Indianapolis-based Emmis Communications Corp. (Nasdaq: EMMS) has announced a technology deal with one of the country's largest wireless network providers. The partnership involves the inclusion of the Emmis “NextRadio” app into some Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) smartphones, which will allow users to listen to any local radio station. Emmis Chief Executive Officer Jeff Smulyan says the technology sets “a new course” for the industry. You can see a video demonstration of the NextRadio application by clicking here.
August 15, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Unprecedented coordination by radio broadcasters led to today's announcement that Sprint will begin installing the NextRadio application in a broad array of FM-enabled wireless devices over the coming years, allowing consumers to listen to their local radio stations on their smartphones.
“Today we set a new course as an industry, one that will bring exciting audience and advertiser engagement opportunities,” Emmis Chairman & CEO Jeff Smulyan said. “This announcement is a credit to the entire radio industry, which has unified to make this happen.”
The announcement by Sprint also marks the official launch of NextRadio, the smartphone app that delivers a highly interactive artist and ad experience to FM-enabled smartphones.
Data for the NextRadio app is supplied by TagStation, the cloud-based engine that offers stations the ability to upload branding images that will display as default artwork in the NextRadio app, as well as call letters, format, station name and slogan. This basic, free level of station integration is open to all radio stations and creates a compelling experience within the app as the user is able to quickly associate their local stations with familiar visuals while browsing.
If a station does not register at TagStation, listeners using the NextRadio app will still be able to hear the radio station but may not see the station's logo displayed.
“Whether the station is large market, medium market, small market, commercial or non-commercial, this free service will provide listeners with a visual radio listening experience on the FM-enabled smartphone. Radio stations no longer have to add the cost of Internet Streaming to get local FM radio on a mobile device,” said Paul Brenner, Emmis' Chief Technology Officer and President, NextRadio, LLC. “Adding full TagStation capabilities allows radio stations to offer listeners features like album art and artist information, listener feedback, song tagging capabilities, enhanced advertising options and social integration, which dramatically enhance the listening experience.”
Smulyan noted that more than 1,500 stations signed up for the free services offered by TagStation and thousands more are expected following today's product launch. Additionally, industry leaders like Beasley, CBS Radio, Entercom, Greater Media and Hubbard registered for the additional services through TagStation.
The Radio Advertising Bureau and National Association of Broadcasters enthusiastically endorse the idea of FM receivers in smartphones. The NextRadio system brings that feature to select Sprint smartphones and includes every radio station in America on the service. To see a demonstration of the NextRadio app, go to http://tagstation.com/NextRadio/. To sign your station up for this free service, visit http://www.tagstation.com/signup
Emmis Communications – Great Media, Great People, Great Service
About Emmis Communications
Emmis Communications Corporation is a diversified media company, principally focused on radio broadcasting. Emmis operates the 10th largest publicly traded radio portfolio in the United States based on total listeners. Emmis owns 18 FM and 3 AM radio stations in New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Austin (Emmis has a 50.1 percent controlling interest in Emmis' radio stations located there), Indianapolis and Terre Haute, IN. One of our FM radio stations in New York is operated pursuant to a Local Marketing Agreement (“LMA”) whereby a third party provides the programming for the station and sells all advertising within that programming. TagStation and NextRadio are registered trademarks of Emmis' wholly owned subsidiary, TagStation, LLC. The NextRadio app is distributed by Emmis' wholly owned subsidiary, NextRadio, LLC.
Source: Emmis Communications Corp.