The first phase of a two-part study completed by media research firm Coleman Insights® and its knowDigital® division reveals that NextRadio®, the new app that allows consumers to listen to local radio stations using the FM chips already installed in their smartphones, has the potential to address the portability needs of radio listeners. This is the most striking conclusion from one-on-one interviews in which consumers were introduced to the capabilities of NextRadio. The interviews served as a qualitative prelude to a large-scale national quantitative study that Coleman Insights and knowDigital will release later this month.
The research was funded by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and completed in cooperation with Emmis Communications (Nasdaq: EMMS), which developed NextRadio and has spearheaded the radio industry’s support for its rollout. Its first phase is based on one-on-one, in-depth interviews with smartphone owners between the ages of 20 and 39, which revealed a perception among many consumers that their ability to consume broadcast radio is restricted by their lack of access to devices that can receive broadcast signals. These consumers overwhelmingly cited that they have little access to radio outside of when they are in their cars, and as a result, they turn to other sources of audio entertainment when they are not driving. Furthermore, these consumers—after being introduced to NextRadio and having an opportunity to use it during the interviews—expressed the belief that NextRadio would make FM a truly mobile medium, allowing them to listen to radio while engaging in other activities during which they believe it is currently inaccessible.
“To anyone over 40 years old who grew up with transistor radios and Walkmans, the idea that radio isn’t mobile is striking,” commented Coleman Insights president/chief operating officer Warren Kurtzman, who—along with knowDigital president Sam Milkman—conducted the interviews. “That is, however, the perception among many consumers in their 20s and 30s and it appears that NextRadio has a great opportunity to address that challenge.”
“What I find most encouraging about these findings is the interest in listening to FM radio on smartphones,” said NAB executive vice president of communications Dennis Wharton. “Consumers want radio and they want it on the devices that accompany them everywhere they go.”
A streaming video presentation of the study’s findings featuring clips from the consumer interviews is available for viewing at www.ColemanInsights.com/NextRadio. Furthermore, Coleman Insights will release the results of the second phase of the research—a national, representative quantitative study of 18- to 49-year-old smartphone owners on their interest in NextRadio—later this month.