Online radio is making an impact on its own in the digital world
As the world recently celebrated World Radio Day 2019, an observance held annually on February 13 to celebrate radio as a medium. This day also raises greater awareness among the public and the media about the importance of radio including online radio.
The digital age is changing how the world listens to audio content. As well as when and where to find it. Radio is recognized as a powerful communication tool that comes at a low cost. It is a mass media that reaches a wide audience in the world.
The Bespoke event that was officially announced by UNESCO, was celebrated under the theme of “Dialogue, Tolerance, and Peace”. Emphasizing the power of radio in promoting understanding and strong communities.
What’s different about online radio compared to its traditional counterpart?
Well, apart from the obvious, online radio stations can afford to be far more specialized and universal than traditional radio. You can access online radio without any graphical limitations. It can appeal to a worldwide audience with more specialized interests.
Of course, technology is different as well. Surprisingly, the in-studio experience is about the same, but when it leaves the building is the point where it all changes. Instead of going to a broadcast antenna, the signal is digitized and routed through the internet to get to each listener.
Traditional radio also going online.
With prominent online-only radio stations in South Africa such as CliffCentral, TouchHD, MassivMetro, and other major radio stations moving online, it is no secret that there an insatiable demand for it.
It is not only just online radio stations that see the benefits of online radio and are utilizing it. Most of, if not all, traditional radio stations in South Africa are now also hosting either live streams of their shows online and/or podcasts of the shows after they have finished. Not only does this increase listener numbers, but also allows people to catch up on shows they may have missed.
According to Primedia Broadcasting, owner of 947, 702, KFM, and Cape Talk, online radio allows the broadcast company to create a deeper relationship with its listeners and a potentially bigger reach as streaming gives it (as regional stations) access to a global audience.
“Internet radio in all its forms gives us more chance to be part of a consumer’s audio day. And then we’re able to offer fairly unique and targeted advertising. Offering to clients through our digital audio which has started with pre-and post-roll advertising.”
The benefits of online radio
Choice and Variety
The variety of stations available is Internet radio’s greatest strength. Internet radio choices extend far beyond basic genres such as classic rock and pop. If you like music from the 1980s, you can select anything from the new wave to hip-hop. If you like electronic music, you can choose trance, ambient, video game soundtracks, and more. A streaming radio station is available for virtually every taste, no matter how obscure.
The costs of running an internet radio station are high, but the costs of running a terrestrial radio station are far higher. Internet radio stations generally broadcast very few commercials compared to terrestrial radio stations, which must broadcast a steady stream of commercials in order to pay the bills. donations and subscriptions support some online radio stations. They also play royalty-free music and have no commercials at all.
Internet radio is available wherever there’s an internet connection, and there are no geographical boundaries. While you must be relatively close to a terrestrial radio station in order to receive a broadcast from it, this restriction does not exist on the Internet. You can listen to an Internet radio station regardless of your location. Many terrestrial radio stations even stream their broadcasts online.
Minimal System Requirements
Internet radio has been in existence since the late 1990s, and the requirements for listening to a streaming radio station remain virtually unchanged. If you have a computer that is able to run any version of Windows, Mac OS, or Linux, you can listen to Internet radio. Generally, you can use software already installed on your computer to listen to streaming music online. Additionally, streaming radio stations are available on a variety of non-PC devices such as PDAs, video game consoles, and mobile phones.
Terrestrial radio is subject to interference and environmental factors. You can lose a radio signal in poor weather or driving through a tunnel, for example. Additionally, radio sounds are heavily compressed to reduce the impact of high-volume passages and make quiet passages easier to hear. Internet radio is often less compressed and closer to CD quality. Although, lower-bandwidth Internet radio stations are available for those using dial-up modems.