RAIN 8/13: Today is launch day for Boston.com Internet-only station

Michael Schmitt
August 13, 2012 - 1:50pm

RadioBDCThe new web radio service from Boston.com -- dubbed RadioBDC (as in, Radio-Boston-dot-com) launched today at noon, following a montage of station production and string quartet versions (!) of classic modern rock songs. Dicky Barrett, frontman for local faves The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, called in to congratulate staffers and "front-announce" RadioBDC's first song, The Bosstones' "I Want My City Back."

Boston.com is a regional news portal owned by the Boston Globe. It attracts more than 6 million unique visitors per month. The site announced it would launch an online-only alternative rock web radio station back in June (RAIN coverage here), then hired on-air staff from the local alt rock station WFNX (which flipped formats after its sale to Clear Channel).

Triton Digital announced today that it will provide the station with its content delivery network (CDN), a Flash-based audio player and three mobile apps (available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry devices), as well as measurement and ad insertion. Additionally, Triton will provide audience engagement solutions including song and artist facts, lyrics, sampling and purchase options, content sharing and more.

The station will stream online at Boston.com (here). It will feature live programming (including news and lifestyle features) from 7am to 10pm every weekday and Sunday morning. At other times RadioBDC will stream alternative music. The stream will also include ads, though the "primary revenue generator" will be sponsored events, the Boston Globe reports (here).

Boston.com's general manager Lisa DeSisto says RadioBDC is "a way to deepen the engagement" of the site's visitors, Radio-Info reports (here).

"It’s all about attracting audiences and getting people to do things with us,” said Christopher Mayer, publisher of the Boston Globe. “We’ve seen people move from print to the Web, and from the Web to mobile. Why wouldn’t they also want our content in audio?”

Michael Schmitt
August 13, 2012 - 1:50pm

KickstarterRAIN readers may recall an article in July about public radio stations and program producers alike raising funds via crowdsourcing services like Kickstarter (RAIN coverage here). One of the examples was the program "99% Invisible," which had an already-successful Kickstarter campaign on-going at the time of publication.

That campaign is now over with 99% Invisible raising over $170,000. As you might expect, "other public-radio types are taking notice," repots the Economist.

While popular public radio programs like "This American Life" often "have no shortage of cash," less well-known and more independent programs struggle with "barely enough to keep the wheels turning."

Kickstarter and similar services have proven for some a valuable tool to reverse that situation. Not only do such successful campaigns fund upcoming seasons or projects, but bring new attention. The Economist reports of 99% Invisible: "Since the show will have proved its viability and popularity [on Kickstarter], underwriters should be knocking on [producer and host Roman] Mars' door."

You can find the Economist's article here.

Michael Schmitt
August 13, 2012 - 1:50pm

Podcasts"Far from changing the radio landscape, podcasting has been commandeered by the radio industry." So argues Richard MacManus in a post for ReadWriteWeb (here).

He points out that the majority of top podcasts are from radio companies like NPR or ESPN, while even podcasting superstars like Leo Laporte have not "changed the radio landscape... Unlike blogs, podcasts by indie voices have not gone on to seriously challenge the mainstream media incumbents."

But, MacManus continues in a follow-up post (here), "maybe it doesn't need to... podcasts can complement mainstream media."

Michael Schmitt
August 13, 2012 - 1:50pm

SpotifySpotify has updated its desktop application with thumbs-up and -down customization options in the new streaming radio section. The feature -- allowing users to customize their Spotify streaming radio statoins -- has been available on iOS mobile devices for weeks (RAIN coverage here) and was included in Spotify's recent Android app update (RAIN coverage here).

"With this feature now on both desktop and mobile devices, songs you give the thumbs up treatment to will show up across all your devices," reports The Next Web (here).