NextRadio proponents had said recently new promotions are on their way.
A new website,www.freeradioonmyphone.org, a collaboration between NextRadio, NPR, American Public Media and Educational Media Foundation, is part of that trend.
The organizations urge listeners to let their wireless carriers know “as a matter of public safety and consumer fairness for data plans” they want the FM chips enabled on their smartphones.
“We are a collection of public and commercial radio organizations that know just how simple it would be for carriers to activate the FM chip in smartphones,” say the companies on the site.
The companies say the collaboration between the radio industry and Sprint, as well as work with major phone manufacturers, resulted in the software necessary to enable the FM tuner in smartphones on all carriers. Indeed, Sprint and its affiliates now offer NextRadio preloaded on 17 devices.
In a letter to the affiliates that was shared with RW, new NPR President/CEO Jarl Mohn and APR President/CEO Jon McTaggart say in order to accomplish their public service mission, “we must make sure we are available to our audiences anytime, anywhere and on their favorite mobiles devices.” Increasingly, that’s the smartphone.
So the executives tell their stations they’re “working with our friends in commercial radio and religious broadcasting” on the initiative, noting they’re asking “every public station across the country” to take part. They also urge member stations to sign up with NextRadio, also noting that other apps will come along and they encourage them, “but this one is ready now.”
While NextRadio proponents have been talking to other carriers, they say the typical resistance to enabling FM chips on smartphones here in the U.S. is lack of consumer demand. That’s why Emmis/NextRadio and radio industry proponents of the FM chip in smartphone effort have been pushing stations to go beyond the free logo and employ software such as TagStation to complete the backchannel on an FM-enabled smartphone.