Internet radio plans
Thanks for the article about online radio in the December 2000 issue. We've been providing our audio service online for more than three years. While we begin planning a new building, we wonder what the predictions are for additional program streams. Will most radio stations be providing just a single Internet program stream? If stations will provide more than one stream, will those streams be live 24/7?
We are wrestling with the question of how much additional studio space to provide in our building for second, third or more streams.
news and public affairs director
Stations will likely add more streams as streaming becomes profitable. Without the limitation of a license, the Internet is an open market. As encoding algorithms improve and available bandwidth increases, audio quality will also increase. We already see several companies marketing ad insertion tools to create extra revenue from an established stream. Storage space and adding an automation system workstation is also comparatively inexpensive, so I don't see anything to prevent radio stations from becoming Internet network entertainment providers.
Some of these additional streams may be 24/7, others may be segmented like a dayparted station. The choice will be up to the station who will become a stream provider. If an audience demands a 24/7 format, provide it. Stations could also provide specials online, such as concerts and interviews.
Planning additional space is a great idea. How much space you will need is not easily answered. The type of format and method of preparation will determine that. I hope this helps some, but I think you'll be blazing your own trail on most of this.
Bravo! I agree 100% with everything you said in the January 2001 Viewpoint titled One Year Later. The entire LPFM issue is a joke. Most of the existing illegal operators are in populated areas, and the LPFM allotments don't even come close to these same areas. How the FCC thinks that the LPFM allotments will alleviate pirates is a mystery to me.
Most of the places that they have shoe-horned openings are in such sparsely populated areas that the licensees will not be able to gather the needed support to keep them running. I expect that most will be completely automated facilities—and that does nothing to make them community radio stations with live jocks and live commentary on local issues.
John Arndt, CSRE
Greater Philadelphia Radio Group
Bala Cynwyd, PA