Webcasting platform Live365 recently hosted a “World Audio Day 2020” conference, a virtual event about a range of audio topics and trends.
Future of podcasting: A panel discussion explored impediments to increasing podcast audiences These include the need for Android smartphone users to install podcasting client software on their handsets before they can access this content, a problem akin to buying a software-based radio with AM reception standard but where FM tuning has to be downloaded.
“When you buy an Android device off the shelf, there’s isn’t a podcast client on it,” said Rob Walch, VP of podcaster relations at Libsyn.
Having a native podcasting app matters: “The last big inflection point in podcasting was 2014 when Apple’s iOS 8 came out with a native podcast player app. That really helped podcasting get to where it is today.”
Language barrier: Attracting listeners to the Live365 Latin music stream “The Sounds of Brazil” is an ongoing challenge for station Creative Director Scott Adams. Since the songs generally are in Portuguese, selling this content globally based on the lyrics is out.
To solve this marketing problem, Adams promotes his internet radio station using tags such as Smooth Jazz, Latin Jazz and Contemporary Jazz. They give non-Portuguese speaking listeners many reasons to tune in.
“It’s all about crossover and outreach,” Adams said during a station marketing panel. “Everything has to be relatable to the listener … (They) may not be able to relate to songs sung in Portuguese, but they can certainly relate to Rio’s sun-kissed beaches.”
Create your persona: Radio station imaging was front and center in a content creation and production libraries session; specifically how effective imaging can create an alluring station persona in the listeners’ minds.
To make this happen, “you need to look at your radio station as its own person,” said Matthew Anderson, director of custom imaging at Benztown.
“The voiceover that you choose and the creative copy that you write is the voice of that person,” he explained. “So who do you want to be?”
It’s like Christmas every day: The year-round popularity of seasonal music was explored in a station formats session, as explained by panelist Bud Kress. He is the owner/operator of Live365’s “That Christmas Channel,” which plays holiday music 24/7.
“We’re constantly playing the biggest hits of Christmas and more,” said Kress. Even in the “off season” between January through August, “we’re still maintaining a nice audience. There are people listening to Christmas all year long.”
Mutual harm: RealNetworks Founder Paul Glaser mused on the music industry’s inability to find common ground on content streaming, and the money-making opportunities they missed as a result, during a discussion of the history of internet radio.
“The music industry resembles nothing more than a circular firing squad in terms of how it works,” Glaser said. “What we saw play out over a 15-year process was a very Darwinian process.”
How to Watch
The event was held not long after the pandemic hit the United States hard. Its goal was to bring together voices from internet radio and AM/FM broadcasting, podcasting, monetization to legality, programming and marketing.
Live365 said thousands of people tuned in. Justin Ruoff, vice president of operations, said, “We set out to try to plan a full teleconference in just three weeks time due to the circumstances going on right now in the world. To see dozens of organizations and industry leaders, as well as thousands of webcasters and fans, pull together for an amazing day of information sharing goes to show just how special this community is.”
The panel discussions are available on YouTube. The content is broken down into topics such as Content Creation & Production Libraries; Station Formats; Station Marketing; History of Internet Radio; Ad Tech; and SoundExchange Overview.