A recent article featured in Inside Radio tells the story of a station in Minnesota that launched one of broadcast radio’s first personalizable streams. Dubbed a “hybrid of lean-back curation and lean-forward customization,” American Public Media’s 89.3 “The Current” (KCMP-FM) partnered with web pureplay Slacker to launch the stream, which allows users to influence the songs they hear from a list created by The Current’s staff.
The partnership creates a filter for listeners, bringing the best music to the forefront but leaving the final selection process firmly in the user’s control, while also expanding distribution for the station. “Filters are key and Slacker is a filter for the Wild West of the internet,” program director Jim McGuinn told Inside Radio. “This is a great opportunity to expose our content, that we believe strongly in, to the millions of users who are not familiar with it and have not been exposed to it. We’re marrying their technology to our brand. It kind of feels like a science class experiment but also an extension of our platform.”
This is a novel approach for a traditional media company and one which other stations should take note of. It also provides great lessons for more typical businesses looking to differentiate themselves from the competition or extend their brand to a new set of customers. As media offerings continue to expand, we are each presented with more and more options and less and less time to absorb the vast amount of information put in front of us. That trend, however, doesn’t change our desire for control. We want what we want, and we want it on our terms. Businesses need to be aware that the consumer has more power today than ever before, and an increasingly-loud voice to express displeasure.
There are hundreds of companies and organizations — including The Radio Agency — using a curation-meets-customization “science experiment” model to drive revenue and maintain growth. In our own business, we take pride in our team’s knowledge of just about every opportunity within the radio industry, from traditional AM/FM to satellite to streaming to social media offerings, and strive to learn about new opportunities as they are introduced. We work to present only the best and most appropriate solutions to our clients and ultimately give those clients the final say in how they advertise. They expect us to be the experts (that’s why they hire us) but they also want to retain control of their brand. Welcome to 2012.
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Drew Kondylas is a Marketing Consultant at The Radio Agency. Please follow The Radio Agency’s Blog “Sounding Board” by subscribing to the email or RSS links above. Visit our website TheRadioAgency.com