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Keys To Growing Radio Streaming Numbers

Posted by John on July 27th, 2010

We love reading the comments of Daniel Anstandig who writes for RadioInfo.com. Daniel always has good observations about how radio stations can better use New Media to get and retain listeners. Here are his five keys to growing radio streaming numbers.

“Most Program Directors are awarded financial bonuses now on broadcast ratings as well as streaming traffic. If raising your streaming traffic is important to your success (and whether you earn a bonus for it or not – it should be), here are five ways you can increase your online streaming audience.

1. Make your Listen Live button obvious and clearly placed.
Make it abundantly easy for your audience to find your stream. Place a “listen live” button somewhere clearly in the header of your site. Don’t force listeners to go searching for it, or you’ll lose their tune-in.

Look at the new CBS Radio website template [see blog entry below] that was recently rolled out across the company. The “listen live” button is consistently and predictably placed, and it is big and obvious.

2. Put links to your station’s stream in all staff e-mail signatures.
Everyday in your radio station, people are interacting with your community via hundreds—maybe even thousands of e-mails. Those e-mails are almost always going to listeners, buyers, and business partners in your audience. Posting a link to the station’s audio stream in every e-mail signature can immediately increase your tune-ins. One Program Director e-mailed me recently with an actual “listen live” button (graphic) in his e-mail signature. This is a great way to build streaming audience with people who know you and are likely listeners.

3. Add your station to internet-radio “yellow pages” type directories.
The most popular radio station streams attract listeners from a variety of sources. Their own website is just one way to tune in. There are a number of large internet radio station/streaming directories online that can help to direct more traffic to your stream—and it doesn’t cost you anything to get listed.

Here are some of the biggest directories for online streaming:

• Radiotower.com – This is a directory of stations, podcasts, mp3s, and videos.
• Web-Radio.fm – This directory allows listeners to search for stations by call letters, format, state, country, and internet-only vs. broadcast stations.
• Streamfinder.com – Listeners can find new stations, bookmark their favorite stations, and add new streams that are not already listed.
• Penguinradio.com – Stations of many different countries and languages are listed here.

4. Promote it on air and tell your audience to “turn your computer into a radio.”
The reality about radio in 2010 is that it may be more convenient for some listeners in the workplace to “tune in” using your stream on their computer or phone than it is for them to use a radio.

If you are not promoting your stream as a way for listeners at work to use your radio station, you are missing a major opportunity. Most online listening comes from listeners “in the office”.

Mike McVay uses the liner on the air, “turn your computer into a radio,” encouraging listeners to use their computer at work to listen. Sell the convenience of listening online from your computer.

5. Keep your current listeners.
Just as it is easier to keep a current customer than develop a new customer, it is always easier to keep a current listener than to find a new listener. Program Directors should monitor and police the online audio stream with as much vigilance and responsibility as they lend to the on-air audio.

In some cases, if your station is filling spot breaks with “filler audio” or other commercial inventory, the audio online can be very different than what is heard on the air. Many radio stations use lousy audio to fill time in their spot breaks online. They’ll run the same “elevator music” to fill commercial time in every break and miss an opportunity to really entertain the audience during breaks on their internet stream.”

You can read Anstandig at www.RadioInfo.com.  For people interested in digital media, we recommend subscribing to his email Radio 3D.

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