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Monday, August 5, 2013
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Radio Industry Question: Web Site or Presence?

Communicating in today's digital world demands being online. Whether your choice is to use the web as a primary or secondary communicative tool depends on where you start. It's obvious that in the broadcast radio industry your main programming is transmitted by antenna. If you run an online radio station your concerns are in the stream.

The more I look, the more I'm a believer in the need for a less-complex web site.
"The majority of the radio industry only requires a web presence to be effective. The cost of building an interactive web site will never be recouped in any but the largest markets..."

As a thought starter, what is it that you need to accomplish and how much digital real estate is required? To follow up, how much money is available to build what are considered essential online elements? And, should it be at the expense of your audio programming?

Lacking the knowledge of HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, etc, and not having the time to learn new software languages quickly gaining steam - HTML5 and jQuery, as examples - just what fee do you believe a software writer will demand for what you envision?

We know of the knowledgeable cousin and the types of web sites produced thereby. We're also pretty familiar with folks who've tackled WordPress, the one-style-fits-all web site construction tool. (The online radio industry is filled with WordPress web sites, most of which lack a User Interface featuring easy navigation and functionality.)

Artists have used WordPress, too. But this group has mostly flourished sticking to the MySpace, Facebook, SoundCloud, and a few dozen other music-oriented services - all of which limit the flexibility offered since what's there is all that's needed.

In most cases, the radio industry has gone overboard on what is put online; bloated designs seem the norm - throwing as much content at the visitor as can be stuck on an unlimited page. Maintaining these types of web sites is complex, as evidenced by so many radio stations having blank "event" pages that if it weren't sad it would be funny.

It's time to rethink what goes online, to reevaluate the needs and depth offered visitors to a radio web site.

I've been changing my opinion over the last couple of years to where now I'm inclined to think radio industry web sites need to be relegated to a web presence - a page or two, and no more.

Placing this week's listing of stations at RadioRow gave two good examples of radio stations with a web presence, not a web site: SHradio and SH Rock. They are not owned by the same person. The first is a community station in South Holland, Lincolnshire UK. The other is based in Hammonton, New Jersey. Both exist as sound that's supported by a web presence. They are NOT web sites with streams, and that's an important distinction.

Consider your web site or web presence? If it's the former, is it there as a functional part of what you are trying to accomplish or merely an aggregate of pages that are difficult to maintain?

The majority of the radio industry only requires a web presence to be effective. The cost of building an interactive web site will never be recouped in any but the largest markets, unless you get that knowledgeable cousin to throw one together for you - and we all know what that's probably going to look like.

Listening to audio online is moving to a small screen environment. It's time for the design that you wrap around your radio station's sound to follow suit.

Today's indie artist introduction is to...
Pop artist Kotadama
sample song
One More Time

Download Song


We listen for songs that evoke emotion; fast, slow, female, male, group, it doesn't matter. When an artist has the power to please, they should be given a chance to be heard.

Give Kotadama's "One More Time" a listen.

Add it to your playlist, free! Such is the new world of music distribution.

It's time internet radio programmers reach into a huge pile of untapped talent.
It is here where new hit songs will increasingly be found.

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