All Access Test Drives The NextRadio App
Exclusive Demo And Overview
September 26, 2013 at 10:42 AM (PT)
Unless you've been in coma or living under a rock, you can't help but know about EMMIS CEO JEFF SMULYAN's work to bring the FM chip to more smartphones via an initial deal with SPRINT (NET NEWS 8/15), using the EMMIS-developed NEXTRADIO app.
YESTERDAY (9/25), EMMIS Pres./Programming RICK CUMMINGS stopped by the ALL ACCESS offices for a demo of the NEXTRADIO app, which can help a user access and control a smartphone's FM chip. NEXTRADIO is currently available exclusively through SPRINT, and runs exclusively on the ANDROID platform, on the HTC ONE and EVO devices, for now.
CUMMINGS noted, "The numbers are still relatively small, but they are growing impressively. And with plans to have the NEXTRADIO app in more than a dozen phones in the weeks/months ahead, the numbers will get big quickly. We need to ensure we have rich content on the phone when those numbers arrive.
"We're in that period where there is near universal appeal/approval from broadcasters for the NEXTRADIO app. When they see what it's truly capable of (pretty much everything audiences have come to expect in the Internet/mobile world), they get very enthused. The app is getting tremendous reviews but a consistent thread is: "Sure wish more stations were providing the content.”
"To the programming folks out there, I would say 'get your brand up on a full TAGSTATION account ASAP. Out of the gate you'll have album art and song/title, and then you can start to add all the interactive content listeners now expect."
ALL ACCESS President/Publisher JOEL DENVER got a look at the NEXTRADIO app on the HTC ONE ... and did a test drive. "I was immediately impressed with the intuitiveness of the NEXTRADIO app -- it tunes from station to station with ease. And to make it easy enough even for a caveman, there is a radio list that the app creates and displays for each market making it 'a point and tune' system, or you can manually rotate a tuning dial for other stations not captured on the list.
"The key to this will be radio's adoption to support the current platform, which will spur other carriers to get involved. Radio can get involved for free via TAGSTATION with their logos, and add interactivity down the road if they want.
"While not all smartphones offer an FM chip yet, the NEXTRADIO app is another plank in the thinking that radio should be everywhere consumers expect it to be. Once you try this, the upsides are immediately apparent."
NextRadio App's Long List Of Features:
All FM stations can sign-up for the free logo service of TAGSTATION ...
• This is a free service available to ALL broadcasters, free of charge.
• Free logo service will populate basic station information in the guide (station logo, description of station, name, slogan, genre).
• Free logo service will display the station's logo and slogan in the "now playing" screen.
• The vast majority of the major broadcasters and many of the small broadcasters have signed up.
• For stations that do not sign up for free logo service, NEXTRADIO users can still see the station's frequency and call letters, but will not see any of the enhanced visuals or station info
All FM stations are encouraged to sign-up for full data service, powered by TAGSTATION
• This is a very affordable upgrade made available to all broadcasters, though some minor hardware upgrades may be required depending on their automation system
• Full data service includes all of the free logo service features.
Additional Features Include:
*** Album artwork and song title/artist matching, with ability to purchase or save for later
*** Ability to send feedback on a song -- like, dislike, etc.
*** Ability to share the listening experience (song) via social media
*** Ability to add a station schedule, and for listeners to interact via web, text or call
*** Ad and promo enhancements thatenable a listener, with one click, to 1) send pre-populated texts; 2) visit a website URL; 3) Call a designated number; 4) Map a point of interest; 5) Add an event to the phone calendar; 4) Share an event (song, promo, commercial, etc.) via social media
EMMIS/AUSTIN VP/Programming & Operations CHASE RUPE is naturally very enthusiastic; he added, "All of these features give the ultimate interactive experience with FM radio without crushing the listener's data plan and battery life. The app uses 90% less data than streaming a radio station and gives the user 3x better battery life than streaming. All of this ... with enhancements that immediately connect the listeners with their favorite radio stations in ways never before possible."