Internet radio has the potential to be the most ubiquitous form of media ever. More commanding of your attention than film, television, or books. This is because listening to music can be enjoyed while doing other activities. Before I go further, let me make an important distinction: there are two types of listeners, lean back and lean forward. Lean back listeners hear music programming via a playlist or radio station (think “set it and forget it”), whereas lean forward listeners actively select individual songs. The majority of people prefer a lean back experience.
In 2014, one third of Americans used their phones to stream music. Young adults (18-24) listened to internet radio more than terrestrial. Using custom applications from The Opulent Republic you can start listening and advertise on your own radio station. With Americans now spending more time on their phones than watching television, there has never been a more opportune time to maximize internet radio experiences.
It will take time to gain listeners’ trust to connect these types of data streams to music services. In the meantime, music programming that relies on crowdsourced curation through App’s, similar to Twitter or Reddit, can surface highly contextual programming (e.g. mood, activity or genre). Within this paradigm, the best content will emerge because the crowd deems that the context provided around the programming meets their expectations. A different approach is accumulating data passively through smart audio devices. One example is the Cone, a speaker that learns a listener’s music preferences based on where that person listens to the speaker. If the listener prefers indie rock music when in their bedroom, the speaker will play that type of music once it realizes it’s within that room.
With the inevitable growth of internet radio, as we continue to shift digitally, the abundance of listeners’ data will provide advertisers improved targeting, as well as awareness of their demographic. This new paradigm will offer companies an unprecedented opportunity to connect with the right listeners at the perfect moment. The only question remaining, what will your station look like? Credit to David Porter for the information.