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Clip Interactive: Making Your Radio Mobile App Better


If you’re like me you get an empty feeling from too many radio mobile apps. The addition of podcasts and social links can’t mask the fact that the app is often little more than the audio stream with a fresh face. But is that all radio mobile apps should be? Clip Interactive doesn’t think so. Bill Freund is Clip’s EVP Chief Revenue Officer.

What follows is an abbreviated transcript. For the full Q&A click the video image below.

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Billy, what is Clip Interactive, and why should broadcasters care?

Clip is a mobile application that’s available on Android and iOS that allows everything that you hear over terrestrial radio to be interactive for the listener. Listen, hit the Clip button on our application, and connect with whatever content is playing on the radio: Music, contents, promotions, advertising, and spoken-word content.

In the music space, an app called Shazam recognizes songs. If you hear some song on the radio, on television, or wherever, you hold up the Shazam app on your mobile device and it recognizes the song. Clip brings that capability and control to the broadcaster. With Clip we’re making local radio interactive and attributable to enable all the digital capabilities that search, display, video, and others do, but at the scale of terrestrial radio – the 240 million people who listen to the radio.

In essence, a local station like KINK in Portland, very well-known AAA station, can have their own station app that allows you to interact with the broadcast over the air, where still today the majority of the listening is taking place. And it’s way beyond just identifying the music. You also get lyrics, artist information, and album artwork, but think about all the other things a radio station does on the air that fans can now interact with.

Radio has always been interactive; contests, promotions. The way to interact was to call the station, go to the website, or visit their loyalty page. Now we have this capability through the actual sound coming through the speakers, I can hit the Clip button on the KINK app and it delivers a piece of matching mobile content to the mobile device. It can be a contest entry form, a promotion, a video, anything that that station is talking about on the air shows up in a Clip list on my device. Now with a single tap through registration and permission, I can engage. I can enter that contest, I can download a song, I can give feedback to the jock, I can take a poll or a survey, I can view a video clip that the station’s pushing to me; all recognized from the sound.

I assume you could also receive coupons from advertisers. You could interact directly with advertising and advertisers too, correct?

Absolutely. That’s the revenue part of it. For the advertiser, it comes down to, ‘I’m buying radio in the market. How do I prove that my radio is driving results?’ I’ve been in radio 25 years; we all know radio works, but now it can deliver attributed results. Today, Google and Yahoo and MSN get the results or the attribution from radio, because audio creates the stimulus, creates the awareness, but there isn’t a catch point between the web and radio.

Clip solves that problem and creates that catch point, whether it’s a call-to-action with a coupon, an email that you’d like to receive from the advertiser, or a direct call to that advertiser through your mobile device, Clip delivers a mobile piece of matching content that allows the listener to engage, and radio gets credit.

It’s a pull-based model, whereas you’re only Clipping if you’re interested in the content or in the ad. We’re not just spamming you with tons of banner ads or video. We’re saying, “You raised your hand. You’re interested in that offer from that roofing company because this morning you woke up and you had a leak? Clip it! You’re interested in weight loss for the New Year? Clip it!”

Does this technology integrate with an existing mobile app if I already have one, and does it substitute for a mobile app if I don’t?

It can work both ways. If a large group or cluster has a mobile streaming app that they’re currently satisfied with, we can integrate our technology into the app. If the broadcaster doesn’t have a mobile app or isn’t satisfied with their current mobile app provider, we can provide the whole app completely. The Clip button allows you to interact with both the stream and the broadcast. Therefore, it becomes a smart app, not just a streaming app.

Now, it’s just not getting what I’m already getting off the broadcast. I can now interact with my favorite personalities, interact with contests and promotions, and respond to ads that are relevant to me.

The data proves itself, Mark. There needs to be a differentiator for mobile apps for broadcast. The radio mobile app has to provide an enhanced experience beyond just listening. The main asset of radio is the sound. Clip takes that native asset, leverages it, and engrosses and engages you in the content. And it keeps you right there on the station’s platform. It doesn’t take your engagement away to Facebook or Twitter.

What are the results so far in the real world? How many downloads, how much interactivity is there, and what’s the revenue upside?

We are in about five markets right now. Our largest market is Portland; we’re fully deployed in Portland across all major broadcast stations. If you have one of our station apps or the generic Clip app, you can Clip any of the top 36 stations; interact with the music, the content, and the ads.

From Portland alone, we’ve had close to 120,000 downloads of the app, that’s pretty substantial. We have over 50,000 active users Clipping on a weekly and monthly basis there. We are partnered with Alpha Broadcasting and Salem Broadcasting there, giving us ten partner stations who promote the Clip app or promote their station app with Clip capabilities. What’s happening is that the local sellers of those stations are going out to advertisers who haven’t used radio in eighteen months or two years and saying, “Here’s a new way to use radio. Here’s a compelling feature of radio; a digital component to the over-the-air broadcast that puts us on par with other digital media,” whether it’s the Pandoras of the world, Facebook, or whatever they might be buying from Google. It allows radio to compete there.

Two days after an advertiser runs a Clip-enabled campaign, we come back to them with data and say, “We had 3000 people Clip and receive a matching piece of mobile content when your audio was running.” Then from there, we can show them they opened that Clip. We’re seeing open rates anywhere from as low as 15% to as high as 100% on promotions because people are really interested in entering. We can report not only open rates but also rates for engagement and action. We’re seeing engagement rates ranging from 6% to 20%, which are off the charts.

Milt McConnell, who’s our lead partner with Alpha, has really been thrilled with the results because it’s driving not only increased mobile downloads for him and more engagement for the radio station, but six-figures in revenue in Q1. That’s just one market and one group.

We’re looking to partner with more broadcasters who are forward-thinking and innovative. We’re seeing some really good, good stuff happen.

If there are broadcasters who are interested in Clip-enabling their broadcast and their stream, we’re ready to go and we’re scaling across the country.

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