419-2926 to participate.
The NextRadio app, free on Google Play, is currently available for use with 16 different types of smartphones on the Sprint Network, including the HTC One M8 smartphone that works on all wireless carrier networks.