What is a successful internet radio station? Is it having a large audience, having a really dedicated listener base, attracting new listeners, receiving artist recognition, earning revenue from ads, or something else? The truth is, everyone's definition of success differs. However you define success for your own online radio station though, we have a few tips to help you become successful.
Know your audience.
Who listens to your station? Who is in the back of your mind when you play a certain song or discuss a particular subject? If you’re stuck, come up with a “marketing persona.” In this case, a marketing persona is a "fictional” representation of an actual listener. Your persona may be defined by a number of things, including basic demographics (age, location, occupation, etc.) as well as interests.
You may already have an idea of who your typical listener is either through knowledge of your niche or data, but if not, you might want to create a poll to send to your listeners. In any case, once you have an idea of who your core listeners are, you can create a persona: male, mid-50s, enjoys Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. You might name him Paul. Now, when you create your playlist or pick a topic to discuss, you can ask yourself “Would Paul find this interesting? Would Paul enjoy this?” If you decide that Paul prefers music from the Sinatra era, it’s not wise to play something that Hannah (female, mid-teens, enjoys Drake and Justin Bieber) likes!
Retain and grow your audience.
Both retaining and growing your audience is important. You want to keep your current audience engaged by seeking to improve their overall experience and even focusing on ways to keep them listening longer. However, it’s also important to grow your audience. How do you do that? Look at the marketing persona(s) you just created. There are people out there, similar to those personas, who haven’t discovered your station yet, but would love to know it exists. Do they use social media? If so, which platform(s)? If they do, you’re in luck - social media is a free and easy tool to draw in new listeners. From there, you can grow your social media following through engaging posts and translate them into listeners!
Make it easy for listeners.
Make it easy for listeners to discover your station as well as tune in whether they’re at home or on the go. In terms of discoverability, ensure that your station is listed in as many directories as possible. It’s also in your station’s best interest to allow listeners to follow along on their various devices from wherever they are. As a Live365 broadcaster, your station is listed in Live365’s directory, which is available on your computer, mobile device, and Amazon Alexa.
Keep content fresh.
Don’t let your music or talk selection get stale! Although you can automate your playlists on Live365 (and other online radio providers), make sure the content that you’re playing is fresh. While you might love the new Taking Back Sunday album and can’t get enough of their newest single, your listeners want variety. Don’t drive them away by playing the same song every hour, on the hour!
We can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure your content is legally covered! You absolutely need to be licensed if you have any copyrighted material on your station. If you aren't properly licensed, the artists you're playing on your station won't get paid for the plays and your station could face trouble for the illegal use of copyrighted material.
Luckily, if you choose Live365, you don’t need to worry about copyright infringement. With the help of your accurate metadata, we’ve arranged with the copyright representatives of both the composition and sound recordings to cover your content licensing needs for streaming your station in the U.S., U.K., and Canada!
Focus on quality.
Quality sound, quality content, quality DJs, and quality branding (e.g. the content on your station profile page) are what make up a quality station. It doesn’t take a lot to get an internet radio station up and running. Make sure your songs don’t skip (which can happen if you upload them from an old but loved CD), your equipment is properly set up, and your dogs aren’t barking in the background of your talk segments. Be sure your content is relevant to your audience and up-to-date. Also, as a DJ, ensure that you interact with your audience on social media as well as on-air. Make your love of bringing music, sports, or talk content to listeners heard!
Discover thousands of free stations from every genre of music and talk at live365.com/listen. Keep up with the latest news by following us on Facebook (Live365 Official and Live365 Broadcasting) and Twitter (@Live365 and @Broadcast365)!