Pink Fire Pointer Interactive Marketing: Public Radio Joins Cyberspace



Public Radio Joins Cyberspace

First, it was only the publications that went online featuring both texts and photos. Now, with the Internet technology fast changing, what do we have Right, multimedia at its best unlike never experienced before. Audio and video clips are currently being streamed to the Internet allowing people to watch and hear news and features via the computer. Now, radio has also joined the bandwagon through the podcasts that are made available online. And it's not only via the PC that one can listen to radio shows but also through other portable audio and video devices like the laptop and iPods.

Since podcasting started to spread in 2006, several public radio shows have been made available as podcasts. Authorities in the broadcasting industry say this is the first venture into cyberspace offering free, on-demand and downloadable content to users 247. They also see podcasting as a great way to raise public radio's profile among listeners and attract the younger set of web surfers who have somehow, if not totally, abandoned their traditional radios.

Podcasts are easy to produce the reason why most of those available online are created by amateurs covering a wide range of topics. Online public radio also benefits loyal listeners who may have missed their favorite shows. Podcasts usually archives all shows allowing listeners to tune in to what they have missed anytime and anywhere. This technology is indeed an effective way to offer value to listeners and utilize existing content, according to a producer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (CBC) Todd Maffin. Unlike the traditional radio which dictates the schedules of programs, with podcasts listeners can set their own time in listening to their favorite shows.

With the availability of public radio and podcasts online, sales of portable audio players have also gone up. Last year, three months before Christmas, Apple reportedly sold 4.5 million iconic iPods, six times more than its sales in the same period in 2005. Meanwhile, the Consumer Electronics Association foresees approximately 10 million players of all available brands to sell this 2007.

Right now, podcasts are fast becoming a trend that capable of transforming the $21 billion radio industry. There are several factors to take into account - no need for licenses, no frequencies required to get a clear reception and no towers involved to ensure a wide reach. Utilizing the Internet alone already assures a global reach and a target audience, to boot. The growth of podcasts can be attributed to two recent technological trends - the blogs and the MP3 players including Apple's iPod. Thanks to them, listening to radio shows have never been easier and more convenient.

Undoubtedly, the digital revolution has reached radio. Radio programs are delivered in various ways from the Internet to satellite and cellular phones. And it's a reality that standardized radio programs plus the intrusion of advertisements on commercial airwaves have bored listeners prompting them to find alternatives.

For its part, the traditional radio industry is getting affected by this trend. An analyst at Merrill Lynch and Company Laraine Mancini, however, stressed that although the industry is challenged, it is not dead. Commercial radio, according to reports, still attracts over 200 million listeners each week.