Third-party suppliers are starting to provide support infrastructure for the NextRadio project. WideOrbit announced a new radio automation integration that will be available in January 2014.
WO Automation for Radio will be integrating with NextRadio and TagStation to support visually enhanced radio on certain Sprint smartphones.
Emmis subsidiary TagStation developed the NextRadio FM app in partnership with NAB Labs. The hybrid radio smartphone app provides FM listening on a smartphone using a combination of the phone’s built-in FM tuner and the Internet. TagStation is a server-based data service for enhanced radio broadcasting through the NextRadio app. With TagStation, stations can add visual content and enhanced promos for display on the NextRadio app.
The integration allows WideOrbit’s WO Automation for Radio clients to deliver the title, artist and other music content information, in addition to visual ads and promos, along with their FM broadcasts to listeners’ phones through the NextRadio platform. This integration gives stations an opportunity to deliver a visually enhanced experience to listeners that will place them on par with other music apps, according to the company.
Additionally, the technology provides new revenue opportunities to stations through advertiser-sponsored content.
Some 3,200 stations are operating on the WideOrbit Radio Automation platform and about 1,000 are live on WO Traffic, WideOrbit’s sales, traffic and billing software.
Emmis SVP/CTO Paul Brenner is quoted in the announcement saying that as FM becomes available on more smart devices, “it’s important to make it as easy as possible for stations to dive in and be creative without worrying about system requirements.” He calls WideOrbit’s integration “a big step.”
WideOrbit says it provides solutions for managing the business of ad sales operations. Its product line helps stations manage the workflow of ad sales across media, including broadcast radio and television, media networks, digital and mobile.
“This integration with NextRadio and TagStation illustrates one of the many ways that WideOrbit is supporting the future of radio,” said WideOrbit Founder/CEO Eric Mathewson. “The joint technology offering provides stations with a new revenue stream and allows them to compete head-on with other music apps through the delivery of music content, album art and other interactive content.”
The NextRadio technology delivers a competitive advantage to WideOrbit radio automation clients, he said.