We’re Way Beyond Streaming Now – REDUX

With all the CES, Apple and Detroit gadget/tech news coming out – it’s tempting for radio folks to ask “how can we get our station(s) on that new device?”

We’re beyond that now.

Streaming our stations online is the absolute LEAST we can do. It’s the bare minimum requirement to even be allowed to participate in the brave new mainstream personal digital space we’re watching being born right now.

I wouldn’t expect high fives for streaming. It’s like expecting a raise for simply showing up to work everyday.

Here’s a post of mine from July 2006 on this issue.

Getting radio stations to stream online seems like a no-brainer in 2006.

But for many it’s not yet a “no-brainer”. I’ll hit that issue another time.

But for the pro-streaming folks – the question remains – what then?

Is it enough to hook up an audio encoder to our station’s broadcst, pump the bits onto the internet and say “we’re high-tech now“?

Bleh.

Content needs to change to take advantage of the unique opportunities of the medium.

With Newspapers – moving the content online actually makes it BETTER.

Online Newspaper content is search-able, archive-able, copyable, comment-able, e-mailable, reference-able – forward-able – all things the physical paper version is not.

How does putting a radio broadcast online make the CONTENT better?

Streaming our regular broadcast online seems a bit like the early days of TV where the radio shows were performed in front of a camera.

But then, the very nature of the visual content changed to take advantage of the unique opportunities the Television medium offered.

Just as TV people saw that television was much much more than “radio with pictures“ – WE need to see that the internet is NOT just another kind of AM/FM transmitter.

So, let me re-phrase –

How CAN putting a radio broadcast online make the CONTENT better?

What are the opportunities to evolve our product online?

How can we take advantage of the NEW 2 way street that broadcasting on the web allows?

Just in case it’s not clear – this is not an argument AGAINST streaming radio signals online.

It’s an argument against thinking that alone is good enough.

The internet is a perfect tool to re-fashion “radio” under our own existing brands in a brave new medium – to “Fix the Things That Suck” about radio (yes – there are things that suck – admitting it is the first step) and doing the disruptive things that can only be done ONLINE.

For example – Pandora – should have been a creation of the RADIO INDUSTRY. If we are truly a business filled with people that LOVE radio – Pandora would have come out of our own test kitchens.

Remaking what “radio” means in the personal digital space is practically the Radio industry’s birth-right.

But if we can’t see our digital future as anything more than a direct stream of our broadcast signal online & HD Radio – we shouldn’t be too surprised when we discover that no one cares.

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