Supply Side is a series of occasional interviews with industry service providers and manufacturers.
Jamie Ashbrook is marketing manager at Radio.co, based in Manchester, U.K. He replied to questions via email.
Radio World: For those unfamiliar, what is Radio.co?
Jamie Ashbrook: Radio.co is a platform to host and manage your own radio station online. Think of it like the middleman between you and your listeners.
But let’s face it, talk is cheap. Take a tour of what we can actually do. From choosing your station’s name to broadcasting live to thousands of listeners worldwide, Radio.co has your online radio needs covered. So take a quick on-demand tour.
RW: Who started the company, and who owns it?
Ashbrook: James Mulvany (on both fronts). He’s the man with the plan. Mr. Head Honcho.
Having a love for both radio and business, a fresh faced James launched Wavestreaming way back in 2008. Starting off as a one-man band, the company quickly grew along with the product. In just a few years, thousands of broadcasters were using the platform. But there was a problem: Technology moves fast, quickly outdating the system.
To simplify things and stay ahead of the curve, Wavestreaming was torn down, then rebuilt into an easier solution that anyone could pick and use. In 2015, Radio.co was born.
James was there every step of the way. And I feel that’s a good thing, to see a founder who owns the company and gets actively involved to improve things on a day to day level.
RW: Your website is headlined “Want to start a radio station?” and it seems targeted to those who want to create audio streams on the internet. Are there offerings for actual broadcasters as well?
Ashbrook: Yup. So there are actually a variety of people from different walks of life that use Radio.co. Whether that’s small community stations like Shady Pines Radio, big Glastonbury style pop up events like ComplexLand or student-led radio like the University of Manchester’s Fuse FM, there’s something for everyone.
RW: What is Radio.co’s flagship product, and what sets it apart?
Ashbrook: Tricky question. There’s no one aspect that’s considered “flagship.” Radio.co is designed to be an all-in-one solution for broadcasters. But what makes it stand out is how easy everything is to get up and running. If you were gonna time yourself, it’d take roughly two minutes to launch your own station.
In saying that, there are a few features that spring to mind:
- iOS & Android Apps: Put your station in listener’s pockets.
- Talk Shows: Invite guests to record collaborative shows in your browser.
- Alexa Skill: Let listeners tune in with their voice on compatible Amazon Echo devices.
- News Bulletins: Play news on the hour every hour from your preferred news provider.
- Mixcloud Integration: Upload your DJ Mixes directly to your Mixcloud account.
- Listener Requests: Take song requests from listeners automatically for playout on your station.
And probably a load more I’m forgetting about. Not to mention, there are plenty of help guides, new features, and quick support that makes Radio.co the ideal package for broadcasters no matter the size.
RW: Who are some of your customers that we would recognize?
Ashbrook: We’re not one to kiss and tell (ok, we are a bit). But we’ve had some awesome people and businesses walk through our doors over the years.
(Deep breath) A.C. Milan, VICE, Parker’s Kitchen, The Barbican, Australian Government Department of Health, Primavera Sound, M&C Saatchi, Soho Radio, Honest Burgers, Whiskas, Hotel Coastes, Smoke BBQ, Brit Asia TV Café Mambo, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, Whalebone Magazine, Everton FC, Cult Records, PHMG, and Complex.
And a load more we can’t talk about just yet. But there are a few independent stations you might not know like Boogaloo Radio, Melodic Distraction, Diversity Radio, and Foundation FM that are worth checking out.
RW: What is the most important trend or challenge in 2021, for the people who are your customers?
Ashbrook: Covid changed everything. Most people have been stuck at home, so they turned to the internet to stay connected with others. The result? We saw 10 times more broadcasters every month than we usually do.
In terms of challenges, the biggest ones are those nearest to the starting gate. Things like how to set everything up, equipment needed, and reaching the right audiences. But all are addressed in our Radio University, Blog and even over on YouTube.
RW: What else should we know?
Ashbrook: Radio changes. No matter what medium comes along next, radio has adapted ever since its inception in the late 19th century.
Frankly, Radio.co is just one piece of the puzzle. But we’re happy to help broadcasters share their voice to a wider audience. Whether that’s a local community, nationwide or internationally, I’m just excited to see what happens next.
In saying all that, I’m always happy to chat, so if you’ve got any questions (yes you, the reader), drop me a message at [email protected]. And hopefully I can help.