Right now, some sticky AFTRA rules preclude this for the most part.
If we’re lucky, the thinking goes, the stream will add to the over-the-air credit and we’ll be rewarded with a bounty at ratings time.
This thinking is not only wrong, it’s short-sighted and hazardous.
The odds are very much against any more than a chance tick in the Arbitron ratings thanks to the stream. Besides, if our philosophy is to use simulcasts to spiff our ratings, then why not open a hundred streams, all simulcast? Think of the ratings bonanza!
The reason why this thinking is hazardous – besides the sheer odds against it paying off in the ratings – is because of the huge potential revenue pool which will be surrendered. Surrendered to digital or pure-play online radio alternatives. Surrendered to an industry which is not radio. Needlessly.
Online radio is an opportunity for new approaches, new content streams, new selling strategies. Online radio is not “radio” – it’s different from radio.
And it’s fruit is yours for the picking.
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