TagStation, that back end of the consumer-facing NextRadio app, has altered its pricing charged to radio stations for access to NextRadio program enhancement tools. The price reductions lower the barrier to entry to NextRadio for stations, and the company is particularly targeting small markets. “These changes address the cost concerns raised by broadcasters in smaller markets and take them off the table,” TagStation President Paul Brenner said.
The company reduced its charges to $10 per month per analog FM radio station. HD channels will still have a monthly fee of $35 per month because of the higher costs of supporting that infrastructure. Set-up fees for both analog FM stations and HD channels have been eliminated. In addition, TagStation has created content acceleration teams to help channels to prepare a presence on the NextRadio network. By lowering the cost and providing support, NextRadio hopes to get more stations involved.
TagStation has been continually pushing radio stations to get on board. The app is in the market partially, on phones with activated FM receiving chips, most of them with Sprint. Emmis-owned Next Radio must pursue three marketing paths to get this solution to fly. First, mobile carriers must be persuaded to build phones with activated FM chips. T-Mobile and AT&T have voiced support for FM reception this year. Second, radio stations must create enhanced programming that appears in the app. And finally, consumers must be educated about NextRadio, be swayed to download the app, and use it.
“With 60 million FM-enabled smartphones expected in 2016, next year is going to be a big growth year for NextRadio and the U.S. radio industry,” Paul Brenner said.