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Technology, the Internet and the future of radio

With more and more people relying on gadgets to get their informational fix, it seems that the technologies of yesterday have been left in the dust, never to be used again. That is why savvy-businessmen have recognized this trend and adapted their enterprises to the new, digital age. A development in this direction has been Internet radio.

Internet radio gives you the option to listen to either local radio stations or internet radio stations. While it was possible to find paid radio stations in the past, today, all internet radio stations are free. The reason of course is to attract new listeners. It’s hard enough to get people to pay for video and text media (think online magazines like http://vp3media.com/) that adding a price onto radio will only drive people further away from it.

So Internet radio is free and plenty. But are there any advantages to it versus the other digital media platforms?

Keeping old radio on life support

We’re of the opinion that Internet radio made it easier for people to get hooked on regular radio stations. Serving as a bridge to traditional radio programs, you can get both AM and FM stations with programs ranging from music, news to drama, talk shows and others. If you’re in Europe and you used to listen to the NPR every morning, you now have the option to do, even if there’s no physical possibility for NPR waves reaching you. However, this makes up a small portion of internet radio listeners.

But don’t be mistaken, traditional radio isn’t going to go anytime soon. A big part of radio listeners is made up of automobile drivers who regularly tune-in to their favorite stations to get their music and news fix.

So what advantages does Internet radio bring if you’re used to listening to radio in your car? Well, for one, you can get your favorite radio station in your browser. We’ve observed many people prefer to listen to an online radio station rather than create their own playlist. That’s where services like Spotify and Pandora have thrived, offering their users the option of a non-stop, customized stream of music on demand.

How it all got started

The first internet radio stations made their appearance in the 90’s. With internet speeds being what they were, audio quality was severely reduced. Dial-up users remember the old days of waiting for their stream to buffer, only to get interrupted 10 seconds later to load again.

Online radio stations were few then and only offered as an experiment by already-established traditional radio stations. It didn’t make much sense to listen to music that way then since you could get the “full” quality of radio by turning on your tuner.

But since then, advances in internet speed and sound compression technology have made the point of quality obsolete. In fact, you can get better quality from the internet than you could get from a radio because there is no interference with the signal.

Is there a future for online radio?

We believe there is. However not in the traditional form that it has been used till now. For example, podcasting is an off-spring of traditional radio talk-shows that has become immensely popular because of how accessible the technology of recording and broadcasting has become (http://daconsoftware.com/). There still is plenty of space for innovation in this field and we can’t wait to see what the future brings. One thing however is certain: online or “offline” radio is here to stay.

Advertising your services on the radio

radioRadio advertising, despite being around for almost 100 years is becoming increasingly popular with individuals and small business owners. Radio advertising allows you to reach prospective customers and clients at a low cost yet with high efficiency. By calling on a top-performing radio ads agency, businesses can now reach millions of people both locally and nationally as radio is ubiquitous as a platform.

Take for example http://automotivelocksmithatlanta.net/emergency-services/ a business that offers automotive locksmith services to car owners who get their keys stuck inside the car. If they opted to use other advertising mediums, they will get people who are in an emergency as they would have to actively search for their ads. But if you took and ran a local radio ad, you are much more likely to get customers because you would be distributing your ad passively, increasing the chance of people who aren’t immediately interested to become interested later when they require your services.

Radio ads are preferable to other forms of advertising in that they can be played across a wide range of radio networks which includes traditional radio, national satellite radio and even internet radio. There are millions of people who are tuning in, each second of every day to listen to the radio. By employing a number of cross-marketing channels and other marketing know-how, a radio ads agency can help a company reach a significant number of prospective clients and customers both on a local and on a national level.

Another advantage of radio ads is that they have one of the highest ROI (return on investment) of any kind of advertising. Having a radio ad play to millions of people simultaneously at a certain time of day is not only cost effective but also efficient. Radio is cheap compared to other forms of advertising so this means that even an individual or a small business can take advantage of the medium. Having a radio ad produced and aired won’t cost you an arm and a leg – like it does on TV for example.

Choose to work with a company that has worked in this space before as they can put together a team of professionals to craft a unique radio campaign that will bring results. Even if you’re paying a small premium, we suggest you go with a company that has a proven track record instead of going with one that has radio ads as another option. You want someone who knows the intricacies of this space and you want to increase the effectiveness of your advertising dollar as much as possible, right?

A properly optimized direct response radio campaign done by a professional advertising agency will yield a higher conversion rate than most online media. Online media has an industry standard conversion rate that is between 2% and 4%. A good direct response radio campaign has a conversion rate starting at 10%.

So don’t risk your advertising dollar and choose the services of an established advertising agency. An agency will employ their best copywriters and radio personalities to give your business the influx of clients and customers it deserves.

Still on the fence about radio advertising? Contact us and we will help you decide.

radio

Digital Radio: The Radio of the Future

Is Digital Radio Really the Radio of the Future?

radioEven the FCC says that digital radio is the radio of the future. Hopefully, our old battery powered radios will still work in case of an emergency, unlike our older TV sets that do not have a special box that has to be plugged in. We shouldn’t be forced to change everything, in my opinion, just because it might be better.

This is what the FCC says about digital radio:

Digital radio is the transmission and reception of sound that has been processed using technology comparable to that used in compact disc (CD) players. In short, a digital radio transmitter processes sounds into patterns of numbers, or “digits” – hence the term “digital radio.” In contrast, traditional analog radios process sounds into patterns of electrical signals that resemble sound waves.

Why Switch to Digital Radio Anyway?

Well, the biggest reason to switch is that the sound quality is better. Comparing digital radio to regular radio is sort of like comparing modern compact disks to old LPs. The sound quality is as good as a good digital FM station can broadcast, and this is supposed to be much better than what any AM station can broadcast. It is also more resistant to interference and can get broadcast further than analog radio signals.

Yes, you do need a new radio to pick up digital radio signals. Even now, some radio stations have mirror stations that broadcast in digital. But they still have an older analog stations for listeners without a digital radio.

 

Best Internet Radio Services

Best Internet Radio Stations

Best Internet Radio Stations

Best Internet Radio Services
Best Internet Radio Services

With so many choices, it might be hard to even find the Internet radio stations you actually will enjoy when you get the chance to stream them to another device or simply tune in when you are working. By the way, you can purchase small Internet radios that basically only function as receivers for bandwidth from wireless routers. That might be convenient if you don’t want to tie up another device to provide some background sound. .

Maestro.FM

Like the famous Last.FM, this one is all about listening to playlists and social networking with other music fans. You can also connect with other users on discussions about different music genres and topical conversations. They even give you remote storage for your own music. It’s sort of a combination of Last.FM and Facebook.

Spotify

Many users say this is one of the best Internet radio services today, but they have had some licensing challenges recently. Spotify differentiates itself from iTunes and Pandora by behaving as a massive external hard drive  (i.e. it plays full songs and albums as if you owned the CD). As a recommendation and discovery tool, Spotify also stands out:  it reads your own music collection and playlists from your hard drives, and then suggests new releases, top-10 lists, and your friends’ music lists.  The interface is clean, and the search box is very convenient.

The service is free and unlimited for six months.  After that, users can continue to receive free music with some limitations on number of hours, or else they can subscribe for five dollars a month.

Pirate Radio

There are two different ways to listen to broadcasts at Pirate Radio Network. You can use a web tuner or via a downloadable special player. Dozens and dozens of different music genres abound here, and you’re bound to discover new music that you will like at Pirate Radio Network. For those of you who use a PC: you can even make your own radio station and start broadcasting yourself as an amateur DJ. You will have to install a software package to try this, but it’s definitely worth trying if you’ve ever wanted to DJ.

Best Internet Radio Services

Satellite Radio Service: SIRIUS vs. XM

Satellite Radio Service: SIRIUS vs. XM

satelliteIf you are thinking about signing up for satellite radio service, you might wonder which paid service is best. It seems like the main contenders are XM and SIRIUS. Sometimes people just use XM as a name for all satellite radio bands, like AM and FM are for regular radio, so this can get confusing. However, the right choice probably depends upon what you and your family like to listen to.

Compare Channels, Costs, and Programming for SIRIUS vs. XM

Costs vary depending upon the length of your contract, and both services let you pay monthly. You can get cheaper packages if you buy several months at a time, and this might also be more convenient.

This programming lineup also varies all the time. This is some fairly recent information about programming and channels for SIRIUS and XM, but it could change:

  • XM channels: XM has 150 Channels
  • SIRIUS channels: SIRIUS has 120 channels.
  • Variety on SIRIUS: Out of SIRIUS’ 120, 65 are commercial-free music channels and the other 55 are “talk, news, sports and entertainment programming”.
  • Variety on XM: XM offers 67 music channels, many commercial free, with 30 others that stream a similar variety as SIRIUS.

Is SIRIUS or XM Better?

Go ahead and review the websites for each service to determine which is right for you. You will, of course, also need equipment that is capable of receiving satellite radio signals, so that may factor into your final decision too.