What *Is* NextRadio Powered by TagStation? - Radio World

What *Is* NextRadio Powered by TagStation?

App platform helps stations take full advantage of the FM chip
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NextRadio is the smartphone app that allows listeners to tune to live, local FM radio on a mobile phone. Every FM signal can be tuned to in NextRadio. More than 12,500 FM stations have been tuned to through NextRadio, and on average 5,040 stations are tuned to each day. NextRadio creates a new, unified radio listening experience on mobile phones providing consumers with a new way to listen to local radio using the FM chip.

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The difference is whether those signals are seen and heard in NextRadio, which comes from TagStation.

TagStation is the cloud-based service that is the programming and sales content engine behind NextRadio, powering the visual and interactive experience. It allows radio stations to synchronize their radio broadcasts with album artwork, images, text and interactive touch points for visual display in NextRadio. The average time spent listening to NextRadio is 20 minutes, and in a recent analysis of over 8 million NextRadio listening hours, TagStation clients garnered 60 percent more listening than stations only providing a free logo.

WORKING WITH AND HELPING BROADCASTERS
How we are working with and helping broadcasters?

We are listening to the industry, especially small to medium-size broadcasters, and adjusting to help overcome any challenges they face with respect to licensing TagStation to offer their listeners the full interactive experience of NextRadio.

The main obstacles we have encountered from the radio industry, specifically the small to medium-size broadcasters, with respect to TagStation include general product understanding, staffing resources to devote to TagStation, middleware connectivity concerns, and the cost of TagStation licensing. We have listened to these industry concerns and have provided solutions to overcome these barriers.

We have done several things in order to educate the industry about NextRadio and TagStation. We have attended several state broadcaster conventions. We provide online tutorial videos, host biweekly training sessions and supply a plethora of forum posts explaining how TagStation makes radio stations come alive in NextRadio.

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TagStation is simple and easy to learn and use, but many broadcasters have thus far struggled to use the system to its potential. In an effort to help provide NextRadio listeners the best visual experience, we formed a Content Acceleration Team. We can help stations leverage existing online resources and bring your local programs and personalities to life in the NextRadio app.

Many small to medium-size broadcasters have shared with us concerns on the technical side of connecting to TagStation because TagStation requires datacasting software. This software allows TagStation to receive the now playing information about the audio airing on local radio. We’ve worked with several vendors to ensure their products support as many TagStation features as possible, and have even developed our own simple solution as well.

The final and most common concern for broadcasters is the cost to license TagStation. Recently, TagStation fees were drastically reduced in an effort to make TagStation more affordable for all broadcasters. This is important because the wireless industry expects our entire industry to operate as one unit to deliver a consistent user experience in NextRadio on every station in America.

TagStation is now being offered for only $10/month per FM analog station, with no setup fees. If you have a broadcast channel that wishes to utilize TagStation to serve content for FM/HD1, HD2, HD3 and HD4, pricing will remain at $35/month, billed annually at $420 due to the higher cost of supporting HD Radio systems.

All U.S. radio stations working together with TagStation will create a world-class visual and interactive radio listening experience in NextRadio. By using TagStation to improve the customer experience, grow listening and increase advertiser interest; the radio industry can show our current wireless partners that we can unify as an industry but also create a more compelling reason for getting Verizon and Apple on board with NextRadio.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE APP?
NextRadio has been working with the National Association of Broadcasters and a long list of industry leaders doing everything possible to get more FM-enabled smartphones into the market. This is no small undertaking, but together we are making tremendous progress. We are continuing to grow with Sprint, Boost and Virgin Mobile, and are getting ready to launch AT&T and handset maker BLU Products, all while working to add the remaining carriers and handset manufacturers.

In 2016, NextRadio will be available on approximately 60 million smartphones. Now is the time for our industry to ban together with TagStation to create visually interactive FM radio on a smartphone with NextRadio.

We are here to help!

Not on TagStation? To learn about middleware and the specifics, as well as new pricing, contact sales@tagstation.com. TagStation users: For any support questions or if you would like to add your station to our task list, contact our Content Acceleration Team at support@tagstation.com.

Comment on this or any story. Emailradioworld@nbmedia.com.

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