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When Will Other Carriers Incorporate FM App?

Observers predict higher station participation will be driving force

Emmis gets a lot of questions about when carriers other than Sprint will incorporate the NextRadio FM app in their devices.

Emmis CTO Paul Brenner says, “Their hesitation is radio can’t do it,” meaning deliver a consistent product in a unified way.

Noting that “Apple loves great apps,” Eric Williams, product manager for Sprint says, “When you can say the whole industry is behind this, that’s when it’s going to happen.” The larger carriers are asking if NextRadio is “fully functional and is everybody participating.” 

Some seven million smartphones now in the market come with the NextRadio FM app enabled. Emmis says around 6,700 radio stations are now represented graphically in the app; 1,500 of those are providing interactivity and the other 5,200 are providing station logos.

Brenner said the company is now having meetings with larger carriers about the app that “we could not get two years ago” because of the apps growth.

Further, NAB is looking at ideas to help market NextRadio app, according to Brenner.

Williams says the data the carrier can see from what users do with the NextRadio app is insightful.

“We monitor every category. There’s 17 to 20% growth month-over-month.” Using the data, Sprint can see metrics such as a user’s education level and where they shop. “It’s powerful, what you can do with it.”

Big Machine Label Group Director of Strategic Research Dave Kelly said using the app, users can “engage longer with the music.” With NextRadio you can see what information the consumer is using about a particular program.

“Those are things we’re excited about being able to see.”