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Current Music: Robbie Robertson - Somewhere Down The Crazy River ( 9412 - The Rock Station. More Live DJ's th
My post on Slashdot about Internet Radio
Feb. 10th, 2006 | 10:25 pm
music: Nazareth - Razamanaz ( 9412 - The Rock Station. More Live DJ's than any other station on the I
My name is Chris J. Popp and I own 9412 - The Rock Station. We've been on air for over 6 years, and I have co-organized two internet radio confrences.
I'd say 95% of the stations out there do not care about making money with their station, they just want to be able to play music and share a dream they have had. Yes, there are stations that raise money or sell commercials and 9412 is one of them. But it costs money to be able to do Internet Radio.
I've seen a few posts about quality of the station in terms of bitrate. With Internet Radio, which is digital, you do not have signal loss or skip. You either get it or you don't. Some stations broadcast at 128k or 320k which can look impressive but elminates a lot of listeners out there and unless you have a trained ear you won't tell a difference.
320, IMHO, is a bit excessive. The stream cost more at about $8 per which is nuts when you look at a 56k stream which is going for approx 90 cents to $1.50. More listeners can be reached with a lower bitrate that still sounds good.
Most stations out there are iPods or jukeboxes that play randomly and have no real feel to it. That is true. 9412 - The Rock Station has 140 hours of live dj's on it's schedule every week. Last I checked, no one else matches that. Oh yeah - we actually interact with listeners by having a dj in a chat room, take requests via IM and email and we check our ego at the door. Lets see your local CC station do that. That's right - you won't because it's corporate "station in a box" radio.
WOXY, Wolf, Y100, DI, Radio Paradise, Club977... these stations are some of the best out there. That's because they have a desire to do well and take it seriously.
Why should Internet Radio be given any special rights? We should not. 9412 pays the Big 3 license bodies - just like FM and AM stations in the US do. I've had stations say "we do not want the competition there" when I have approached organizations such as concert organizers, festivals and similar events.
To me, those stations just put us on the same level playing field as them and see us as equals.
Why have you not heard of many stations yet in the public realm? It comes down to money. Ask ANY internet station owner if they had a choice of spending $$$ on advertising on a bus or getting more streams to accomidate the people (remember them?) they will say more streams so fast it will make your head spin.
I've seen some talk about Internet Radio being able to turn a profit. Here's the thing:
Listeners -> Advertisers -> Money for streams -> Listeners
You have to have a good listenership number to get Advertisers. 50 listeners once a week will not bring in a Fortune 500 company let alone the local book seller.
Get the advertisers, that will bring in the dollars. You need to have a sales person that knows radio and has the contacts with ad buying firms and the advertisers themselves to be able to get them on board. Also, a media kit and rate card will help and DO NOT cheapen yourself. Don't charge $27 for a :30 (which is a rate in a market of say 100,000) but go $9 per :30. Better yet, get sponsors for each hour so you don't have to have commercials. FYI - 9412 only will ever do 4 minutes per hour of commercials. Period. CC and other corporate stations do 12 mins per hour.
Got the money, then you can improve the station. Buy more music so you have a larger play catalog (we've got 15,000 songs) and put the money into giving prizes to the listeners and doing more for them. Get more streams to increase the level of demand you can accomidate.
But, it all starts with the listeners. Without them, the circle is broken and you won't get to do the other stuff. Get the other stuff, then you get more listeners.
Can't hear a Internet station without a computer? BULLSHIT. You can hear Internet radio on cellphones and with cellphones you can get a $2 adapter for the ear piece that will then handle a standard 1/4" plug. That plug can then be used with a cassette adapter or IR device just like those that iPod users have for them to listen in their car.
I'd say 40% of our listeners at the day time are in buildings where they can't get a decent FM or AM signal. (FYI, we average 3,000 listeners per hour with tune ins, tune outs and listeners per stream. Need data to back that up just let me know ;) a stream does not equal 1 listener only)
The Wall Street Journal released a report in 2001 that said Internet Radio will be a $9 Billion (yes, with a B) by 2010.
Here's some other stats:
# 64.9% of 1751 online radio listeners say they plan to spend holiday money online in 2005. Compare year-to-year numbers and there's a 9.9% increase in people who plan to purchase holiday gifts online. In 2005, 48% will spend up to $450; 35.6% will spend up to $300 each. - RROnline Survey 33
# The Internet is the information superhighway, the ultimate research tool for every consumer. Internet radio combines the power of an information kiosk with the proven results of radio to provide the best of both worlds for advertisers, especially those who wish to reach affluent, educated professionals at work. - Arbitron
# Internet radio is one of the fastest growing media in history. Recent studies performed by Arbitron and Edison Research show that as many as 103 million Americans over the age of 12 have experienced Internet broadcasts, and a significant and growing number of those are regular users of this new medium.
# Streaming online radio is the hot new medium. More than two out of five Americans – 100 million consumers age 12 and older – have used Internet audio or video in the past month. Streaming online radio is not limited by geographic region; it is accessible anywhere, any time, by anyone with an Internet browser.- Nielsen/Net Ratings
# More advertising-receptive audience. The online streaming radio model of free programming content supported by advertising is preferred by Internet broadcast users! - Arbitron/Edison Research
# Longer "Prime Time." While traditional radio emphasizes morning and evening drive times as their prime times, streaming radio works just the opposite. Prime time for streaming is 9 am - 5 pm when people are at their desks. Listener counts peak again from 7 pm - 11 pm, when people are home from work and logging on to their computers. This means that advertisers enjoy more opportunities to deliver their messages to the audience. In addition, people who listen to streaming radio listen longer than traditional radio audiences, an average of 3.7 hours versus 2.1 hours!
# An estimated 20 million listeners tune in to Internet audio broadcasts each week and listen for approx 5.5 hours per week - Arbitron/Edison Research
# Fifty-two percent of monthly Internet broadcast consumers have purchased online in the last month, versus only 28% for non-monthly Internet broadcast consumers. Arbitron
So.... does it sound like Internet Radio is not real?
The motto of the ConXis conference in 2002 was "We're Ready... Be Prepared".
Guess what? WE ARE HERE.
Chris J. Popp
9412 - The Rock Station