Charting NextRadio adoption: 1M downloads; new features coming

NextRadio announced an adoption milestone: one-million downloads of the NextRadio app. NextRadio is an enhanced FM tuner for smartphones, available on select Sprint phones in which the FM receiving chip is activated. (Five-million eligible phones are on the street.)

nextradio chart downloads hours

NextRadio app downloads from product start 14 months ago, to one-million downloads today. Listening hours as a proportion of downloads accelerated during that time. (Chart by RAIN News. Source:

With the announcement of one-million downloads comes an update of the app (scheduled for this Friday, October 17), that will put new, more interactive features into the NextRadio experience.

NextRadio launched in August, 2013, by Emmis Communications in collaboration with Sprint. Radio stations were (and are) encouraged to hook up with TagStation, a back-end platform that adds enhanced features, such as album art, to the NextRadio FM signal. During the life of the product, the TagStation blog has posted bi-weekly updates of adoption users and stations. The three key metrics are:

  • App downloads
  • Number of stations that have been tuned into
  • Listening hours

The chart above shows app downloads and listening hours. the proportion of listening to app installations has accelerated over the product’s life. (NOTE: the May 12 update is four weeks from the previous update, and the June 2 update is three weeks. All the others are two weeks apart.)

The following chart shows station access (number of stations tuned into by app users), which appears to be decelerating. A TagStation representative told RAIN News that this trend is natural as the total station number is approached. (Station numbers were not reported in the March 3 update from TagStation.)

nextradio chart stations


New features planned for an upcoming NextRadio upgrade includes an on-demand feature with which users can select a radio station based on what it is playing at any moment. iHeartRadio serves a similar feature in its Live Radio section, and Michael Robertson’s Radio Search Engine is based on that idea. The key differentiator for NextRadio is that over-the-air FM reception doesn’t eat into the user’s phone data plan.

NextRadio produced the following promotional video to celebrate one-million downloads, and to illustrate upcoming features:

Brad Hill