public radio

SoundCloud courts public radio in effort to be "YouTube for audio"

Monday, August 6, 2012 - 12:45pm

"As part of its effort to 'unmute the web,' SoundCloud is courting radio news professionals, podcasters, and indie storytellers," reports the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard. "A year-old team of about a half-dozen people is focused on spoken-word content. The company just hired Jim Colgan, formerly a producer and digital experimenter for WNYC public radio, to manage partnerships with audio providers."

SoundCloud gives music and spoken word creators an easy way to publish and share their audio online. Its efforts can be seen as an attempt to rectify the "neglect" of sound on the web and establish a standard to make it easy to share audio, the way YouTube did for online video: by providing free hosting, an easy-to-embed player, and by building a huge community of users and creators.

"SoundCloud, of course, wants to be that standard. Think of it as an aspiring YouTube for public radio," suggests NJL.

Boston’s WBUR and the WGBH program "The World," L.A.-based KPCC and KCRW, North Carolina’s WUNC, St. Louis Public Radio, CNN Radio, and "99% Invisible" are traditional radio outlets or productions that are now actively uploading to SoundCloud.

Read more in Nieman Journalism Lab here.

Jacobs Media survey: "High-tech revolution continues" for public radio audience

Monday, July 30, 2012 - 12:55pm

Media usage stats from PRTS4Jacobs Media's fourth annual survey of public radio listeners shows "the high-tech revolution continues," with big growth for mobile device ownership, the use of Internet radio, social networks and other digital services.

The fourth Public Radio Techsurvey (PRTS) found that nearly half (46%) of respondents listen to Internet radio weekly or more. That's up 16% from PRTS3, which was released in early 2011 (RAIN coverage here). Moreover, 18% use Pandora weekly or more (up 17% from PRTS3), while 14% use SiriusXM (up 5%). As for AM/FM, 87% say they listen to at least one hour per day. That's down 2% from PRTS3. 

More than half (52%) of public radio listeners said they own a smartphone -- a growth of 50% from PRTS3. Of those folks, more than 90% download apps. A little under a third of respondents (30%) own a tablet (up 407%). Of those who don't, 37% said they are very or somewhat likely to buy one this year.

Around half say they are able to connect a smartphone or mp3 player to their car and nearly 10% own a car with a "digital dashboard" like Ford's SYNC. That's a desirable platform for web radio -- and a dangerous one for AM/FM to lose -- as 41% of respondents say they do the majority of their radio listening in cars.

PRTS4Jacobs Media's study found "spectacular growth" in Twitter usage, with 18% of respondents using the service. That's up 57% from the previous study. A little over six in ten respondents (63%) have a Facebook profile. All told, 70% of respondents use social media in some way, up from 64% in 2010.

"The data from PRTS4 continues to point to the public radio audience rapidly using new media and gadgets in the pursuit of informing themselves," said Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs. "Station programmers and managers would do well to better understand the fast rate of adoption, and shape content offerings accordingly."

The fourth-annual PRTS involved 49 public radio stations across the U.S. and more than 30,700 respondents. You can find more information from Jacobs Media here.

NewOrleansReporter.org to deliver in-depth local coverage to web, mobile, and radio

Friday, July 27, 2012 - 12:20pm

NPR announced today its involvement with a new University of New Orleans venture to create a "multimedia newsroom" for in-depth local news for the Crescent City.

NewOrleansReporter.org will be a news website and mobile platform, with a presence on WWNO radio, the public station owned and operated by the university. It will reportedly be run by a staff of 10 to 20 producing news for the web, tablet, smart phone, social media, and radio. The site will also feature and link to other local, national and world news.

NPR, which is consulting WWNO on tech infrastructure and online revenue generation, says it hopes to have the new site live by year's end.

As an "open source," operation, all of NewOrleansReporter's content will be available for free to other local and national news outlets. In fact, the operation's success will be measured in part by how much of its content gets "picked up" elsewhere.

New Orleans, no stranger to hardship, will soon be the largest city in the U.S. without a daily print newspaper. The Times-Picayune announced earlier this year that it will print just three days a week beginning in fall.

"What we are seeing play out in New Orleans, with the Times-Picayune, is a scene we have seen repeated over and over in a lot of communities as newspapers have fallen on hard times," NPR EVP/chief content officer Kinsey Wilson told The Wall Street Journal. "[Newspapers'] weakening and sometimes collapse is leaving communities with a real information deficit. In broad terms, we have seen this as being an opportunity for public radio to be one of the emerging players, as the news business is rebuilt." (RAIN readers may remember Wilson as the keynote speaker at RAIN Summit West in 2010.)

NPR's press release explains, "The objective of the University and its partners is to create a strong, sustainable model for nonprofit, multimedia journalism that will serve the greater New Orleans area as an open source of trustworthy news and information for decades to come."

Read Wall Street Journal coverage here.

Slacker debuts customizable stations for public radio AAA The Current and APM's Marketplace

Thursday, July 26, 2012 - 12:20pm

The Current on SlackerAmerican Public Media and Slacker have partnered to launch new customizable web radio stations filled with content from APM's Marketplace and Minnesota Public Radio's The Current.

The Current is one of the country's top public Triple A music stations (KCMP, 89.3 FM), based out of St. Paul, Minnesota. The Current's Slacker station will "highlight great emerging artists from around the country, as well as feature the best music out of Minnesota, past and present," the companies said. Find it here.

Meanwhile, Slacker's Marketplace channel will include "the Marketplace flagship programs, Marketplace with Kai Ryssdal, Marketplace Morning Report, Marketplace Tech Report and Marketplace Money. Listeners can interact with the station to create a personalized Marketplace program tailored to their interests, a first for Marketplace." Find the new station here.

Slacker also offers programming from ESPN Radio, ABC News and other services. You can find the companies' press release here.

Public radio programs raise funds directly using Kickstarter, GigaOM writer sees trouble for local affliates

Monday, July 23, 2012 - 11:30am

99% Invisible on KickstarterIf you're a regular RAIN reader, you're probably familiar by now with crowdsource funding web service Kickstarter. We highlighted several radio services taking advantage of Kickstarter in April (here) and then later wrote about the online-only Q101's Kickstarter campaign to bring back the Jamboree music festival (here).

Now GigaOM pens an article explaining how Kickstarter and other crowdfunding services could "change public radio forever." Kickstarter could replace the "recurring nightmare" that are pledge drives, GigaOM writes. In fact, several radio programs are already doing this.

GigaOM points to Blank on Blank (a show that "resurfaces 'lost interviews'") and design show 99% Invisible -- both distributed by Public Radio Exchange (PRX) -- as examples. Blank on Blank recently raised $11,337 on Kickstarter. 99% Invisible's Season 3 Kickstarter campaign has raised more than $100,000 as of publication, with 18 days left.

"The potential Kickstarter has for shows like 99% Invisible and Blank on Blank is indeed exciting, because it gives the audience a new way to support them at a much earlier stage," writes GigaOM.

Wired writes, "Because it’s cheaper for local radio stations to play national content than to produce original programming, the projects that get funded are hour-long, weekly, high-production value shows... But the growth of the Internet as a distribution channel is beginning to level the playing field."

Said PRX CEO Jake Shapiro: “It’s a new way to bootstrap new programs, new voices."

"I guarantee that independent public media will never be the same," 99% Invisible producer Roman Mars writes.

Blank on Blank"Mars’s success may end up opening the floodgates for other independent radio producers eying Kickstarter as a funding source," comments Wired.

Both shows are also great examples of how radio programs can innovate on platforms other than the radio dial. Blank on Blank hopes to turn their interviews into animated YouTube videos, while 99% Invisible has created products "so cool, you’d want them even if you weren’t a fan of the show" to raise money on Kickstarter.

GigaOM ponders if this burgeoning trend may spell trouble for public radio local affiliates. "Crowdfunding threatens to further circumvent the local affiliates and their pledge drives — and the effect could be dramatic. What if listeners stopped giving to their local stations and instead just spent all their money to directly fund producers via Kickstarter?"

“They have to rethink their relationship with their audiences,” said PRX's Shapiro.

You can find GigaOM's coverage here and Wired's article on 99% Invisible here. You can also find 99% Invisible's on-going Kickstarter campaign here.

WYNC show Radiolab launches mobile apps

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 12:10pm

Radiolab for iPhonePublic radio program Radiolab -- a WYNC show that "frames scientific topics in a fascinating and understandable manner accessible to even the most unscientifically minded among us" -- has launched new apps for Android and Apple iOS devices.

The apps, which cost $2.99, offer access to every episode, bonus content and even lets users submit audio to the show.

Engadget has more coverage here.

 

 

 

Syndicate content