NextRadio

With the understanding that “people are engaged with interactivity,” the battle for critical mass is charging ever forward for NextRadio. At the Radio Show session “After AT&T and T-Mobile: Next Steps for NextRadio,” NextRadio president Paul Brenner and Jeff Smulyan, chairman of the board of Emmis Communications, explained the burgeoning app’s coming moves.

Its next frontier is the development of interactive advertising that complements what on-air listeners experience. A recent beta test with Allstate revealed impressive results, which were shared Thursday—With an ad that allowed Next Radio users across several hundred U.S. station to interact on the app, there was a 2.28% direct conversion rate. There were seven different campaigns, with different imaging and a separate call to action for each.

“Allstate was flabbergasted by that conversion rate,” Brenner said. “We were also able to provide next-day reporting that is simply not available anywhere else in the radio industry. This is marketing data that they previously only could have expected from television or digital.”

Information provided to Allstate included what stations and markets had the most user reaction, formats, the total time it played on test stations and how many people were converted into action.

Smulyan continued his plea for more broadcasters to integrate the NextRadio app. “It’s not enough to turn on the smartphone and see the interface,” he said. “We have to all create a unified system that makes radio cool again. We all know that people today are engaged by the interactivity.” Providing compelling content is also tantamount to convincing Verizon and Apple to “join the momentum” with Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T until “every carrier is on board,” he said.

Next Radio improvements on the horizon include a ticket purchasing click-through, enhanced feedback actions and a second design for tablets. And for the industry, NextRadio is working toward full next-day reporting of data and usage, new app features, a working enhanced ad template for broadcasters, and perhaps most important, a goal of having the FM chip successfully installed in 60 million phones in 2016.