We have talked a lot in this space about how radio needs to get serious about its Web sites. Yes, there's money to be made (have you checked out Internet advertising revenues lately?). But more importantly, a great, vital web site is a wonderful way to generate even more loyalty to your station.
A couple of years back, Zephyr Teachout (Howard Dean's Internet guru) spoke at Summit VIII in L.A. about how radio was missing the boat with its web sites. Describing them as static billboards, Zephyr pointed to beefed up music resources, and creating a sense of community on station sites. Sadly, there's little of that occurring today, despite an increase in streaming, podcasting, last song played, and other important technological improvements.
But it's too easy to get caught up in the techy stuff, while neglecting the emotional connection part. Your site should be a gathering spot for listeners – a place where they can share views and information about their common interests – music, your station, the community, and other areas that matter to them.
So try this, Classic Rock stations. When the Stones come to town this fall, don't just play "Concert Echoes" and do "5-4-3-2-1" giveaways. Have one of your jocks review the show, and open up your site as a forum where Stones concert goers can talk about the event, the things they loved, the things they hated, and everything in between. Give your listeners a chance to vent, laugh, and share in this incredible event where a band that's been around for 40 years is still out-selling them all. It will be a great test for your site, and hopefully, an eye-opener for your management team about how energizing your site is great business.
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