Don’t Bother

What’s the point?

At the recent Worldwide Radio Summit, Mike Agovino of Triton Media shared some fascinating facts and figures about online listening and streaming.

  • Forty to fifty million people will spend time listening online this week.
  • The largest volume of internet listening happens between 10am and 3:30pm

But perhaps most interesting…

  • 18 months ago 60% of those online listeners were streaming terrestrial radio, with 40% listening to pure play services (Pandora, etc.).

Most recently, however, those numbers have changed. Now the majority of online listening goes to pure play services.

So why has online listening taken a turn toward pure play services?

Sure, Pandora and a few others are predisposed to offer more interactivity. There’s little we can do about that.

But could it be streaming of terrestrial radio has declined because many broadcasters have treated their stream as a throw-away? Something “they have to think about” in an already too-busy day?

I’m a frequent online listener; I listen to monitor client stations, potential clients, and just because I want to see what “WXXX” is up to. Frankly, I’ve been horrified by what I’ve heard.

One major market music station stream was so distorted it was unlistenable. It sounded like an over-modulated AM day-timer at 1600 on the dial.

If this stream is, in fact, an extension of that station’s brand, what does it say about that station? And if this was a listener’s first experience with that station, do you really think they’d be back?

Make sure you offer a high quality sound or don’t bother.

I’m a fairly net-savvy guy, but I recently tried to listen to a client’s stream and was asked to jump through so many hoops — registration, vote on this or that, etc. — that I said, “Screw it! Not worth my time.”

Make it simple for your listener or don’t bother.

Aside from the techincal aspect of your stream, what about content?

Are you running the same Smokey the Bear PSA every break to cover AFTRA spots — or, are you adding creative and informative content like artist profiles, local community calendar items, or client success stories from advertising on your station?

This additional attention to detail has become a part of the day-to-day reality. You should be listening to, and critiquing, your stream just as you do your radio station on a regular basis — and working to make it every bit as appealing as your terrestrial signal.

That cliche, ‘All that matters is what comes out of the speakers’ now extends to the speakers connected to your computer, like it or not.

Make it compelling or don’t bother.


Today’s guest blogger is Tom Pagnotti, an award-winning air talent on WTIC, KHOW and WBIG among other great stations. Today, Tom is a Television and Radio promo and imaging voice. You can see and hear his work on the Choice Voice Facebook page, and on his website,