Several years back, when I was a lot younger, I used to marvel at the voices I heard on radio. It was so enchanting and so out of this world that the possibility of ever hearing myself over the air was something I was scared to even dare imagine. Secretly though, in my dream world, I knew I wanted it. It was like that little taboo that even though publicly abhorred, has its own irresistible attraction.
Fast forward to the present and now the whole thing has flipped. It’s no longer surprising. It’s not even as attractive as it was. Somehow the shine has dulled through years of radio commercials, imaging voice and a myriad of other radio stuff.
It’s however not un-common ...view middle of the document...
It has also been used in bits by radio and TV stations over the years. One notable example is Kiss TV’s request sessions where for a few hours the viewer gets to control the station’s music playlist.
With an ever dwindling market share, radio stations are constantly under pressure to develop new ways of reaching out to their listeners and keeping them. Advancement in technology can be a good friend if used strategically and profitably. On the other hand, because of technology, listeners more than ever, continue to have extensive choice of media. After all, what hope does radio have when anyone can play any music, on-demand, any time they want? This is especially given that music is still the biggest driver of listenership. It doesn’t help radio’s cause at all.
Nevertheless, very few companies have delved into fulltime crowdsourcing as a strategy to build listenership. One of those that stand out is 97x, a radio station in the US developed in a collaboration between media solutions company Cox Media Group and LDR Radio, (Listener Driven Radio) an interactive broadcast technology that turns broadcasters into crowdcasters.
The premise of 97x is the question “If a service, like a radio station, exists to give consumers what they want, why not let the consumers decide what that really is?”
Tech Crunch wrote an informative article about this and pointed out that “in the first four hours of teasing its launch, 97x received 31,000 song votes. To give you an idea, the station, in a typical week, usually has around 300,000 people tuning in. Assuming traction continues at this pace, it could translate into a massive leap in listeners.”
97x is special in that it doesn’t only allow listeners to vote for the songs they want to hear, but also get an opportunity to put their voices on air. Like several crowdsourcing techniques, this employs mobile technology via an iOS and android app installed on their mobile phones. The app, includes an “Open Mic” feature, which lets users record a 10-second introduction, dedication, song request, or whatever else they want to say, using their smartphone. The audio clip is then sent to the studio, where the DJs play it in conjunction with whatever song clip it’s referencing or in another timeslot that makes sense.
These DJs aren’t completely out of a job with the listener takeover, you’ll be glad to know. They’ll still vet those audio clips, of course, fill the queue with new music, and they still have some say over what goes on the air. That is, it has to match the station’s format.
Daily Crowdsource also documents Virgin Mobile’s entry into the crowdsourced radio scene with Radio Free in Australia.
Explorations have been on-going in Kenya for a while now with Internews Kenya and iHub research blazing the...