Month: December 2019

December 27, 2019 Off By Willie Hudson

The Principles of Broadcast Advertising

 

Everyone reading this is probably familiar with the story of how a broadcast of H. G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds” caused mass panic, with people fleeing their homes ahead of the Martian invasion they thought was coming. The thing is, it never happened. The entire myth arose on the basis of falsified newspaper reports: print media was simply scared to death of the impact radio would have on their advertising revenue.

 

As the wheel turns, the radio industry today finds itself in a similar position, with television and especially web advertising placing pressure on stations’ profitability. The best radio station isn’t the one with the most listeners or the finest content. At the end of the day, keeping the doors open and the lights on relies on booking advertising revenue. If I want to find a therapist near me, a hardware store that delivers, or an idea of what to do Friday night, why would I tune in instead of googling it?

 

I know that half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. My only problem is that I don’t know which half.” – William Lever, founder of Unilever

 

Competing with Internet and Other Channels

Spending on clickable ads is seen as a great deal cheaper than purchasing radio spots and recording a professional-sounding commercial, but how does their relative effectiveness stack up? In the first place, we should be wary of comparing apples and oranges: online ads are good at promoting specific products and offers, but they are less useful for creating brand awareness. Positioning a company’s name in the mind of the consumer requires repetition and engagement. Radio can do this sort of thing by grabbing listeners’ attention through humor or sound effects, but browsers are by this point so conditioned to ads that they get scrolled right past.

 

One way to grow a station’s advertising revenue is to play up this less tangible aspect of the medium. It’s extremely easy to quantify the performance of online ads, with every click being recorded. However, regular radio listeners soon memorize taglines and jingles, making them that much more likely to convert into long-term customers.

 

Scheduling and Demographics

If you want to sell car repair services, you have to reach car owners. If an ad is about teenagers’ clothing, you ideally wouldn’t broadcast it at 10a.m. on a school day.

 

This principle means that advertisers who want to get the best results for their spending work together with a station, as well as perhaps a public relations firm, to design coherent campaigns and not just individual spots. Detailed, regular market research is needed for this, which also allows the station to improve its programming. Simply stating that you can claim around 10,000 listeners at some particular time is not enough: are they married? What proportion of them are female, or under 25? One of the comparative strengths of web ads is that they can be accurately targeted based on a person’s search history, so radio station management should up their marketing game if they don’t want to lose market share.

 

Targeting the Right Advertisers

Promotion via the airwaves is far from dead, and the outlook for 2018 is actually quite positive. At the same time, a lot more can be done, in some cases, to raise the amount of revenue a station earns.

 

While larger networks can typically expect ad agencies as well as individual companies to come to them, local stations are in a different position. What they lack in reach, though, they can often make up for in flexibility. Although pricing structures are reasonably firm, radio management can assist more or less formally with scripting, campaign design and production, essentially giving away studio time in return for paid transmissions. Every station will already employ writers, sound engineers and every other specialty that’s needed, and these people might just have time on their hands.

 

The thing to remember is that different advertisers have different needs and budgets. Some may only need five seconds a few times a day to read off a web address, some will require a well-known announcer to read their text, while some will be willing to spring for an ad with all the bells and whistles. All of these can be accommodated, and in fact a client who requests an ad in the morning can have it ready to air in the afternoon.

 

***

Although the people who’ve “watched the sausage being made” will have few illusions, advertisers are still drawn to the immediacy and glamour of radio. A magazine or newspaper might have a few regular features, like on gardening or restaurants, but the ads on those pages tend to fade into the background even for people specifically reading the articles. Radio, by contrast, and specifically talk radio, guarantees an audience at least marginally interested in the topic, with some of the lowest cost per customer rates.

 …

December 20, 2019 Off By Willie Hudson

How to Start an Internet Radio Station

 

One of the less appreciated shifts that the digital age has brought about is the rise of truly independent media: citizen journalists, bloggers, and even those people who make a living by creating Youtube videos. Whether you have a Ph.D. in economics or just a couple of strong opinions, everyone can now have their voice heard, leading to an unprecedented level of competition between different viewpoints.

There are a number of reasons that can motivate a person to look into setting up their very own web-based radio station. Often, a person will want to set up the kind of radio they themselves would like to hear but can’t find, whether it consists of discussing Greek poetry or vegan cooking. Others are natural entertainers and would prefer friends as well as strangers to tune into them instead of spending their time in a depression chat room. Whatever the station’s intention and mission, a little more than a broadband connection is required to start jamming.

 

The Easy Way: Streaming Services

Suitable for both audio and video, streaming services require no technical skill whatsoever and start at around $100 per month for professional packages. This may seem like a lot for a hobbyist, but a reasonably popular station can easily charge as much for a single ad. All you’ll need is a decent microphone and an MP3 player, and you can potentially start broadcasting immediately.

 

The Less Easy Way

If someone plans to start broadcasting as a career or doesn’t want to be exposed to policy changes on the part of a third party, it’s not all that difficult to set up your own server. This doesn’t even need to be a rack-mounted monstrosity that requires its own air conditioning since an ordinary desktop PC will likely be all that’s needed to handle initial traffic volumes and production tasks.

Essentially, what is needed is installing an application that can play music, another to convert audio into a real-time stream, and a third that turns your computer into a server. In addition, a computer with a dedicated sound card (rather than using the chip on the motherboard) and professional quality microphone are recommended, which will allow good audio quality at least at the source.

There are a whole bunch of options for the various software functions, including open source alternatives. For easy configuration, a budding broadcaster can look into Winamp with its Edcast plugin, while Icecast2 creates a no-nonsense radio server.

 

Getting Started

The only data rate your ISP normally specifies is the downstream capacity, whereas you will mainly be broadcasting, not downloading. The bandwidth you’ll need is affected both by the broadcast quality and the number of simultaneous listeners, so you may need to upgrade to an enterprise internet plan. Alternatively, part of a cloud server can also be rented to handle all of the data requirements, with high availability at a reasonable cost.

Once you’ve wrestled with concepts such as ports and encoders, it’s time to actually start deciding on programming. There are few hard and fast rules when it comes to attracting listeners, whether you’re broadcasting as a business or as a hobby, but high-quality, consistent content is obviously a must. It’s better to only broadcast an hour or two per day and keep people interested in what’s being played or said.

Secondly, specialization is the name of the game. A quick look around the internet will easily reveal the existence of web stations in every niche you can think of. Competing with them is almost never possible by diluting your efforts across multiple genres. Instead, focus on what you can do well and wait for like-minded people to find you.

As one example, copyright fees can easily cripple a small station that tries to play the most popular tunes, but it may be possible to negotiate good rates with individual artists looking for exposure. Another route which can be followed is to focus on listeners in your town or even a single neighborhood, which helps keep content relevant and interactive, as well as making finding advertisers easier.

 

 

 …

December 13, 2019 Off By Willie Hudson

What Every Radio Station Operator Needs To Know About Copyright

 

Different radio personalities specialize in different things: the fictional Frasier Crane provides talk therapy over the airways, millions of people trust the news as they hear it from Glenn Beck’s lips, and Howard Stern is presumably up to his own thing.

However, there are some commonalities that have to be taken into account whatever the program’s format, including internet broadcasts and podcast. One of these principles is that creative artists of all kinds are entitled to compensation whenever any of their work is used – unless you’re in a country such as Turkmenistan, which has no copyright law whatsoever. At least, in theory, copyrights both allow the actual creators of the work to make a living wage, while the corporations they’re tied to continue to have an economic reason to invest in new works. This principle is even mentioned in the U.S. Constitution.

As a freelancer, the copyright on articles and recordings literally make up a large portion of my livelihood. As an author, torrent sites offering copies of my books make a real though unquantifiable dent in my earnings. As a broadcaster, ignoring the basics of copyright law can have serious legal and financial consequences, and small independent broadcasters are in no way exempt from understanding and enforcing these regulations.

 

What Is Protected?

The Copyright law or practice is ridiculously complex. As a general guideline, any work that isn’t specifically stated to be licensed under a Creative Commons license or older than 100 years should be considered as being the property of its owner, whether it’s an actual sound recording or something more abstract, such as a musical composition or written text. Some countries require works to be registered for copyright to apply, but merely the act of creating something is usually sufficient, even without including a phrase such as “all rights reserved”. This is the case in all countries that subscribe to the Berne Convention.

The good news is that non-profit or student radio is often given a long leash as long as it acts in good faith. In addition, it’s understood that only a particular way ideas are interpreted can be copyrighted, not the ideas themselves. There are also various different types of rights that can be assigned from the owner or creator to a broadcaster, including reproduction, public performance, and control over derivative works.

 

Enforcement

While a few countries have laws that make copyright infringement illegal, government resources are usually devoted primarily to actual forgery. This means that the copyright holder has to bear the costs of protecting his intellectual property itself in a civil suit rather than involving the police. In practice, this means that large, financially muscular organizations such as the “big three” record labels receive more advantage from copyright law as it stands. Due to the costs of initiating a trial, violators are usually first asked to stop using copyrighted work through a letter or phone call.

The actual scale of intellectual property theft is unknown. Should it be determined on the basis of the nominal value of all pirated works, or as a number representing the actual lost sales an industry suffers? In fact, it has not been proven that technologies such as file sharing actually harm music vendors, many of which have embraced Youtube with open arms.

 

Copyright in Radio

As mentioned, copyright law is a minefield at times, and anyone who needs to pay royalties might well need legal advice before letters of demand start arriving.

Fortunately, rationality has prevailed in the broadcast industry. You might think that a radio station needs to keep a record of every song they play, find out who holds the copyright and how much they charge, and finally send out hundreds of little checks each month. This would clearly lay a heavy administrative burden on everyone involved, so companies such as SoundExchange and Live365 were founded to take a lot of the pain out of paying royalties.

The two examples mentioned are focused on digital broadcasts, but national or regional equivalents exist in nearly every jurisdiction. These are typically industry associations rather than organs of government. Essentially, each radio station pays a monthly fee based on size (typically determined by output power), with discounts applying to community-based stations or those tied to educational organizations. The proportion of funds that should go to each performer and record label is then calculated through a complicated algorithm, and in principle, everybody gets paid according to the contribution they make to broadcasting.

 …

December 6, 2019 Off By Willie Hudson

Radio Show Giving Psychiatry Advice

Counselors, therapists, and psychiatrists are examples of health professionals people to run to during problems with relationships, self, and mental illnesses. While social stigma on mental diseases is slowly weaning, people are still hesitant about the idea and do not often seek professional help upon identifying early signs of problems. The stigma of mental illness “Is in the same category as racism and sexism,” according to Patrick W. Corrigan, PsyD, distinguished professor of psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

 

People Are Finding Ways

Despite studies and research stating that mental illnesses should be managed and treated as a clinical condition like that of cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus, society still believes that mental illness is something that can be controlled or can be overcome by an individual as long as there is sincere willingness to change or to improve oneself. “Many people feel embarrassed or ashamed of their symptoms because our society places illogical taboos on mental health issues over physical conditions,” according to clinical psychologist Nikki Massey-Hastings, PsyD.

Also, treatment modalities for mental illnesses are expensive. Hourly rates of mental health consultations are sky-rocketing per the hour as well as the medications. Therapies can be costly and time-consuming. According to Marla B. Cohen, PsyD, “Some therapists may charge as much as $200 or more per session.” Thus, it is an entirely common practice for people to seek help through affordable methods. For instance, more people turn to the internet and mobile applications, help hotlines or facilities funded by government or NGOs.

In fact, many radio shows and streaming stations are bringing in the experts on psychiatry and mental health to help the public in information dissemination and promulgating awareness about different mental health issues. Also, it encroaches on topics on how to handle anxiety, overcoming stressful situations and reducing on modifiable risk factors. In short, these radio shows are trying their best in keeping us sane. Topics can range from latest updates on psychotic medications to how a healthy lifestyle can also translate to vigorous mental health.

Psychiatry Made Available Through Radio

One of the prominent radio shows under psychiatry radio is Psychiatry Today. Dr. Scot Bay hosts it. Dr. Bay is a medical doctor, board-certified in psychiatry. He is also maintaining a private practice in Georgia. He graduated from the University of Rochester majoring in Psychology. Later, he attended medical school at New York Medical College. He underwent residency program in Psychiatry at St. Vincent’s Hospital and became clinical director of the outpatient clinic of the said hospital until 1995. He moved to Georgia where he began his private practice. He specializes in evaluation and management of mood and anxiety disorders. He had the chance to lecture all over Southeast on topics such as practical and inventive usage of psychotic drugs. He also played a role in clinical research on unique uses of medications available in the market as well as the potential of new medicines. He started with the radio show specifically to help listeners cope better with stress and emotional turmoil. Examples of topics of “Psychiatry Today” are (1) Depression In Pregnancy Can Alter The Babies’ Brains, (2) Access To Gun Increases Risk Of Suicides And Homicides, (3) Drivers Diagnosed With ADHD More Prone To Crashes and (4) Use Of Smartphones At Night and many more.

While having radio shows discussing stereotypes and debunking myths about mental illness is advantageous, it is still best to seek individualized professional help for specific problems. This radio shows give off general advice and information that may or may not work for your situation or problem.…