Internet radio has entered its first teenage years. 2015 has marked its thirteenth year, and internet radio has already come a long way for something that’s still relatively young and fresh. Whilst other radio platforms, such as DAB or the sage analogue, are struggling in keeping up with the hip competition that is online music streaming, internet radio is not only keeping up with the game, but come another thirteen years, could very well surpass it.
So this week, we are dedicating our Week in Review to Internet Radio. Happy Birthday chum!
It looks like it’s not just the UK that’s being rather obstinate and slow to jump on the DAB world domination band-wagon. According to Dutch broadcaster Nos, the government’s multi-million euro campaign to get people to make the DAB radio switch is failing. Experts in the Netherlands’ radio industry say that switching off FM in 2017 is a fairy tale, and that it will take at least another ten years before people are ready. But it’s not FM that’s DAB’s threat. It’s internet radio. Sales of internet radios are much more popular, and more consumers have switched from FM to internet radio both at home and in their cars. Is the UK to soon see a familiar pattern?
Legendary BBC Radio 1 presenter Zane Lowe is making news waves as it emerged this week that he’s now set on joining Apple after over a decade of BBC radio broadcasting. His exact role is as yet unknown, but nevertheless the news are enough to make one stroke one’s chin and ponder, ‘What is this going to mean for internet radio?’ Apple is very much a tech company first and foremost, and much like Pandora depends on algorithms to ‘interact’ with its listeners. But now this tech-driven online music platform is reaching deep into broadcast radio and acquiring the presence of a real-life human being – the trusted host. Apple being Apple, of course it’s going to be the first to set a new trend; and Apple being Apple, of course other companies are going to attempt to follow in its footsteps.
With Zane Lowe’s announcement that he’s to join Apple soon, it looks like the worlds of music streaming and broadcast radio are converging – and of course, who better to start this trend that Apple. Real life human presenters, who reach out to the audience and create a living relationship with them through the mutual love of music, is a big factor that internet radio is missing, and one that makes it, in contrast to analogue and DAB radio, rather soulless. But it’s not just the human touch that internet radio can take from its bigger broadcast brother. This great insight looks at five other things that internet radio can steal from broadcast, including local programming, music and artist familiarity (which, in its bid to become a source of new undiscovered music, internet radio is overlooking), and audience building and ad selling through recurrents.
Internet radio is young, but it has all the potential and all the signs of becoming the next big thing.
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