Published On: Sun, Feb 8th, 2015

Jeff Smulyan Brings FM Radio to your Smartphone

We live in depressing times, those of us who don't work for Google or Mark Zuckerberg.


Jeff Smulyan, 67, the founder of Emmis Communications Corp., is convinced his NextRadio is going to revolutionize the industry—whatever is left of it, and to reverse the downward spiral in revenue growth plaguing radio companies, IBJ. Com reports.

“We will make more money before lunch today than Pandora has made in its history, ” Smulyan declared.

Well, that’s not a whole lot, seeing as the shares of Pandora, the online broadcaster, were down 17.3 percent as of Friday.

And this Tuesday, in federal court, the giant licensing agency BMI is suing Pandora over royalties. So that whatever is left of the popular musice service’s income, is going to shrink even further.

We live in depressing times, those of us who don’t work for Google or Mark Zuckerberg.

Back to Jeff Smulyan: NextRadio, he claims, will make radio cool again and introduce interactive advertising for radio operators. Listeners will be listening to the radio on their smartphones, without using up their data minutes.

Streaming has been an expensive proposition for radio operators. They can reach millions with their FM signal for a few thousand dollars in electric bills — streaming online to the same number of users gets into millions of dollars.

The NextRadio app captures FM signals using a chip that’s already installed in all smartphones, but is normally deactivated by U.S. providers.

Smulyan hopes to build his empire on activating that chip.

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