Coleman Insights completes two-part NextRadio research

Coleman Insights has completed its guidance research for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and Emmis Communications, the developer of NextRadio. NextRadio is a mobile FM-tuning app available to some smartphones whose FM chips are activated.

The first part of Coleman’s study had a general mission to discover how people┬áthink of radio, how they listen to music in different locations, and how the NextRadio mobile broadcast app could be more effectively marketed. The headline conclusion was that consumers do not conceive of FM radio as a mobile medium, and that NextRadio should be pitched to emphasize its mobility.

In the second installment of Coleman’s research, the emphasis was on consumer reaction to the NextRadio app specifcally. Because installing and testing the app throughout the 801-person survey population would not have been feasible, Coleman showed a 90-second video which described and illustrated NextRadio features and benefits. (See the video below.)


The video is appealing, and survey responses were enthusiastic, with an 88% positive reaction. About the same number said the probably or definitely would use the app if it were installed in their phones.

That’s the rub, of course — not all phones have activated FM chips (most do not), and expressing a positive response to a video isn’t the same as buying a new phone, possibly switching providers, and installing a tuner app. Nevertheless, the study provides NextRadio stakehholders with good marketing bullet points.

When respondents were asked to rate the benefits of NextRadio, low data consumption and longer battery life got the highest rankings — two points that NextRadio has emphasized in its marketing, as does the video. We wish there had been a question about the inherent value of mobile FM (besides eemergency broadcasts), which would have related to the first part of the research … and also aligned with our own advocacy of activated FM chips in phones. We like battery life, too. But regardless of that we think that FM should be built into every smartphone as a standard feature, to re-establish radio as a handheld mobile medium.

Brad Hill