The future of radio station streaming

Rich and broad.

That’s it in a nutshell.

Rich and broad.

Let’s start at the top:

Rich

Why is your stream limited to your station’s audio? Why not stream your station’s video as well? And why not include chat capability in the streaming window so that listeners can talk to each other and to your talent?

We’re making the mistake of envisioning a station’s stream as “our over-the-air station online,” but this is wrong. The medium, as the saying goes, is the message. And a book is different from the movie based on that book in large part because the medium requires them to be different and the medium enables them to be different.

Wake up, streaming companies. Broad

Very few stations provide more than one stream on their website. That is, if you can brand one version of your station, why can’t you brand several? And why can’t they be tailored to different genres or moods or content elements (e.g., the All-Morning Show stream)?

This is a tremendous lost opportunity, and I’m surprised more stations don’t get this.

As I recently reported, less than half of commercial stations stream their programming at all, let alone go “beyond the call” in the ways I’m suggesting.

Yes, I know there are fears about licensing costs and bandwidth costs and the costs of losing rated on-air listeners to unrated off-air streams. But until you build these streams, the listeners can’t come. And until they come you can’t monetize them. And until you monetize them you will stand by and wait while your audience gets what they want and need from elsewhere online.

Yesterday Fred Jacobs and I were discussing where the “fault” is with regard to radio’s young adult audience losses. My belief is this: It’s not radio’s fault that we lost this audience. But it will most definitely be our fault if we fail to get them back.

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