Public station KCRW(FM) in Santa Monica, Calif., has won a big grant to help develop its online services.
The station received $600,000 from The Annenberg Foundation “to develop business models to sustain the station’s webcasting activities and to further its innovative online music service.” The grant term is three years and the station says it will allow managers to experiment with a variety of online strategies. The station launched its Web site in 1995 and three live streams four years later.
Ruth Seymour is GM. She said public broadcasting has a unique challenge because many listeners on the Web “may not even understand that they’re hearing a real radio station,” particularly podcast users.
KCRW.com generates 1.6 million live streaming hours per month on its platforms. Its on-demand audio/video service also received 470,000 connections in January. During the period, 1 million KCRW podcasts were downloaded at AOL, NPR and KCRW.