Friday, 20 February 2015

Regional Press are launching regional radio. Online. Clever idea.

Interesting idea from regional newspapers in the US. They're now doing online radio. From small local, regional press titles to larger ones such as The Boston Herald.

What they're doing is taking the printed stories and reading them on-air via Internet broadcasts. In Ireland, you need a licence to broadcast (ridiculously) granted by The State (so more State control of Media) whereas one wonders about online radio? Can it be controlled in the same way?

But US regional press have the content and have the journalists, with online broadcasting being inexpensive. 

What they do then is "bundle" their advertising between print and radio with on-air advertising. So it either protects existing ad revenues or grows them (upsell by throwing in some radio spots) and gives regional press new digital assets to sell to advertisers at low cost.

It's a clever way of using the content they've already collected. Indeed, just a small step up from podcasting. Radio too, has always been about local content and of course, online radio is growing. But having a print title also allows you the "mouthpiece" to generate listeners through cross-promotion.

One clear factor as cars become more connected (like the new Suzuki Vitara is), access to digital radio via smartphones is easy now. Mac Play allows you to do that for free by downloading an App.

And in-car is a clear prime radio market. 

Online broadcasting is cheap - you need a microphone and a laptop essentially to start - and regional content is not expected to have all the broadcasting bells and whistles.

Nice idea.