If you’re old enough to remember what it was like to only have a few AM radio stations to listen to, you may be overwhelmed by the technology revolution. The quality of audio entertainment and the options for accessing music have progressed at such a rapid rate; it’s hard for anyone to keep up!
Some of us still remember how much better everything sounded when we swapped AM’s crackly monotones for the double-sided stereo sound of FM. Then CD-quality audio arrived and you could now feel like you were “there”. Now another great leap forward has given us the digital surround sound experience.
Just as sound quality has improved, so have our options for how, when and where we listen. As recordings moved from vinyl to tape and then CD, content could be enjoyed wherever you had a player. And thanks to the Walkman and other portable devices, such as MP3 players, we could enjoy music and other audio content on the move.
Now the Internet has changed everything again. Suddenly, music is just bits and bytes that can be moved around as easily as sending an email.
Although this was good news for consumers, the recording industry faced a big problem. If it was this easy to swap, share and access music, how could they control it? To date, they can’t because the industry has failed to embrace the digital world – instead they’ve focused their attention on condemning the fledgling online music industry and declaring war on file sharing sites, such as Napster.
But although downloading gets all the press, it’s not the only way to access music online.
Who listens to online radio?
Many AM/FM radio stations simulcast over the Internet, but true Internet Radio stations operate exclusively online and continue to grow. Where traditional radio broadcasts to thousands of people in a particular location, Internet Radio narrowcasts online to listeners worldwide and offers specific content for a specific audience.
Internet Radio has everything from commercial and non-mainstream music to talkback and niche interest shows. Although it’s narrow focus means it may have a smaller audience than commercial radio, its audiences are deliberately tuning in to be exposed to content relevant to their interests.
Internet Radio relies on member subscriptions but most of its revenue comes from advertising. Although it may not have huge audiences, it reaches a targeted niche of the market and is very appealing to advertisers.
Why? Pretend you are trying to sell software for stock market analysis. Would you prefer to spend your marketing budget advertising to males who are 24-39 and earning $25K-$60K per annum OR reaching males who are 24-39 and earning $25K-$60K and who love trading on the foreign exchange markets? Imagine the ROI and I’m sure you can see why Internet Radio is so appealing. Perhaps it’s something your business could consider.
Unfortunately, Australia is lagging behind the US where satellite radio means hundreds of stations can be received in listeners’ homes, offices or even their cars. But we can still access tens of thousands of online stations with the only limitation being the download limit on your internet plan. To give you an idea, an hour’s worth of listening to streaming radio is equivalent to a 30mb download.
So, if you are bored with the standard fare most radio stations offer, why not sample the smorgasbord of online radio stations? There’
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