NextRadio: Coleman Insight's Warren Kurtzman Summarizes Why This App Can Make A Difference For Radio
August 7, 2014 at 3:58 AM (PT)
On the heels of COLEMAN INSIGHTS' release of the NEXTRADIO research it completed in cooperation with EMMIS and the NAB, (NET NEWS, 7/31) Pres./COO WARREN KURTZMAN has posted some additional reflections on its findings on its website.
KURTZMAN describes how concluding that local FM consumption is being limited by consumers' lack of access to radio, that the industry's efforts to get consumers to listen to radio via streaming haven't been especially effective, that decreasing availability of unlimited data plans will limit consumption of streaming via smartphones and that consumers love the concept of NEXTRADIO has made him a disciple of the platform.
KURTZMAN pens on the company blog, "Those who know me well know that I’m an 'early adopter' who likes to try every new gadget and technology that comes along as soon as possible. That is especially true of anything related to music and audio streaming, as evidenced by the wide array of outmoded MP3 players that fill my desk drawers and the ridiculous number of streaming apps on my smartphone. You’ll rarely find me working in my office, driving my car or walking through airports without the accompaniment of audio streaming from radio stations around the world, or from 'Internet-only' services like PANDORA and SPOTIFY."
"It is from that perspective that I initially didn’t get what the point of NEXTRADIO was," he continues. "Quite honestly, when EMMIS CEO JEFF SMULYAN -- someone I’ve always respected and appreciated as a long-time client of my company -- started campaigning on behalf of the platform, I had some serious reservations. Why would I possibly need to use the FM chip in my smartphone when I could already listen to thousands of radio stations via streaming? Sure, doing so drained my smartphone’s battery pretty quickly, but with an extra battery nearby and a 'grandfathered' unlimited data plan from AT&T, I had streaming audio pretty much anywhere and anytime I wanted it. If my client station in FRESNO wanted my feedback on the new imaging they put on the air, streaming was my ticket to audio entertainment and providing good client service. In other words, NEXTRADIO wasn’t going to allow me to do anything I couldn’t already do, plus it was limited to only allowing me to listen to local stations whose signals my smartphone could receive."
KURTZMAN notes, "As you are hopefully aware, COLEMAN INSIGHTS and our KNOWDIGITAL division have recently completed a two-phase research study on NEXTRADIO. Our conclusions were very bullish on NEXTRADIO and I was quoted in the media expressing my belief that NEXTRADIO could help increase the audience for local FM radio," and continued, "So what changed? Why did I become a believer in NEXTRADIO and why am I -- beginning with this blog post -- joining with JEFF and the NAB to get radio broadcasters to support its rollout? I hope the next few paragraphs convince you to join me and my colleagues and support this initiative. NEXTRADIO will not solve all of radio’s problems, but it will tackle some of them, and the research we have done strengthens my belief in its potential."
In conclusion, KURTZMAN blogs, "The radio business faces a lot of challenges and NEXTRADIO is far from a panacea that will cure all of its ills. We need more compelling content, we need fewer commercials, we need more innovation and experimentation and we need to do a much better job of marketing our stations. We also, however, have to address our distribution problem and I believe NEXTRADIO could be a huge step forward in doing that. To ignore the potential of NEXTRADIO to address our distribution problem because it doesn’t solve every one of our problems is flat out stupid. Right now, NEXTRADIO is in its infancy and with limited distribution and lack of any consumer awareness yet, it has barely scratched the surface of what it can be."
"That is why I urged JEFF SMULYAN, his colleagues at EMMIS and the NAB to invest in research that will help improve the industry’s chances of succeeding with NEXTRADIO and to their credit, they stepped up," sums up KURTZMAN. "It’s why I urge every radio group in the UNITED STATES to also step up and support the positioning and marketing efforts that will flow from the research we’ve done. My COLEMAN INSIGHTS and KNOWDIGITAL colleagues and I want to be a part of the solution; I hope the readers of this blog post want to do the same."
Make sure to read the full posting here.