As mobile adoption continues to explode, radio broadcasters across the nation are continually expanding their delivery platforms to enhance the interactive, engaging and highly communicative environments and experiences for listeners via devices and apps.
According to the Cox Media Group's (CMG) Senior Director, Digital Audience, Tim Clarke, CMG's goal for its radio station apps is to give users access to radio brands and content. "They enable access on devices consumers use most, and allow them to interact and engage in ways they want."
In partnership with Futuri Media, Cox Media Group provides listeners of their 57 radio stations with a more immersive experience around the content they want from their favorite brands. They have re-invented interactivity with features like Open Mic and Takeover, allowing listeners to hear their voice on the air & pick the songs they want to hear in real time.
CMG success stories include an April, 2015 Oyster Bake that took place in San Antonio, hosted by KISS FM. Concert set times were posted on the station app and listeners were provided access to the Bud Sanctuary backstage at the Oyster Bake by simply showing their app. KISS achieved 2X the normal daily downloads on the day of the event and the concert set list was the 5th highest viewed page on the app and web site combined.
Once again, radio matters - A LOT - in emergency situations. In Atlanta, GA, News 95.5 (WSB) activates their app around breaking news events. During the February 2015 snow storms, WSB received well over 600 downloads a day during breaking news coverage. Similarly, on May 8th, 2015 when a small plane crashed on I-285, the app received over 200 downloads in a matter of hours.
These apps have supercharged engagement and provide a premium platform for advertisiers to access these evangelized consumers.
Apps to Watch
iHeartMedia's free all-in-one digital music and streaming radio service with more than 70 million registered users, offers listeners instant access to thousands of live radio stations from across the country (including public and college radio stations, Univision, Greater Media, Cox, Emmis, Cumulus and all iHeartMedia stations) and personalized Custom Stations created from a library of more than 20 million songs and 800,000 artists. iHeartRadio users can listen to stations specifically recommended "For You" based on their preferences and previous listening as well as stations "Perfect For" a particular mood or occasion. Listeners stay connected to their favorite on air personalities, artists and breaking news 24/7, anywhere they are including in-home, in-car, mobile, web, wearables, gaming consoles and more
PINGO is a photo gaming app for iOS, created by CBS Local Digital Media, that gives users a chance to win prizes just by taking pictures. To play, users simply download the free PINGO App, select a challenge then follow the instructions to fill-in game tiles with photos related to the chosen topic. Photos can be uploaded through a user's photo gallery or be taken directly through the PINGO app. Players can also share a completed PINGO board with friends and encourage them to play along.
PINGO offers daily challenges spanning sports, music and pop culture topics, as well as challenges from well-known musicians, television shows and personalities from both within and outside of CBS. PINGO has also allowed users to leverage the app during iconic events like CBS Interactive's Live on Letterman, CBS RADIO station WYCD's Detroit Downtown Hoedown, and Showtime Championship Boxing. For more information and to download PINGO, click here.
NextRadio is a smartphone app that uses the phone's built-in FM chip for audio and the phone's data channel to deliver a rich, interactive artist and advertising experience. It's the same FM broadcast you listen to at home, in the car, or elsewhere on the go and doesn't drain your battery or data. With nearly 3.2MM app downloads, over 6MM hours of listening, NextRadio has been tuned to 80% of the 15,000 nationally licensed stations, providing consumers with the content they love on the platform they demand for free.
Clip Interactive is fundamentally changing the way listeners interact with radio. Fans are now directly connected to stations and personalities through an interactive digital platform tied to radio. Users have the ability to interact with exclusive content and anything heard, past or present, over the broadcast or stream.Clip's interactive radio footprint includes more than 140 live branded station apps for radio stations under the umbrellas of Alpha Media, BCA, Beasley Broadcast Group, Compass, Cumulus Indy, Digity, Entercom Portland, Lanser Media, Salem Communications and Sphera Holding. To date, Clip has generated unprecedented user ad engagement rates
This month, Clip Interactive will launch its first Radio Personality App with The Bob & Tom Show where users can see and engage with all on-air content from their favorite personalities and access exclusive content directly on their mobile device. The app also serves as a portal to the show's affiliate stations so users can listen to and engage with other programming from stations carrying their favorite shows. Additional Personality Apps will be announced in the coming months.
These are JUST A FEW examples of what's hot, what's now and what's coming on your mobile device from the radio industry. Other major players in the broadcast radio mobile app space include Tune-In, Radio.com, radioPup, iRadioNOW and many more. Be on the lookout for future AppWatch articles or simply Ask RAB for a deeper dive into today's radio apps and how to integrate within them to drive interaction for your brands.