Either meet your listeners halfway, or get them to come to you


In TV Bay’s IPTV & Online issue, I spoke about how streaming video online enabled content owners to share their work with the world a lot more effectively, so although the end result is the same, what technical procedures are different for streaming pure audio content?
The pace of technical advancements have now established distinct requirements for content owners that look to generate a firm position within the technology market. Since the birth of digital, broadcasters and large content owners looked to increase compatibility to satisfy large consumers using new platforms – whereas now it seems these motivations have grown into commercial incentives, looking to reach as many devices as possible to reach a larger scale of listeners.
From August 2010, Stream UK was proud to become the UK’s largest online radio streaming provider, following the signing of a contract with Guardian Media Group radio. As one of Britain’s leading radio businesses, encompassing Real Radio, Smooth Radio and Rock Radio brands, GMG chose Stream UK as its internet radio streaming provider
As the streaming partner for GMG radio, content was available for all radio streaming devices including laptops, iPhone, acc+, mp3 enabled mobile phones, iPad and Philips Streamium. It was this cross-platform compatibility that meant GMG radio stations could now take advantage of a vast amount of extra listeners across the digital spectrum.
“Stream UK now holds a leading position as the multi-platform streaming provider. Broadcasters now need their content on all platforms.” Stream UK CEO Duncan Burbidge
Of course, the partnership with the GMG met the requirement to sustainably stream audio content live and on demand to listeners all over the globe, but what commercial benefits are there for those that wish to use a live service for a launch, special event or a series of live broadcasts?
I recently attended the Social Media World Forum, where I found that the online success and likelihood of popularity lies very strongly within the ability to integrate social media tools and influence online consumers. Prior to an event, effective use of MySpace, Facebook and especially Twitter can generate a potential audience not only eagerly awaiting your broadcast, but one that is also specifically targeted as your core consumer. Now looking at your live or on demand project as a campaign, you can easily reflect on the development and continue in making progressive alterations that mirror the behaviour of your listeners. Monetisation and other advertising opportunities are always great ways to capitalise on a strong and consistent wealth of listeners, with the help of analytics you can offer advertisers an accurate and definitive report for previous events, as well as predictions for the future which help map the entire response to the project.
The Social Media World Forum was a great place for digital pioneers to showcase the digital strategy of tomorrow, it was also good to learn that streaming multi-media plays such an important part in many of these plans. The need to offer your customers content ‘here’ and ‘now’ ties in nicely with the ethos of planning for tomorrow and being at the forefront of contemporary communications. It also reflects a degree of transparency and credibility towards the brand, openly engaging with online users and displaying current information live and on demand.
The more intriguing development however, is within the channels that now exist for content and live streaming distribution. By utilising social media tools such as Facebook, you are creating a platform that many of your customers use every day; therefore it becomes an easy access point for the consumer whilst increasing popularity and more potential to spread for the creator.
It is reported that 46.5 million people tune into radio stations across the UK each week, parallel to this the digital reach has increased by 15% year on year, yet over 30% of listeners (aged 15-24 years) claim to listen only through digital devices. So how long will it be until digital outgrows the analogue radio and increases potential for broadcasters?
With mobile compatibility increasing and new devices being optimised, the future for online audio streaming looks only to improve. The way content owners utilise this capacity however will always vary in relation to the initial content purpose and the digital strategy implemented. The use of audio/video within commercial communications has always taken full advantage of the latest technology, however, it is always the unexpected, innovative and original that reaches the viral marketplace... an achievement that has been done many times through streaming live content.
Since 2008 Stream UK has also been providing radio streaming for the BBC World Service, another commitment that broadened our services in online audio streaming.
About....
Ben Darby is the Communications and Marketing Manager for Stream UK, a leading streaming solutions provider. Previously working within Television PR, he has also worked as an advertising consultant for businesses and brands within the UK, where he learnt firsthand the fundamental stages between production and consumer impact.

Tags: iss053 | streamuk | streaming | gmg radio | iptv | internet radio streaming | N/A
Contributing Author N/A

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