Posted by: Khepera | Monday, 30 April 2007

Alternate Channels


It is clear that many have garnered a sense of liberation in the proliferation technology. This is likely no more true than in the realm of broadcast &/or ‘content delivery’ technologies. a short seminal on how Britain is handling this differently from us in the US was laid out in the April issue of Radio magazine(use link below for full article). It is a sowing of seeds, and for those of us with open eyes & fertile minds, we should be able to harvest some useful tools, perhaps even initiatives out of this…

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Alternate Channels

by Jeff Smith CEA, CBNT

Apr 1, 2007 12:00 PM

Since radio first started broadcasting, the way we reached our listeners was over the air. We put audio into an RF transmitter and served the audience; it was that simple. Today, however, radio faces challenges from new technologies that are eroding the traditional radio audience. During the past year reports have been released by Arbitron, Edison Media Research and Bridge Ratings that show listenership and TSL among younger radio listeners is slipping at an alarming rate. One Edison Media Research study showed TSL among 18 to 24-year-olds has gone down by 24 percent since 1993. Yet, in the UK some of the latest RAJAR data shows that radio listenership is on the rise with more than 45 million listeners or 90 percent of the population. What is working for the British broadcasters that we are not doing here?

The simple answer may be that they have adopted a platform-neutral philosophy. They are using nontraditional delivery methods to deliver their product to the listener. Concepts like Internet radio, Wi-fi, podcasting and even cell phone listening are drawing listeners that otherwise would not be there.

Internet

Streaming audio over the Internet has been around for several years but in the past few years it has seen a huge gain in listenership. One of the driving forces behind this surge is the availability of high-speed Internet access. Speeds that enable high quality audio streams are now available with cable modems, DSL and even residential fiber-optic service. These speeds allow Internet streams to deliver quality audio and other features our audience wants. Today radio stations can deliver artist and title information, the ability to purchase the song, unique advertising and graphics via the Internet. The other benefit the Internet affords broadcasters is the ability to add additional channels without the cost associated with HD Radio multicasting. It is easier than ever for broadcasters to add channels that narrowcast, meaning they offer variants of the main program or something totally different.

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