Nobex Partners chosen as exclusive mobile app platform for Airtime Pro users

Zack Miller
Thursday, April 19, 2018
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Airtime Pro, the award winning internet radio broadcasting automation platform, and Nobex Technologies, the provider of customizable mobile applications for radio broadcasters and podcasters, announced a partnership today.

Nobex has been selected as the exclusive mobile app provider for Airtime Pro, bringing this long awaited feature to all Airtime Pro station owners. This partnership delivers Airtime Pro broadcasters highly personalized, engaging and monetizable mobile applications for their online radio stations and podcasts.

Internet DJs choose Airtime Pro’s cloud-based radio station broadcasting software for its advanced automation, DJ management, seamless transitions between live and scheduled programming, and social media widgets.

Cait Watson, Nobex’s VP of Customer Success:

We’re really looking forward to helping Airtime Pro users get their own custom mobile apps. Setting up their station with Airtime Pro was easy, we want to make setting up their mobile just as easy.

The combination of Airtime Pro’s powerful broadcast automation technology with Nobex’s robust, fully-customizable mobile apps offers an instant mobile win for broadcasters. With mobile apps for all, broadcasters can streamline management of their online stations, easily monetize their content, and most of all, deliver an unparalleled experience to their listening audience.

Aleksandar Brajanoski, Airtime Pro Product Manager:

We’re extremely happy to have Nobex by our side. Thanks to this partnership, we are now able to meet the huge demand for a customizable Station App in our client base. Furthermore, Nobex gives our DJs and station owners opportunity to monetize their stations, which comes as a nice bonus. We decided to go with Nobex because we think they have the best offering in the station app market.

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Nobex Partners chosen as exclusive mobile app platform for Airtime Pro users

Which songs in your station’s playlists are getting cranked up?

Zack Miller
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
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We’ve written before about the benefits terrestrial radio stations get when they add streaming, mobile apps, and websites specifically optimized for radio stations. One of the biggest benefits to going digital is the metrics. When you’re streaming, it’s no longer about estimating market size or approximating listener engagement. You can optimize your playlists to maximize your listenership because you can actually see — in real time — what content resonates with your audience and how they respond to it.

Introducing Top Cranked Up Songs

To help stations grow their audiences, we’re continuing to roll-out more granular reporting alongside our eBex scores (Nobex Partners’ proprietary listener engagement metrics). We’re excited to introduce a new report. Top Cranked Up Songs is available in the Reports section for our Pro subscribers.

As you can probably guess by its name, Top Cranked Up Songs displays — in order — the songs in your playlist that got your listeners to turn up the volume on their mobile devices. The report also lists how many total cranks your songs received.

Here’s a sample report from a Nobex Partners client tracking its station’s top cranked up songs:

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How a station can use Top Cranked Up Songs

If you’re a Pro subscriber, you’ll find your new Top Cranked Up Songs list in the Reports section of your control panel. Just click on Charts.

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Stations are using this data to inform their content decisions, including more plays of songs that listeners dig and removing those songs that push listeners away. Our new Top Cranked Up Songs chart joins a handful of other listener engagement reports that top stations are using to refine and improve their programming, delighting their listeners.

In addition to Top Cranked UpPro subscribers can see what content in their playlists listeners are turning off, which songs are trending up/down in terms of listener engagement, and how specific content is trending over time.

So, get cranking.

Which songs in your station’s playlists are getting cranked up?

Automate the onboarding of new listeners by walking them through your station’s mobile app

Zack Miller
Monday, April 09, 2018
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Getting listeners to download your station’s mobile app is just part of the digital process.

Once downloaded, it’s essential to get your listeners comfortable using their radio app, so that they continue to tune in. Like most forms of technology, users don’t generally spend the time to fully learn its capabilities. So, with a little gentle nudging, you can help introduce your audience to all the bells and whistles behind your Nobex Partners-powered app.

Doing so should ultimately encourage your listeners to continue to enjoy your station’s app.

Onboarding new listeners gets them to stick around

Technology marketers like to talk about the onboarding process a new user undergoes when signing up for a new piece of software or app. The goal of onboarding is to quickly familiarize a user with enough information that the user will continue to use the software.

Onboarding generally consists of sending a small number of emails or push messages to pique the interest of a user. For radio apps, onboarding should focus on getting a listener to wake up via an alarm or fall asleep via a timer to his favorite radio station. At a minimum, it’s this type of usage that gets a listener up and running on an app.

Nobex Partners’ automated listener onboarding

We’ve automated much of the onboarding process so that a radio station can automagically provide listeners with a quick introduction to their app’s capabilities.

We enable 3 automated types of onboarding to get your listeners familiar with your station’s mobile app:

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Timer education: This part of the onboarding process will push an alert to a new user in the evening of the same day she downloaded your app. The alert introduces your listener to the timer function in the app that she can use to listen to your station as she drifts off to sleep. The timer will close down the app.

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Listen on the way to work: The next morning, a new user will receive a push message encouraging them to use their app to listen to your station along the way to work or school.

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Alarm education: Lastly, as part of the onboarding sequences, the Nobex Partners platform will message a user that he can use your station’s app to wake him up in the morning by playing your station’s app.

Setting up onboarding

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It’s easy to set up automated new listener onboarding. Within your Nobex control panel, click on Onboarding (under Features in the left sidebar). You can edit the messages before they go out.

Once you turn Onboarding on (at the top of the page), all new users will begin to receive your onboarding messages. Don’t forget to hit the save button if you make any changes.

Automate the onboarding of new listeners by walking them through your station’s mobile app

Get your station podcasting by using on-demand content

Zack Miller
Monday, March 26, 2018
2 comments. Leave a comment

There’s a lot of talk about radio stations moving into podcasting. There’s good reason for that: Data show that consumers are increasing their listening to podcasts.  Podcasting is on the rise and Nobex Partners provides on-demand functionality (for both our premium accounts) so that radio stations on the platform can participate in the growing field of podcasting.

What is podcasting and why should radio stations care?

With podcasting, listeners download shows and listen to them whenever they want. People who listen to a lot of podcasts generally use a podcast player — a mobile app that makes it easier to download and store podcasts. For iPhones, the most popular app is the Apple Podcast app. On Android, Google offers podcasts on Google Play but there are dozens of popular podcasting apps. These podcast players also serve as large directories that users turn to to discover new podcast content.

avid-podcast-fans.pngThe audience for podcasts is growing. In early 2018, there were 16 million households in the U.S. that identify as avid podcast fans, up from 13 million the previous year. Podcast listeners turn out to be highly engaged. According to Midroll, a network of some of the most popular podcasts, claims on average, podcast listeners make it through about 90 percent of a given episode, and relatively few are skipping through ads.

“There are really audiences out there who listen to every word that comes out of [a host’s] mouth,” said Headgum CTO Andrew Pile.

Early podcast formats were generally like talk shows — a host would do most of the talking and invite in guests. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen the emergence of serial podcasts — shows that followed the plot of fictional characters across episodes. Radio stations, with existing audiences and loaded with talent, are well positioned to participate in podcasting. Regardless of the show format, podcasts provide a great medium for stations to continue to own the ears of listeners and reach out to entirely new audiences.

Getting started podcasting with Nobex Partners

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You’ll find on demand functionality under Features inside your Nobex Plus and Pro accountsThe way On Demand works is similar to other podcasting hosts with some nice tweaks for radio stations.

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  1. Add title and description information for your podcast
  2. Schedule when you want your podcast to publish.
  3. Assign your podcast to one of your lists. Lists function as full blown feeds which you can submit to the major podcast directories, like Categories on a website. So, you can maintain multiple podcasts with their own unique feeds with one Nobex account.
  4. Upload pre-recorded shows and podcasts and associated artwork
  5. That’s it!

Whether you take an existing show and repurpose it as a podcast or you create entirely new shows that are designed to take advantage of the podcast format, your radio station can easily begin participating in this new medium.

Any questions?

Get your station podcasting by using on-demand content

18 tips to promote your radio station digitally

Zack Miller
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
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The decision to promote your radio station digitally is just the first step in online marketing. Next, you’ll need to define strategy and tactics as the makings of a plan to get the word out about your station. Marketing in the online world isn’t philosophically different than the traditional marketing you’ve done to promote your station — you still conduct various activities in order to get more listeners to your station. The tactics and media are different, though, and it will require a new skillset to promote your station through digital channels.

How to promote your station through digital channels

Here are 18 tried-and-true tips that radio stations can use to promote their businesses via online and social media channels:

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Submit your station to radio directories: There are plenty of places online that provide an opportunity for radio stations to get discovered. Submit your station to Nobex Radio and the dozens of other radio directories online. Some of these directories have their own radio apps where new listeners may find your station and tune in to your stream.

Drive AM/FM listeners to your mobile app: Mentioning your website or mobile apps on the air for terrestrial listeners is probably the most effective strategy for radio stations that choose to market digitally. If you have an offline audience, create opportunities to encourage listeners to go and download your station’s app or head to your station’s website.

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Encourage reviews in mobile app stores: Mobilizing existing users of your radio station’s mobile apps is an effective strategy to get more users downloading the app. That’s because you can prompt users to leave reviews of your app in the Google Play and Apple App stores. Then, when their friends and other users from their cities go to iTunes, it’s possible they will be hit with a positive review of your app. Friend recommendations go a long way to help people determine which apps to download.

Create and distribute posters and flyers: There’s nothing wrong with handing out, posting, or mailing flyers that promote your station’s website or mobile apps. They’re easy. Consider using a simple graphic design tool like Canva — it’ll make it look like you had the promotion professionally done.

Work on your search engine optimization: SEO is a marketing strategy that tweaks the content of your website, as well as its organization and design, to maximize discovery by users in search engines and app stores. Make sure your content in your apps and website does an effective job in richly describing your station. The better your SEO, the more discoverable you can be for people searching for stations like yours.

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Run viral contests: Contests are traditionally powerful tools to boost audience and drive listener engagement. Games and giveaways reward the most loyal listeners. To drive usage of your radio mobile apps, consider running mobile-only contests, available only to those users on mobile. There are plenty of ideas for viral contests that run on Facebook that will not only engage listeners but help to get the word out about your station. Getting listeners to respond to posts or upload their own pictures to win some swag is a powerful promotional tool.

Participate in social media: Social media is an important tool to identify and connect with new listeners. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have proven useful for stations to grow their audiences and communicate with their listeners. That said, regular posting on social media requires discipline and diligence, so don’t start until you’re ready. Try to pair the right choice of social network to your audience — a jazz station, for example, might choose Facebook, but not Twitter, based on where it believes its listeners are active,

Pay for Facebook listener acquisition: You can participate on social media for free, building your community and new listener pipeline organically. Or, you can pay social networks like Facebook to help you acquire new listeners. You can do a variety of things with a paid strategy, like run campaigns that get likes to your Facebook page, drive traffic back to your website, and get users to download your radio station’s mobile apps.

Define a content strategy: The way people communicate may have changed but radio is still a form of media. It just means that growth plans for radio stations have to take in to account messaging and content strategies across multiple platforms — not just through the air. So, active radio stations are publishing blogs, participating on Facebook, posting to Instagram, and have Whatsapp groups to message their audiences. You can create content to share with other sites in your niche, too. Create a strategy that fits your audience and stick with it.

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Check out how California-based station RAD Radio approaches content and community. RAD has a vibrant Facebook community, with over 75,000 members. Members of the staff post regularly to Instagram. The station offers Android and iOS mobile apps (built and managed on the Nobex Partners platform) for its audience to connect through mobile. It also publishes some of its content in podcast form.

The station also offers a members-only section of its website for hardcore fans, too. RAD is a good example of a modern radio station — one whose core content may be audio, but it’s certainly running a community across different types of media.

Cross promotion with partners: Recommendations drive today’s consumption of media. Consider finding a media partner — like a local newspaper or TV station — with whom you can embark on mutual promotional campaigns. Or, a local retailer might be a good way to cross promote. In return for them promoting your radio station in store, you can promote their products or sales. These cross promotions don’t necessarily have to cost money. With some partners, you can barter your way to growing awareness.

Calls to action get listeners to share: Your listeners are busy and most likely, even if they love your station, not actively sharing out your content. Here’s the secret: you have to ask them to share. Marketers describe this as a ‘call to action’ — a CTA is a request for a user to take a specific behavior. If you want your listeners to share content on your website or mobile apps, you have to first ask them to.

Adopt email marketing: With so much noise out there, email is still effective in getting a listener’s attention. On Facebook, your station can get lost among all your users’ other activities. But an email still feels somewhat personal and it’s delivered into some of the only remaining private space we have — our inboxes. Build an email list from contests, by offering downloads, and promote it on social media. Use email sparingly and smartly and email is a great way to grow and market your station.

Start a podcast: Podcasts, as an audio format, are enjoying an early Renaissance as a medium. High quality shows are being produced by some of the biggest names in media. Podcasts seem like an obvious channel for radio stations to promote themselves.

Audio_«_CBS_Chicago.pngFor example, you can see how WBBM FM, a CBS news affiliate in Chicago, offers podcasts of specific popular shows and personalities. To get started, you can repurpose existing shows into podcast format so listeners can time shift their consumption. Over time, consider creating new programming specifically for the podcast format. (The Nobex Partners platform enables radio stations to archive their programs so that listeners can access the shows where and when they want. It’s called On-Demand, available via our paid plans, and a good way to start podcasting.

Implement an influential guest strategy: A great technique to growing a digital audience is to identify people with large overlapping audiences and invite them on a show. You’ll get great content and in turn, your guest will likely share out his interview with his audience. It’s a win-win. Don’t forget to ask your guests to share your programs on their different social media channels.

Participate on Reddit/Forums: There are an infinite number of forums out there where your target audience spends time. One of the most popular places for younger listeners is Reddit, a modern form of forums where people link to interesting things, discuss topics, share pictures, and vote on interesting content.

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Reddit offers what are called subreddits, or niche forums, that are maintained by moderators. You can participate in others’ subreddits or start and maintain your own. See, for example, the /rock subreddit. Over 10k people are subscribed and review, share, and discuss the genre. An expert opinion from a PD or radio exec could go a long way.

Market your station at events: Our online and offline worlds are blurring and all the data show that people are hungry for real-world connections. That’s why events are still a great way to build community and promote your radio station. You’ll have the attention of your audience, so plan out your messaging. If you want to promote specific shows or your website or your mobile apps during your event, prepare signage or handouts and make sure you mention your marketing messages multiple times during the event.

Start an influencer marketing program: 70% of millennial consumers are influenced by recommendations in their buying decisions. Your audience today looks to celebrities, their peers, and other influencers for suggestions of what to watch, what to listen to, and what to buy. You can tell them a thousand times that they should spend more time listening to your station but that message would pale in comparison to having a celeb promote you.

Identify some influencers with brands that match your own. Reach out to them to see if there are ways you can work together. With some influencers, you’ll be able to barter by offering them some promotional air on your station. Others you’ll need to pay. As with any type of marketing, make sure your pitch matches the style and interest of the person you’re pitching.

PR/local news coverage: Ah, the lure of PR. Create something newsworthy and get it in front of a local reporter. It’s as simple as that. It’s worth creating an email list comprised of local reporters and periodically reaching out to them to tell them what you’re working on. You’re the expert in your field and your audience and people like them want to hear from you. In fact, 6% of buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders.

What do you do to promote your radio station online and through social media?

18 tips to promote your radio station digitally

Optimize your radio playlists to maximize listenership

Zack Miller
Monday, March 12, 2018
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Figuring out how large of an audience a radio station has is more of an art than a science. For larger markets, Nielsen can provide some estimates. For smaller markets, radio stations use all kinds of proxies to determine how many people listen in. From how many callers dial in a show to polling and seeing how well advertisements perform, measuring radio station audiences is at best an imperfect science.

Terrestrial broadcast is a tough nut to track

That’s because of the technology. For terrestrial radio and radio waves that travel through the air, there’s really no accurate way to track audience behavior, like how well the new release from Sam Hunt on country radio or Ed Sheeran’s last song on an adult contemporary station performed.

So, we estimate. In large markets covered by Nielsen data, we estimate how many people listen to radio. In smaller markets, we gain a gut feel for our audiences. We don’t know for certain, so we estimate.

Digital radio provides audience and listener engagement metrics

Not so with digital radio. Digital radio provides a whole new level of audience metrics. Once content is delivered through a stream — whether it’s on the web or through a mobile device — you can track it. You can track your audience and see how many people listen in. And you get that feedback immediately through your apps.

But you can go beyond passive audience metrics with digital. Sure, you can see how many of your listeners tune in your station, but you can also tell how many people listened to a particular song in your playlist. That kind of feedback is quite valuable for a program director.

And here’s where things get really interesting. With digital radio, you can actually take it a step further to measure “listener engagement”. Studying listener engagement not only tells you how many people tunes in to a particular song but how they reacted to that song. You can actually tell if they really liked a song or hated it.

Optimizing a playlist using real-time data

At Nobex, we study dozens of parameters around listener engagement to provide feedback to subscribers of our paid plans about how their songs are performing. By looking at various engagement behaviors, like whether someone clicked “like” on a song or turned the volume up, we can begin to develop a picture on how well we’re engaging our audience and whether our song choices resonate with our listeners.

We’ve developed our own metric for listener engagement. We call it eBex, or the Nobex Song Engagement Score and stations have been using it since 2017 as a real-time intelligent scoring mechanism to rate listeners’ reactions to, and engagement with, each individual song.

See below for the type of feedback we provide a sample station. What you’re looking at is a grouping of all the songs played by an individual station during a specific time period.

ebex.001The single dots represent individual songs. The axes measure how many times a specific song was played during the period and how engaged listeners were during their listening to that song. A radio station wants most of its songs to be above the X-axis and green, meaning that listeners engaged with the song. Conversely, a radio station wants to limit and remove songs that appear red (which means people shut their apps off when the song plays).

So, you can see our sample station played a certain Coldplay song (Hymn for the Weekend) 68 times during the time period. In fact, because the song is so far out on the right in the chart, it was one of the station’s most played songs, period. But more people abandoned the song than stuck with it. That’s bad. Coded in red, our sample station removed this song from rotation and saw a general lift in listener metrics.

Track the performance of a specific song over time

In addition to looking at playlist data, eBex can also be used to track an individual song’s performance over time.

See the song below. Our sample station first started playing it at the end of December and it performed poorly (its eBex score was negative and the station lost more listeners than it gained by playing it).

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But over time, this song became a legitimate customer favorite. The station was tracking this song’s performance and began playing it more in rotation as it resonated very well with its audience.

You can find all your listener engagement metrics and playlist data in your account here.

By using listener engagement metrics like eBex, radio stations can begin to optimize their song selection in real time. Combined with strategic use of push messaging, playlist optimization can assist stations in getting their listeners to come back and tune in.

What do you use to track your audience and their feedback?

 

 

Optimize your radio playlists to maximize listenership

6 push messaging strategies that engage digital radio listeners and get them to tune back in

Zack Miller
Tuesday, March 06, 2018
2 comments. Leave a comment

When radio stations discuss digital strategies to get radio listeners to tune back in, push messaging has to be at the top of list.

Unlike terrestrial radio, which essentially loses its entire audience every night when listeners turn off their devices, digital radio has push messaging at its disposal. Push messages are those alerts that apps send directly to a user’s home phone screen and they’re super successful in getting loyal listeners to open up their mobile radio apps or head back to a radio station’s website.

Radio app daily listening usage over time with multiple push messages
Multiple push messages and their effect on listeners

There are a variety of different ways radio stations have succeeded with push messaging and in this article, I’d like to highlight the various ways they’re doing that. Push messaging shouldn’t be generic and the more personalized these messages are to a user’s tastes and likes, the more effective push messages become in getting listeners to come back to radio.

Here are 6 strategies radio stations can use with mobile apps to re-engage with listeners and drive audience back to their channels:

Favorite song alerts: Say a listener has liked the new Justin Timberlake song, Nasty, in her app. She’s no longer a faceless user. We now have some valuable information about her — that she likes Nasty. One of the easiest ways to get her to reopen her radio app is to alert her whenever Nasty comes on the radio. It’s basic — but it works all the time because our messaging is personalized and reflects our listeners’ tastes.

Favorite song alerts are more powerful than an alert that would trigger when a listener’s favorite band came on. With bands, there are always some songs we like and some we don’t. A favorite song alert is much more likely to work.

Show reminders: A mobile app can easily remind a listener five minutes ahead of a show that she’ll want to log back into her app to listen in. This works particularly well with talk radio, where strong personalities typically draw in listeners to the station. But it also works for stations that have unique programming throughout the day that they’d like to promote.

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Including deep links in push messages: Push messages don’t have to be mere reminders. They can contain links that directly drive a user back to the content a station wants to share. Listeners don’t want to feel marketed to, so if your messaging is valuable and pertinent to their tastes, it doesn’t even feel like marketing.

Examples of deep links can be to archived, on-demand content available in the app. Consider including links in these messages to music videos on YouTube that accentuate the listener experience.

Contest notifications: Radio listeners generally dig the giveaways and contests their local radio stations run. It obviously gives them a chance to be rewarded for listening but it also closes a feedback loop that audiences appreciate today.

To promote usage of your mobile radio apps, consider creating mobile-only contests that are available exclusively through this channel. You can use your other promotional and listening channels to encourage listeners to download your apps to sign up for the contest. It’s a nice little sweetener and gives you an additional value-added reason to message your listeners.

Live requests: If some of your programming includes live requests, you can use push messaging to get listeners to submit their suggestions. Live requests give a voice to the listener and a feeling that they can individually impact programming. What an amazing feeling to sense that your local radio station listens to you! So, use push messages to announce to your audience that they have an hour or two to get their song requests in via your mobile radio app or website.

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App onboarding: Smart software companies know that it takes a while for a new user or customer to get used to an app. They do what’s called onboarding — a process that welcomes a new user and provides resources and communication to ensure that the user can get up to speed quickly on the app.

Radio stations should also use the opportunity when a new listener downloads a mobile radio app to onboard him. Use messaging within the app to communicate specific functionality that you’d like your listeners to know about — say, like a sleep timer or alarm that’s built in to your radio station app. Strike a balance between over-communicating and providing your users with the right amount of education for a successful experience with the app.

Push messaging functionality is built into the Nobex Partners platform and available right out of the box in our paid plans. But effective push messaging strategies should be a core part of any digital radio technology.

6 push messaging strategies that engage digital radio listeners and get them to tune back in

Introducing Website Builder

Zack Miller
Thursday, March 01, 2018
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We’re launching Website Builder, a new, easy-to-use tool to build and customize a website for your radio station.

Over the years, we’ve heard from many radio stations that while they were happy with the Nobex Partners platform to build and manage their radio apps, they were still missing a good solution to manage their websites. The audience for digital radio continues to grow and without a good interactive solution on the web, radio stations were missing out on the opportunity to provide a good experience for their online listeners.

Website Builder changes that whole dynamic. Now, a station can use Website Builder to build an interactive website using the same tools they use to manage their station’s native apps. This tight integration between a website and app saves a station time and money in managing its digital presence.

  • Build a website for your station: Perfect for replacing your station’s current website or starting from scratch, Nobex Partner’s Website Builder makes your station look awesome right from the start. Our all-in-one platform provides everything you need to present your best side to existing and new listeners.
  • No coding necessary: Over 5000 radio stations around the world trust Nobex Partners to build and manage their apps. Now, using the same point-and-click technology that runs our app platform, stations can quickly design and launch a website.
  • One interface to manage your apps and website: We built the Website Builder to be tightly integrated it into your station’s apps. That means you don’t have to manage them separately — use one interface to manage both your station and your website. It’s easy, really, and cuts down on the time it takes to manage your digital presence.
  • Customize the look and feel: Nobex Partner’s Website Builder enables you to customize the look and feel of a website for your station. You have lots of choices to include, like your weekly schedule, playlists, forms for live requests, on-demand content, and much more.

Website Builder is available as a stand-alone product or as an add-on for existing clients on one of the Nobex Partners paid plans.

Introducing Website Builder

Digital strategies increase listener engagement and bring listeners back

Zack Miller
Thursday, February 22, 2018
1 comment. Leave a comment

In spite of all the terrestrial doomsayers, traditional radio still takes the lionshare of radio listening minutes. But listener expectations are changing. Customers pushed traditional retailers on to the web and it’s listeners that are driving radio stations to craft a digital strategy. Early adopters of digital radio have found that, unlike traditional radio, digital radio can get listeners coming back. Here’s how.

The value of one-to-many communications

Terrestrial radio is broadcast media. A station emits what’s known as a one-to-many communication — one message goes out to many listeners.

As listeners, we tend to like this type of media — there’s something experiential and communal in everyone tuning in to the same program and listening to the same song at the same time.

“Did you hear when Talk Radio Host X said Y about Z last night? Crazy.” There is something about the one-to-many nature of broadcast that makes it human. It’s tribal — tuning in to a message that’s only intended for members of a local group.

For a station, broadcast is efficient — one message suffices for an entire audience. There’s no need to tailor individual messages to each and every listener. That means centralized resources can be devoted more towards programming and advertising than individualizing the message.

Digital channels increases the value of broadcast media

The emergence of digital radio has opened up entirely new opportunities for radio stations.

The biggest opportunity digital channels bring to traditional radio stations is in listener engagement. Where broadcast, and the one-to-many model struggles, is what happens after the radio is shut off.

With its only communication channel voluntarily closed, traditional radio can do very little to get a listener — one it’s built and nurtured and marketed to for years — to turn the radio back on. In broadcast, listener engagement is almost binary.

That’s where digital channels come in. A listener via a mobile app has left open an always-on, 24/7 channel to engage with a station. With this door now open, radio stations can find creative and personalized approaches to get their listeners to turn their radios back on.

How traditional radio stations are using digital to get their listeners back

Getting a user to come back to a station all comes down to push messaging. Push messages are those messages that apps send directly to a user’s home phone screen.

Push messaging has been honed to perfection by social media networks. What’s more enticing than to receive a message that a friend is up to something, but you have to click here to find out just what he’s up to. Facebook built a social network of over 2 billion users on one simple concept: pushing messages to people to come back to the site and join a party — a party their friends are already attending.

Armed with an army of listeners with radio station apps on their phones, stations can use various types of push messages to get listeners to open up their apps and tune back in:

  • Favorite song alerts: Stations can use mobile apps to nudge listeners back to their music or content. If a listener previously likes a song in an app, push messages can be used to alert the listener that a song she likes is playing.
  • Show reminders: A mobile app can easily remind a listener five minutes ahead of a show that she’ll want to log back into her app to listen in.
  • Deep linking: Push messages don’t have to be merely reminders. They can contain links that directly drive a user back to the content a station wants to share.

It’s important to emphasize that push messaging shouldn’t be generic. The more personalized these messages are to a user’s tastes and likes, the more effective push messages become in getting listeners to come back to radio.

Frequency also matters. You have to be strategic in how you frequently you use these messages. Communicate too much and a user will uninstall your app. Use fluffy, generic messages and a user learns to tune them out.

The effect of push messaging on getting listeners back

Nobex paid plans (Plus and Pro) provide this type of push messaging and we have lots of stations around the world using it to get listeners to tune back in. After analyzing traffic and usage patterns of dozens of stations, it’s clear that push messaging works.

spike in listener engagement from a push message to a radio mobile app
Real data from a Nobex Partners client

Take this example, for instance. This is a graph of a daily streaming pattern for one of our larger clients on the platform. You can see the weekly gyrations in listener usage. This station experiences a usual traffic spike at the start of the week and then a general dip, which continues through the weekend.

Look at the traffic explode at the end of March. With a simple push message that took just a few minutes to configure on the Nobex Partners platform, the station successfully spiked its traffic by close to 100%.

Radio app daily listening usage over time with multiple push messages
Multiple push messages and their effect on listeners

This graph shows the effect on listening when multiple push messaged are used throughout a day. This Nobex Partners client typically uses 1 or 2 push messages throughout a day to reengage its listeners. You can see how traffic generally spikes when that happens.

The addition of push messaging to a radio station’s tool box is one answer to the question of how to get listeners to tune in more. Using customized messaging tools like the ones we’ve developed at Nobex Partners means radio stations can blend the value of broadcast radio with the power of digital communication.

Digital strategies increase listener engagement and bring listeners back

caitwatson
Friday, November 24, 2017
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George is a radio announcer, and when he walks under a bridge… you can’t hear him talk.

~ Steven Wright

Upcoming changes to StreamLicensing/Oi2 Media Apps

caitwatson
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
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We wanted to offer an update to stations using the Nobex-generated StreamLicensing/Oi2 Media apps. As of November 15, 2017, the agreement that covered the use of the Nobex app for StreamLicensing/Oi2 Media is no longer in effect.

We want to make sure our decision causes as little disruption to your station as possible, so if your station uses the StreamLicensing application you’ll have a few options:

  1. You can register for the Streamlicensing Legacy User plan with Nobex Partners ($25/month) and we will continue to maintain and support your version of the app.
  2. You can build a brand new mobile app with the Nobex Partners program.

Either way, you can continue to have an app for your station!

It is important to note that Nobex Partners doesn’t provide any assistance with content licensing. You will be responsible for ensuring that your station is properly licensed and managing payment of performance royalties.

Please feel free to contact our support team via the onsite message system. We’re happy to discuss with you.

 

 

 

Upcoming changes to StreamLicensing/Oi2 Media Apps

“It’s Not My Radio Station.” Or Is It?

rossonradio
Thursday, November 09, 2017
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I was lucky to have a great consultant on my first programming job. It could have been awkward. The late Chicago R&B radio veteran Richard Pegue was a former PD on my station’s frequency. He had also applied for the PD job himself. What he would have done at the helm would have undoubtedly sounded different. And yet, he enthusiastically helped me execute my own vision of the radio station.

Okay, mostly enthusiastically. It was from Richard that I first heard the phrase, “It’s not my radio station.” Sometimes, I think he said “… our station” and was saying it to commiserate with me after a tough day. Sometimes, I’m sure he meant, “Okay, if you insist.” With more time around radio stations, I came to understand this as the thing that a lot of radio people said after a tough day. The phrase “s—t happens” was just becoming popular around then. “It is what it is” was years away from its current usage. So if you meant, “I don’t like it, but I can’t change it,” you said, “It’s not my radio station.”

The intervening years gave broadcasters a lot of chances to feel that way. In 1995, when I started to hear “it’s not my radio station,” it might sometimes be amended with a cheerful “it’s the audience’s radio station, and I do what they want.” As often, the second half of the sentence was “it’s the owner’s radio station.” It wasn’t much longer until the sentence ended with “… it’s Wall Street’s radio station.” And that was if you were lucky enough to still be in a radio station, because many weren’t.

I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in a lot of great projects over the last 15 years or so, usually helping other people flesh out their vision for a broadcast property. Occasionally, somebody will ask the question, “So what would you do if it was your radio station?” I can always answer that, but I know that the right answer for most owners and programmers depends on the life they’re willing to live, and what they feel they can correctly execute. Country’s 2-to-3-share New York niche wasn’t right for many major groups; Cumulus was comfortable with the format and looking for a flagship.

Consultants and researchers have a reputation for being didactic. Over the years, I’ve come to understand how it might happen. A decade or so ago, a station’s consultant and I both left a medium market thinking we had a clear game plan, then watched a PD (with major-market experience and no small level of his own accomplishment) put on something that in no way resembled what we had discussed. The consultant in question was and remains one of the industry’s most respected. He wasn’t the type of consultant you’ve heard about who badgers, or comes to the station and sits at the client’s desk, or plays other mind games. But at that moment, I would have understood if he’d wanted to.

In that case, the PD heard a station in his head, but it was the wrong one, and it didn’t last very long. As often, the issue is that the PD doesn’t hear any ideal station. Today’s cluster strategies have also ensured that somebody will be programming two, three, four or more radio stations. Inevitably, one of them will be a format that the PD does not personally like, or understand. While we like to think that a good programmer can program anything, it’s hard to camouflage not liking a certain format. After a while of trying your best tricks from the format you do like, you still have to have a considered opinion on the music that you schedule, and it’s hard if you don’t like the songs.

Sometimes, liking the songs has been my job. Sometimes there’s somebody else in the programming department who brings the passion for the format that the PD doesn’t have. But not always. It’s an equally old saying that a station is an extension of a PD’s personality, but some stations sound more like a composite playlist of other stations. Or a music test in search of a radio station. And having somebody over four radio stations even saps the energy for the format the programmer does like.

In other words, somebody has to say “it is my radio station.” And mean it. Because these days, listeners effectively have the ability to program their own station. Right now, that station will be an unhosted collection of records somewhere online or on their desktop. But give Alexa time. Rather than provide the second-best approximation of the listener’s personal playlist, it’s okay to offer your own. That doesn’t mean don’t play the hits. Think of it as putting on music for company. You want to play something they’ll like; you want to make your own statement.

“It is my radio station” doesn’t have to just come from one person. Recently, I helped somebody sign on a unique radio station. It was the owner’s vision, but I’ve had a wide latitude to help fill that in. I’ve been gratified both by how happy he is with what he’s hearing, and with the reported response in the market. Paradoxically, because I know how much trust I have, I’m particularly interested in the owner’s thoughts and tweaks. In other words, we’ve reached the best place. It is our radio station.

 

 

“It’s Not My Radio Station.” Or Is It?

Announcing Partnership with Waze

caitwatson
Monday, October 23, 2017
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We’ve partnered with Waze, the crowdsourced navigation app, to offer traffic reporting in real time for your station using their amazing Waze for Broadcasters suite of tools.

PARTNER OFFER INCLUDES:

  • Waze Traffic View: A dynamic, traffic dashboard that helps Nobex Partners access real-time Wazer-generated reports on changing road conditions for on-air updates. Waze algorithms automatically detect unusual traffic conditions and provide alternative routes and drive times for planning and reporting purposes.
  • LiveMap: A Waze-branded map for Nobex Partners’ websites. This means all listeners (not just Wazers) can see real-time traffic conditions.
  • Training: the Waze team will help you get the most out of this feature

Waze on DashboardWaze for Broadcasters

Partnering with Waze means bringing even more to your Nobex Partners Dashboard. We’re so excited to join with Waze for Broadcasters because getting the best and most accurate traffic reports makes your station first choice for your listeners.

Get Signed Up Today!

Announcing Partnership with Waze

caitwatson
Friday, September 22, 2017
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In radio, they say, nothing happens until the announcer says it happens.

~ Ernie Harwell

What AC And Hot AC Must Do Now

rossonradio
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
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I feel a little better about the music in play at Top 40 radio these days. The superstar-laden beginning of fourth quarter had been upstaged, for a few years, by April/May releases jockeying to be Song of Summer, but this fall, it’s definitely a more inspiring group of songs than we were staring at four months ago, to the point where one programmer told me recently that, for the first time in recent memory, he had more worthwhile potential adds than he could accommodate in a given week.

Portugal, The Man’s “Feel It Still” has changed the timbre of the format, now rapidly adapted by the same CHR PDs who let Fitz & the Tantrums songs stay on their side of the CHR/Hot AC divide. There is excitement about Kelly Clarkson and Maroon 5. There is universal acclaim for Sam Smith—not a record that fixes the tempo issue, but a quality song that everybody seems to love.

Then there’s “Look What You Made Me Do.” The “Taylor Swift, right or wrong” fans are guarded in their assessments. The detractors aren’t guarded at all. And yet CHR radio has made “Look What You Made Me Do” top 5 while they figure out whether it’s a hit or just an event record—perhaps a meaningless distinction now anyway. I don’t mind. It’s a three-minute energy jolt that has gotten CHR running again, even if it’s running on vitriol.

These apparent format rebounds are always fragile. They hinge on a few records and they don’t always pan out. I remember writing a “hey, look at all these hits” column in early 1992, a few months later, we were plunged into CHR’s worst doldrums ever. And even if “Feel It Still” actually breaks the grip of 85 b.p.m. EDM ballads, the major labels still have six months’ worth of those songs, and loping midtempo tropical pop, to move through the system before anything can really change.

Either way, what Hot AC and Adult Contemporary radio must do is clear now. It wasn’t a great thing for CHR, Adult Top 40/Hot AC, and AC to be jammed so close together even when the music was good. The PPM moment when it seemed to work for everybody to play the same hits was short-lived (and at a time when any actual changes in formats’ fortunes may have been obscured by Voltair anyway). Eventually, fewer differences meant fewer reasons to listen to any station for a sustained period.

Now, it is possible to listen to Hot AC and hear that format and Mainstream AC struggling to digest CHR’s leftovers. I had that experience a few weeks ago with an Adult CHR that was still heavily invested in nine-month-old to two-year-old CHR hits, particularly EDM ballads. Some were undeniable hits on the “Don’t Let Me Down” magnitude. Some were the next tier of the genre—“Sit Still, Look Pretty” followed by “Starving” a few songs later.

AC doesn’t usually get to the second tier of songs. But its present model for current music is a six-to-nine month ratification of CHR hits. Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” becomes not the Song of Summer 2016, but winter 2017. Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You,” a song that ignited at CHR immediately upon its release on Jan. 6, goes 2-1 AC this week.

Sometimes the lag has worked in Mainstream AC’s favor. Earlier this year, when Top 40 was at its sludgiest, AC still had “Can’t Stop the Feeling” and “Cake By The Ocean” in current rotation. An AC client remarked that his had become the station in the market for tempo, and he was correct. But now, AC is going to be processing “Say You Won’t Let Go” and “Stay” for a while, if the pattern holds.

Mainstream AC has another issue to contend with. Over the past six months, a lot of the late ‘00s pop music has started to look shaky in AC music testing. It often looks very different from station to station—it might be a single artist or several. Even if I didn’t want you to do your own research, I would warn against any across-the-board response to that statement.

But the concept of the “millennial AC,” so exciting a few years ago, is challenged now by a simultaneous softening of the current product, and weakness in the library titles that PDs were so depending on. It’s not necessarily the fault of those songs, as much as the way we’ve handled them. They didn’t get a chance to go away and come back a few years later. Instead, AC had to take in “Firework” and “Hey, Soul Sister” when they had 40% burn at CHR. And unlike the ‘80s category, it was a relatively small handful of artists and music styles.

Hot AC programmers have the easiest remedies, beginning with better use of their gold library. There was never any law that “’90s to Now” had to mean “but mostly now.” There are a few Adult Top 40s—WKRQ (Q102) Cincinnati, WQAL (Q104) Cleveland, WWMX (Mix 106.5) Baltimore—that are successfully operating as the current hit music stations in their markets. For most others, the franchise is being the relief button from CHR, at least until Top 40 gets consistently better.

There are also Hot AC programmers who see an opportunity to delve back into pop/alternative titles again. For most, that means more attention to a relative few titles—Portugal, Judah & the Lion, the Revivalists, the next Imagine Dragons—but the idea of a Modern AC comeback now is intriguing. And Sinclair Communications, which has tried an Alternative/CHR hybrid in the past, is doing so again, this time on former CHR KSXY (the 101) Santa Rosa, Calif. 

The notion of taking control of current product will be daunting for many Hot AC and especially AC PDs. Adult formats have gotten used to being handed viable product from Mainstream CHR. Even as the pipeline began to clog this spring, they were more excited to play songs that had been ratified by CHR, even if they weren’t a perfect fit, than to help develop a “Million Reasons” or “Play That Song.”

For many programmers now, the reaction could be relying even more heavily on the exact recurrents that have been making CHR less exciting for the last year. It’s a natural instinct, like turning down the radio after a near miss on the highway. But I’m not sure what the benefit is in “play mediocre records more and hold on to them longer.” And it hasn’t helped Country or Alternative much. For AC and Hot AC, the answer is going to be going both older and newer, and recognizing the dearth of music from the last 18 months for what it is.

What AC And Hot AC Must Do Now

The Sound Podcast launches with Nobex Partners

caitwatson
Monday, August 28, 2017
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Santa Cruz, August 28, 2017 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nobex Partners is proud to announce our partnership with The Sound Podcast. They launched their custom app with Nobex Partners earlier this week.

The new podcast-focussed apps from Nobex Partners offer podcasters a chance to create custom mobile apps that are packed with all the great features that radio stations love about Nobex Partners, including integrated social feeds, custom requests forms, and push messages. Push Messages are really powerful for podcasters; being able to send a push that is in realtime, or scheduled, or episode specific draws listeners back into the app.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Nobex to bring our podcast, and all of our content to a mobile audience with our new The Sound Podcast App.”

— Ira Haberman | Host/Executive Producer, The Sound Podcast

“The Sound Podcast is a great example of what you can do with our podcast-focussed custom apps. It’s been great working with Ira to get this launched and ready for him to grow his listenership even more.”

— Cait Watson | VP Marketing, Nobex Technologies

ABOUT THE SOUND PODCAST

The Sound Podcast is a music discovery podcast rooted in music and musicians inspired by the Grateful Dead and the larger “Jam Band” community. We provide a forum for artists, writers and others involved in the scene to tell their story. Just like you, we’re always listening for the secret, and searching for the sound. http://www.thesoundpodcast.com/

The apps: https://www.thesoundpodcast.com/the-sound-podcast-app

 

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About Nobex Partners:

Nobex Partners powers a complete digital solution and custom apps for thousands of broadcasters and podcasters across the globe. It’s not just mobile – it’s a complete digital solution.www.NobexPartners.com

The Sound Podcast launches with Nobex Partners

New Partner Offer with Spacial Audio

caitwatson
Thursday, August 24, 2017
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Check out our latest Partner Offer – Meet the good folks at Spacial Audio!

Spacial Small.jpg

Spacial Audio has been the leader in Internet Radio Software since 1999, offering award-winning solutions, used by more than 250,000 radio stations in over 160 countries. Spacial Audio’s products include SAM Broadcaster Cloud, SAM Broadcaster Pro, SAM DJ and SAM Cast.
sam_cloud boxshot.jpg
We’re teaming up with Spacial to offer a free, 7-day trial so that you can discover the benefits of using their radio automation software.

Sign up for a 7 Day FREE trial for SAM Broadcaster Cloud today! Learn more on the Partner Offers tab.

Best Alternative to Your Internet Radio Automation Software
Are you looking for a powerful yet simple-to-use, Cloud-based Internet radio solution? Whether you are a seasoned veteran or just starting out, SAM Broadcaster Cloud from Spacial Audio includes all of the features you might need to automate and manage your Internet radio station.
Being Cloud-based removes the headache of having to stay connected to broadcast your station, with SAM Broadcaster Cloud’s flexible scheduling managing your station’s output when you cannot. If you or your DJs wish to broadcast live then the included SAM Broadcaster Live-DJ licenses allow you to switch seamlessly from the Cloud to live streaming. With a number of Cloud options available, Spacial Audio has a solution for most scenarios.

Here are some of the great features which make SAM Broadcaster Cloud stand out from the crowd:

  • Live Streaming with seamless switching between live shows and Cloud streaming
  • Cloud solutions – broadcast anywhere from any computer with an Internet connection
  • Powerful but flexible scheduling features
  • Multi-DJ management with each service including at least 5 SAM Broadcaster Live-DJ licenses for your DJs
  • Advanced audio processing, including cross and fading features
  • Easily manage up to 50 stations all sharing the same Cloud-based music library
  • Ability to stream to your existing ShoutCast/IceCast servers
  • Ability to stream in multiple formats
  • Detailed listener and history reporting

GET STARTED HERE!

  

New Partner Offer with Spacial Audio

New Forms Feature

caitwatson
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
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FormsDriven by input from our top stations, we have revamped the Forms tool to make it more flexible and customizable. Not only can you use (and customize) our existing templates, you can also create your own form from scratch!
We have seen 1,400 different forms created and over 20,000 user interactions with them since we introduced Forms. It is an excellent tool to engage your listeners and create a sense of inclusion and accessibility. Listeners love to share their input, comments, ideas, and it helps you to develop and tailor your programming to suit your audience.
Song Request Form template
Editing a Song Request form template
Custom form template
Come up with your own forms – customize completely!
New Forms Feature

Tutorial: Automatically Promoting Your App on your Social Feeds

caitwatson
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
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A guest posting credit to: Ngonidzashe Kaseke, Joyful FM Radio, South Africa

Most radio admins and producers are well versed with the automatic tweets by their broadcasting tools. Its really easy. I will explain according to Radionomy but steps are the same.
STEP 1. Connect your radio to your social accounts Twitter or Facebook.
STEP 2. Upload jingles or promos for your station to your broadcasting tool. They can be audio ads about the app, how people can download free and listen via your new app. Even instrumental fillers of say 2 minutes can do.
STEP 3. After filling the metadata – track title and artist info e.g App promo – Joyful FM, and cover art; make sure you add automatic tweet info that will be tweeted automatically to your Twitter account or posted to your Facebook radio page. Same as how you add your #NowPLAYING info. Use the social share buttons of your broadcasting tools to do this . Here are examples of the text you can use for automatic tweets every time the promo or jingle plays on your radio : “Download our free app from Appstore /iTunes, GooglePLAY and Blackberry World. Search for Joyful FM” “Listen from your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch! Download free app here > http://goo.gl/nwYHFA or http://bit.do/joyfulfmApp “Listen from your Android device. Download now our free Joyful FM app here > http://goo.gl/DekyLa “This is what your twitter followers or fb fans will see every time your promo/ jingle or instrumental plays. Just like your #NowPLAYING tags.
Tweet your plugs for your app automatically
Tweet your plugs for your app automatically
Saves you time and your followers will see lots of them a day and will end up clicking!
Tutorial: Automatically Promoting Your App on your Social Feeds

Announcing Partnership with iPluggers

caitwatson
Monday, July 17, 2017
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iPluggers and Nobex Partners Announce a New Partnership

Santa Cruz, July 17, 2017 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Finding the right music for your station can be difficult and keeping it fresh can be even harder, so finding a service that keeps your Music Director updated with the latest releases would be amazing! Nobex Partners is teaming up with iPluggers – a digital promoter of new music – to make it easy for stations to keep their playlist fresh and packed with great new music from quality artists and labels. Stations with Nobex Partners apps will be able to take advantage of the huge iPluggers database of new high-quality releases available for airplay all from within their Partner Dashboard.

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Radio stations can sign up for an account with iPluggers free of charge and get tailored iPlugging updates featuring the station’s selected genres to get music with just the right feel for their programming. Not only do stations stay updated on the latest releases, they can also browse and download music from the extensive iPluggers database, which offers a wealth of music in over 200 sub genres. They have access to digital press kits for artists and labels, including artist information, videos, biography, and discography. Radio show makers who do interviews with artists can even request interviews through the platform.

“For Nobex, having stations get the most out of the platform is key. Being able to offer iPluggers’ service to our stations means making their experience even better. We’re thrilled to see this launch!” – Cait Watson, VP Marketing, Nobex Partners

“Here at iPluggers, we’re working on a daily basis to provide our worldwide network of stations with the best music from artists and labels around the globe. We are very excited about our collaboration with Nobex: their app is truly amazing and takes listening to the radio to the next level, and we’re looking forward to service their radio makers with great music for their playlist! ” – Marvin Kuijs, Founder & Head of A&R, iPluggers

ABOUT iPLUGGERS:

iPluggers is a worldwide digital radio promotion service. iPluggers promotes new high-quality releases to more than 30.000 radio stations worldwide (FM, AM, internet, digital, satellite, local and regional radio stations). Access to their large database is free for radio stations www.ipluggers.com

ABOUT NOBEX PARTNERS:

Nobex Partners powers a complete digital solution and custom apps for thousands of broadcasters and podcasters across the globe. It’s not just mobile – it’s a complete digital solution.www.NobexPartners.com

Announcing Partnership with iPluggers

How Push Notifications Boost Re-Engagement

caitwatson
Thursday, July 06, 2017
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I wanted to share a quick note with you about how effective Push Notifications are to re-engage listeners. For those of you wondering what push notifications are, it is a message that pops up on the home or lock screen of a mobile device. It doesn’t require the user to be in the app or using their device at the time it arrives. A push message looks much like an SMS text message and reach users who have installed your app on their device and granted permission to send push notifications.

​In a typical broadcast you can only reach listeners who are currently tuned in and listening to you. The power of push notifications is being able to connect with listeners who are not tuned in and encouraging them to launch the app and rejoin your broadcast.

Push Increase
Station introduced push in late March saw a dramatic increase in streaming minutes
Daily Usage
Each point represents a push message and the spike of usage after it is sent.

 

Schedule push messages to keep you listeners engaged, have your DJs and hosts send them in realtime, keep listeners coming back all the time.

There are some best practices to consider when sending push notifications

  1. Push Messages are Not Email:
    Messages should be brief and concise. Keep in mind most users will see them flick across the top of their screen and may or may not read past the first line
  2. Timing:
    Since push messages are delivered instantly (or immediately as scheduled) be aware of your timing. A few minutes before the start of a new show, or before a hot new track comes up in your program.
  3. Language:
    Encourage an action, create a sense of immediacy to get the best reactions.

The Push Notification feature is available to all stations on the Plus and Pro level plans. Visit the Account tab in the Partner Dashboard to subscribe.

How Push Notifications Boost Re-Engagement

Nobex Partners announces custom apps for Podcasters

caitwatson
Thursday, June 08, 2017
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Santa Cruz, June 6, 2017 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nobex Partners, the world’s leading platform for mobile applications for radio stations, serving over 4,500 radio stations in over 100 countries, now expands to offer apps to podcast creators. The Podcasting market is taking off and Nobex Partners is now providing custom branded apps and a full digital platform to help podcasters engage with their listeners, attract them back in, and create an on-going, branded dialog with their audience.

The apps are white-labeled for each podcaster and not only include the podcast episodes, but also any social feed the podcaster wishes to share with the audience – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc..

With over 70% of podcast listeners using their smartphone or tablet to listen, having a custom app is a must for any podcaster, but the app is just part of the solution from Nobex Partners. Launching a custom, branded app opens up a complete digital solution including re-engagement tools, audience interaction, and insights into listeners and their behaviours, and new monetization channels. The platform is powered by a backend portal open to the podcaster, that enables pushing messages to the audience (immediate, scheduled, or deep linked to a given episode); provides real-time insights on users’ engagement with the content; includes high-paying visual mobile ads through Nobex Partners’ master channel distribution agreement with Google’s Admob and with Facebook Audience Network; includes interactive forms that can be designed and modified at any time by the podcasters for further engagement with the listeners, and much more.

Podcasts are primarily distributed now through aggregator podcast applications. Content discovery in these platform is limited, and once the listener tunes into a specific podcast, they can easily move away to listen to other content. If the listener is using a branded app, the podcaster can create and maintain an ongoing dialog with the listener – sharing not just the podcast but any other content that would otherwise be only on the website – and drive the listeners back to the podcast through push messages, sweepstakes, quizzes, etc. Major podcasters devoted time and resources to create their branded apps. This is a costly process, which Nobex Partners now provides for free for any podcaster.

The Nobex apps are compatible with all leading podcast management and distribution platforms. Specifically, Nobex is working closely with San Francisco-based ART19 to seamlessly integrate the two platforms and provide a complete solution to the podcaster.

The platform is now open for any podcaster to play with and to create test applications. Initially, only podcasters willing and selected to participate in the beta program will be launched into the app stores. Full roll out will begin in July.

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“It was perfect timing when Nobex was introduced to me. We haven’t had the best luck with app developers, but Nobex has exceeded our expectations. Since launching The Rob, Anybody & Dawn Show with Nobex, we have seen a dramatic increase in our streaming traffic and the quality is outstanding.

The listeners are extremely happy with all of the features and ease of use of the Nobex product, along with the partnership of ART19. We now have seamless integration between live streaming and podcasting!”

Brandon Angel from RAD Radio Show – http://www.radradio.com/rad-radio

 

 

About Nobex Partners: Nobex Partners powers a complete digital solution and custom apps for thousands of broadcasters and podcasters across the globe. It’s not just mobile – it’s a complete digital solution. www.NobexPartners.com

Nobex Partners announces custom apps for Podcasters

The Early Days of Station Streaming

rossonradio
Wednesday, June 07, 2017
5 comments. Leave a comment

By Sean Ross

I can make no claims to being a digital native, but I did figure out this morning that I’ve been streaming broadcast radio for more than half of my adult life. It was almost exactly twenty years ago, early June 1997, that streaming became the primary way that I listened to the radio.

At that point, streaming had finally burgeoned past a handful of early experiments (going back to late 1994). The previous year, I’d gone to a friend’s place and he’d proudly shown me that he could stream Capital FM London. It sputtered. It buffered. It was listenable for about one song. (This one.)

I can’t remember why it took me another six months, but when I did start streaming Capital FM for myself, they became my P1 radio station within days, wresting me away from WHTZ (Z100) New York. And since Z100 was pretty terrific in summer 1997—during the full flower of CHR’s comeback, and its own—that took some doing.

I often joke that streaming allowed me to get married. When I met my wife in October 1997, she never had to know that my idea of fun used to be going on radio road trips; she may have figured it out though, because when we did drive somewhere with the radio playing, she had to get used to talking during the music, not the jock break, the opposite of what most people would have done. But to my friend who used to have to tape the BBC Radio 1 countdown for me in the early ‘90s, shhhh!

Streaming didn’t eliminate the need for the radio road trip, or “listen lines” (hearing a station over the phone on the private number given to consultants and group heads) right away. For the first few years, the stations that were available were the novelties, not the rule. Streaming was only starting to reach ubiquity in the early ‘00s when AFTRA royalty issues forced some stations offline again for several more years.

So at that point, one listened to what was available—not to a fantasy dial of all of one’s favorites. There were usually a few stations playing contemporary music from any given country, and not always from the obvious markets. The other choices for the U.K. were Key 103 Manchester, which quickly became a favorite, and Broadlands 102 (now Heart FM Norwich). The best choice for Sweden was Hit FM Malmo (now Mix Megapol). Some were as focused as American CHRs, but the European model of broad-based Hot ACs with lots of odd oldies was still prevalent at the time (and hasn’t entirely disappeared today).

The same randomness applied to who was available in North America. CKZZ (Z95.3) Vancouver was the first station that gave me my long-desired regular access to Canadian radio, and a monster CHR at that time. I don’t remember as much about who was available from the U.S., but I did end up listening to KBCQ Roswell, N.M., because it was there. The domestic station that I remember streaming most, a year later, was Country KPLX Dallas, when it became The Wolf, effectively becoming my New York Country station, since none could be received at my Billboard desk in Times Square.

Just because a station was streaming, you couldn’t count on actually hearing it. The player might not launch. The stream might not launch. The stream would appear to launch, but only silence was heard. Streaming should have been a conversation piece with co-workers, but usually the buffering was so bad I had to turn stations down when colleagues came in the office. One co-worker remembers me gesturing to the player, as if to a toddler, and saying “c’mon . . .  buffer for daddy!”

Five years before the advent of iTunes, the problems were worse if you were on a Mac. Stations tended to design their streaming player for Windows first. (It was often the Windows Media Player on which they were streaming.) The Mac version was done last, and sometimes would get done right before a station upgraded its Windows player, rendering the Mac version unusable within weeks or days of its launch. I remember somebody in charge of station streaming explaining to me, also as if to a toddler, that nobody was on Macs, as I tried in vain to explain that my entire industry already was.

Being able to stream the world made me seem particularly prescient about music. Not every European hit would surface here, but you only needed one “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia for the early warning system to make you look smart. I learned to tune into NRJ Berlin’s afternoon countdown (at 9 a.m. my time) after “Mambo No. 5” by Lou Bega was pushed out of No. 1 by “Blue” by Eiffel 65, thus giving me two great tips for my American A&R friends in a row.

The challenge, of course, was trying to figure out what those songs were, especially those not in English, in the days before most players listed title and artist. In the pre-Shazam era, trying to identify a song still meant a call to a busy station request line, or to a crotchety station receptionist who immediately wanted to shunt you off to a busy station request line. I finally figured out a song I heard on Rix FM years later by humming it for a Swedish consultant in the lobby of the NAB Radio Show.

I can disclose this level of geekery now because streaming radio (broadcast or online only) has become a mass-appeal activity, despite roadblocks old and new.The first few years of streaming were beset by multiple problems, but not by those stopset substitution challenges that arose in the mid-‘00s, issues that many American stations have yet to fully work through more than a decade later. That doesn’t mean that streaming was a better experience back then. For years, it was strictly for the determined. But it doesn’t mean that stations can stop striving now.

The Early Days of Station Streaming

Announcing Compatibility with Android Auto – Apple CarPlay- Chromecast

caitwatson
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
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Santa Cruz, May 16, 2017 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nobex Partners announces its latest features: compatibility with Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay™, and Chromecast™.

Nobex Partners apps’ latest feature taps into commuter listeners with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Commuters spend 87 minutes a day listening to audio in their cars (http://www.edisonresearch.com/hacking-commuter-code-really-happens-commuters-driving/ Edison Research, Cracking the Commuter Code). Nobex Partners apps are providing the safest way to keep them connected and tuned in through the app with the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay optimized display. This feature will be available to all stations with paid Pro plans.

Apple CarPlay Screen.png

Nobex is also announcing compatibility with Chromecast for home entertainment systems. Nobex Partners makes apps available everywhere listeners go and enables them to connect however they want. This feature will be available to all stations with paid Plus and Pro plans.

“It is great to see more Apple CarPlay enabled apps that allow you to access local radio stations from around the world.” Anthony Barker from CarPlay Life – carplaylife.com

“Android Auto was designed with safety in mind. With a simple and intuitive interface, integrated steering wheel controls, and powerful new voice actions, it’s designed to minimize distraction so you can stay focused on the road.” Android Auto

 

Announcing Compatibility with Android Auto – Apple CarPlay- Chromecast

Changing the Image for Playlist Cover Art

caitwatson
Monday, January 09, 2017
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Wrong picture? Explicit content? Want to use your station logo? Here’s how

When you notice that you’ve got the wrong image paired up with a playlist item, or the cover art isn’t permitted (violence or nudity depicted), you can change it!

Visit the Playlist tab in your Partner Dashboard and click Change Cover on any you need to update, choose from the list of alternate images or set the Station Logo instead:

When you get to the bottom of the list you can load more results:

Have fun!!

Changing the Image for Playlist Cover Art

New Android version update

caitwatson
Friday, September 23, 2016
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New version of the Premium app for Android is almost ready including:

  • Playlists will have an action bar (when tapping on the album cover), with 3 actions
    • Video – this will play the video of the song
    • Share – this will share the song
    • buy URL – will send to itunes to purchase this soung
  • Favorites will have the same actions, so once a user has Liked a song, and it’s added to the Favorites they can then see a video of the song, share it, or buy it
  • Video page will use an embedded YouTube player and not via webview. This is a much nicer and smoother user experience.
  • When playing an item in On Demand, users will be able to skip backward and forward between items in the list. And On Demand will support autostart of new items when current track is finished.
  • Video page will support playlist as well as individual videos. Once a playlist is selected, the user can go backward and forward in the playlist.
  • Added support will be coming for SoundCloud playlist
  • Added exit function to the menu (Android only)
  • Push notification will automatically trigger when a new YouTube clip is updated in the connected account.

All features will soon follow for iOS as well.

New Android version update

New Facebook Call To Action Promotion

caitwatson
Monday, August 29, 2016
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Facebook pages are a great place to promote your station’s mobile app and that just got even easier using the tools in your Partner Dashboard.

Check out the Promotion tab and see the direct links to your store listings, HTML snippets to create awesome download buttons for your website and now all the details needed to link your Facebook followers right to the app from your Facebook page.

Facebook Call to Action
Promotion tab > Facebook Call to Action
New Facebook Call To Action Promotion

Updates to Premium apps

caitwatson
Monday, August 15, 2016
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Today we updated both iOS and Android versions and will begin to push these new updates to the stores.
The iOS version is 4.1.10
The Android version is 4.0.9
The main features
  •  search bar when in any of the shows / video pages
  •  embedded YouTube player, which supports playlists
  •  Contact Us menu with abilty to show one or all of phone, email, twitter
  •  Playlist and Favourites have an action bar to watch a video of the song
  •  displays SoundCloud or YouTube playlist summary text
The new Android have specific stability issues that were fixed: including stopping stream playback when the app is closed by various means; automatically attempts reconnecting to stream after dropped.
Updates to Premium apps

July Promo Challenge

caitwatson
Friday, July 08, 2016
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Exciting news for Partner level stations looking to upgrade to Premium: the July Promo Challenge winners will gain a free subscription to Premium!

So check your Revenue report and keep an eye on your Promo Challenge Gauges. You just need to double one or more of your metrics from the previous month and you’ll win Premium for free.

Let's get started!
Let’s get STARTED!
July Promo Challenge

Stream Updating gets Updated!

caitwatson
Friday, June 10, 2016
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Starting this week you can add and remove streams from your apps through the Partner Dashboard without waiting!
StreamUpdatePic

Just login and visit the My Apps tab and click “Station Settings”. You can add your new stream and then delete the old one. Or refresh the connection to your existing stream. Refreshing your stream connection is a good idea if you’ve recently updated where your stream URL points.

Happy Updating!

Stream Updating gets Updated!

Cool Promo Tools!

caitwatson
Friday, May 20, 2016
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Hi there,

We’re always on the look out for some neat tools to help you promote your station and your app. Here are a few we’ve found lately:

Moo Inc. NFC Business Cards

Moo Inc makes great business cards, but now they’ve made them even cooler with the option to create active NFC cards that you can update actions for and monitor the activity. So the cards always stay fresh you can update what action happens when the NFC chip it tapped.

MooInc
How Moo Inc NFC business cards work

Even better, if you follow this link, you’ll get a 10% discount on your order: https://www.moo.com/ca/share/#sfb5jp

 

iPluggers Digital Promoters

Looking to keep fresh new music in your playlist? Check out iPluggers. iPluggers has a large database of new high-quality releases available for airplay. Their platform uses mail updates (‘iPlugging’) to keep music directors updated on the newest releases in their playlist genre. Oh yeah – and it’s Free! 

iPluggers Banner
iPluggers

 

Think about making a Promo Video for your App

We see lots of stations doing cool things to Promote their station’s app. One of the best ways to get your listeners to engage with the app is to show them all the cool things you can do with it. Consider putting together a brief video guiding your listeners through the features of your Nobex Partners app.

A great example from DKFM, Los Angeles:

 

Happy Friday!

~ The Nobex Team

Cool Promo Tools!

Updates and Features

caitwatson
Friday, April 01, 2016
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We now have over 100 apps live on the Premium app!

Congratulations to all the stations that are hitting that exciting streaming benchmark. For those of you who don’t know – when your station streams over 1,000 hours in a month through the app, your app automatically qualifies to be upgraded to Premium.

So what’s the big deal with Premium?

Well, let’s walk through some of the cool features that you get when your app goes Premium. You might already be familiar with the features in the app, so we’re going to focus on the changes  in the Partner Dashboard.

  1. Custom Tiles: These are a great way to keep your app looking fresh and constantly updated. The Custom Tiles make up the lower portion of the new home screen. These tiles automatically draw content from your connected Content Accounts like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, SoundCloud, Podcast, and more.

    You can also create tiles that link to URLs that you provide. So, link to your station schedule, request page, DJ profiles, another station you are partnered with, contest pages – options are limitless. What’s great about the tiles is that you can create them and change the order any time. Just update and save – Presto! The app updates itself on the fly and your content stays fresh.

    Here’s a quick walk through of how to add your Content Accounts
    And one for customizing your Home Page

     

  2. Push Notifications: Instantly send a message to all users on the app. It’s a great way to remind listeners who aren’t currently connected that your afternoon show is about to start, or that you’re dropping a new track and they should tune in!
    Screenshot 2016-03-30 13.28.34.png
    And when a listener “Likes” a playlist item in the app, it’s added to their Favorites. The app with automatically send them a push notification when any items from their Favorites list are playing again. This is a great re-engagement tool and keeps listeners coming back to the app.
  3. Premium Reports: It’s great knowing how many users have downloaded your app, and really handy to see how many minutes you’re streaming. But with Premium reporting you’re going to see what your listeners are loving about your playlist – and what they’re not.
    The apps gather data about how each listener interacts with it. Premium reports aggregate that data and create custom charts for your station showing Top Songs (most listeners tuned in), Top Songs Engaged (listeners turned up the volume, stayed longer, brought the app to the front, shared socially), and Turn Off Songs (these are losing listeners for you). Keep your playlist fresh and engaging for your listeners by getting real time feedback from the app.Click to view slideshow.

    When you want even more detail check in with the Playlist Performance reports. Each track gets a score how many listeners were engaged, how much it was interacted with, how many listeners switched off.

     

    Each dot in the Engagement chart is a song played in the last 30 days, ranked by how many plays it got and how engaging it was for your listeners. In the Detailed view there is a bubble for each time the song was played, the size of the bubble indicates the number of listeners during that play, the X axis is the date, the Y axis is the Engagement Score – hint, you want your bubbles to be big and floating to the top!

 

So those are the Top 3 awesome changes that come with Nobex Partners Premium. Your station automatically qualifies for an upgrade to Premium when you stream 1,000+ hours in a month – but if you’re ready for Premium now you can subscribe for $90/m until you reach the streaming benchmark.

Check out your station’s Account Tab for details on Premium Subscriptions.

Kudos from stations already enjoying Premium:

Stefan, Hot Dance Radio: Hi! App looks beautiful!
Carlos, Rádio MPB: Adorei esse novo aplicativo.
Mark, Wehoudenhethiphop: The new app is awesome
Andy, SkaSpot Radio: I like the new feature with the feeds showing up on the player page. Since I tweet and FB the tracks that are being played, this is very helpful.
Ernesto, DRIVE Radio: I’m very happy, and our listeners too, so I think the new dashboard it’s very great and ergonomic, thanks for your work!
Haydon, Radio Sidewinder: Yes really liking the new app and new dashboard. Thanks.
Dodi, Radio Ranah Minang: Only one word perfecto

Updates and Features

Happy New Year 2016!

caitwatson
Wednesday, January 06, 2016
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Welcome to 2016!!

We have some exciting news to share with all our Nobex Partners.​


Brand New Premium App 

The developers at Nobex Partners have been hard at work creating a complete overhaul on the Nobex Partners mobile app for iOS and Android devices and it’s HERE!!

Completely re-imagined, this version of the app allows for a fully customizable home screen with actively updating tiles that will display a wide range of connected social feeds and custom links. Listeners can “Like” songs and the app will automagically notify them when you play one of their favorites is playing and lots more.

We will begin updating all Premium level stations in the stores starting today.

​​​​​​


IMPORTANT Changes to Partner Levels

We’re shaking things up in the Partner Levels, too! We want to be able to offer the updated app version to as many stations as possible. So we’re merging the Partner and Premium levels, making all stations who stream over 1,000 total listening hours per month new Premium level stations.

NEW Partner: up to 1,000 total listening hours per month

  • Free application published to all available platforms
  • On Demand content
  • 1 month start-up support (begins once your app is live in the stores)
  • Unlimited access to the Knowledge Base
  • My Ads local advertising feature

NEW Premium: more than 1,000 TLH per month

  • All Partner features
  • New Premium Nobex Partners app
  • Premium Business Intelligence including reports on playlist performance based on listener interaction
  • Push Notification in-app
  • Interactive Support


​​

~ The Nobex Team

Happy New Year 2016!

Hello world!

caitwatson
Thursday, March 19, 2015
1 comment. Leave a comment

Yes! A blog at last! Stay tuned for all the cool new information and updates to get posted here. Along with tips and helpful tidbits about using Nobex Partners apps and the Partner Dashboard.

See you later!

Hello world!