From time to time, we turn JacoBLOG over to an outside contributor to tell us a story about their view of the business. The theme is always a “Top 5” list, and today's guest author, Jeff Smulyan, had to do some editing to keep his list at just five. If you've been to a radio conference in the past couple of years or you've just bumped into Jeff Smulyan at an airport, you've probably heard an earful about NextRadio.
The NextRadio initiative is one of the most discussed innovations in radio in recent yours. The concept is simple, but the execution is much harder. Every smartphone, including the one in your pocket, pursue, or the one in your hand you're reading this post, has a chip inside that can receive over-the-air FM broadcasts. Sprint jumped in first, and other telecommunication giants have followed. The other key player in the NextRadio drama is Apple. To date, NextRadio is only available as an Android app.
Emmis Communication CEO and Founder, Jeff Smulyan, has tirelessly led the charge to build awareness and acceptance of NextRadio. In the form of an Android app, the NextRadio technology contains interactive technology that includes features, information, and data that could change the face of radio broadcasting.
Jeff never misses an opportunity to tell NextRadio's story. At the Canadian Music Week Conference in Toronto in 2014, I bumped into Jeff and the CEO of the Consumer Technology Association (nee Consumer Electronics Association), Gary Shapiro, in the lobby of our hotel. Jeff immediately pulled out several devices to show off NextRadio technology to Gary – a guy who truly personifies innovation. The next morning, Gary gave Jeff and NextRadio a shout-out at his keynote.
Jeff continues to work hard to tell the NextRadio story, part of which is his quest to help make radio cool again. In this installment of “The Guest List,” Jeff explains “The 5 Things Every Radio Professional Should Know About NextRadio.”
1. NextRadio is a product for all stations and an industry supported effort.
This is not just an Emmis product but a product focused on reinventing radio and creating an agnostic solution that all stations can benefit from. Every radio station in a listener’s area can be tuned to through NextRadio, and working together we can equally benefit from the value NextRadio brings to our radio listeners.
The birth of NextRadio started with the support of the NAB and most key broadcasters coming together to support the product rollout and Sprint partnership. These alliances continue today and have resulted in the recent creation of an Advisory Council comprised of leaders in the industry sharing their thought leadership as we grow and expand NextRadio.
2. NextRadio is essential for emergency situations.
The availability of NextRadio through an active FM chip in smartphones allows the public much-needed information in the event of an emergency. Data indicates that during an emergency weather situation the number of NextRadio listeners increases on average more than 2.5 times and the number of listening sessions increase by 4 times. These dramatic increases validate NextRadio as a valuable resource that your listeners tune to in a time of need.
3. NextRadio can grow radio listening.
Our data confirms the average listening session is 20 minutes vs. 10 minutes through traditional radio. We also have seen an increase in daypart listening and interactions which shows people are listening outside the car and home, making radio truly portable.
4. NextRadio can generate revenue.
The key focus is for us to work together to turn NextRadio into a revenue stream for broadcasters. Through a variety of advertising tests enhancing the on-air radio spot with a digital ad on NextRadio, we are proving it works. In fact, we have tests that show click through rates that range from 2.3% to 6% which are 11 times+ greater than traditional digital mobile ads.
5. NextRadio provides robust data.
One of the best kept secrets about NextRadio is the data it can provide. You will soon be able to see and share plays, listens, views, interactions and a whole lot more. Marketers are all about the data, and you will soon have access to insights you can share with advertisers that validate the effectiveness of their radio buy.
More information about NextRadio here.
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