Unprecedented coordination by radio broadcasters led to today’s announcement that Sprint will begin installing the NextRadio® application in a broad array of FM-enabled wireless devices over the coming years, allowing consumers to listen to their local radio stations on their smartphones.
“Today we set a new course as an industry, one that will bring exciting audience and advertiser engagement opportunities,” Emmis Chairman & CEO Jeff Smulyan said. “This announcement is a credit to the entire radio industry, which has unified to make this happen.”
Data for the NextRadio® app is supplied by TagStation®, the cloud-based engine that offers stations the ability to upload branding images that will display as default artwork in the NextRadio® app, as well as call letters, format, station name and slogan. This basic, free level of station integration is open to all radio stations and creates a compelling experience within the app as the user is able to quickly associate their local stations with familiar visuals while browsing.
“Whether the station is large market, medium market, small market, commercial or non-commercial, this free service will provide listeners with a visual radio listening experience on the FM-enabled smartphone. Radio stations no longer have to add the cost of Internet Streaming to get local FM radio on a mobile device,” said Paul Brenner, Emmis’ Chief Technology Officer and President, NextRadio, LLC. “Adding full TagStation® capabilities allows radio stations to offer listeners features like album art and artist information, listener feedback, song tagging capabilities, enhanced advertising options and social integration, which dramatically enhance the listening experience.”
Smulyan noted that more than 1,500 stations signed up for the free services offered by TagStation® and thousands more are expected following today’s product launch. Additionally, industry leaders like Beasley, CBS Radio, Entercom, Greater Media and Hubbard registered for the additional services through TagStation®.