Broadcast vs Stream; Help for Sellers; Usability For The Win!

This week, the CMD newsletter addresses some always-hot topics … streaming and revenue … and also why being helpful helps YOU.

Remember, too, you can keep up with lots of digital news to make media folks smarter at the Chris Miller Digital page on Facebook.


What if there’s not really any “versus” there?

We see them as two different things. What if your fans think of them as just different locations of the same store where they can buy the same thing? If that’s the case … why is one of your stores glossy and easy to shop at, while the other one is such a dump?

L to R: broadcast; stream

Yeah, your dumpy store doesn’t have nearly as many people shopping there as your big, shiny one does. But the dumpy one is in a hot neighborhood where more and more people are moving all the time. Plus, your competitors in that neighborhood are hard to get a good read on.  They’re different, and they’re always changing.

Yet that dumpy store is your growth property. You might be thinking about waiting a while to do anything with it, which allows people in that neighborhood to figure out where else they would rather shop, and establish habit patterns and expectations around your competitors. You might not want to take that approach.

Here’s one dirty little secret behind why we let one store get so junked up: often, the person who could start fixing it, doesn’t know how. You might know how to get content on a sister station in your cluster but not know how to get content on your own stream.  Here’s where everyone who has a good-sounding stream got started: they asked questions.

Sometimes, it takes asking several people before you find out who knows what. That’s one thing about digital: it’s new enough and changes fast enough that no one can know everything. The knowledgeable people know who to ask. How do you fix clunky transitions on your stream? Start asking around. Who loads spots and can load some station promos for you, too? Ask around. What special features can sellers offer their clients on the stream? Ask.

No matter your radio station job … jock, seller, promoter, programmer, manager, whatever … when you know, you can take your job to the digital side, too. That’s often easier than wondering how to do what you need to do.  If you’re PD of the broadcast, you can also be PD of the stream. You know how to do that … and it’s all one brand. It might even turn out to be fun and challenging.

Here’s more on streaming: Clean Up Your Stream!


Is your station using all the streaming tools it has to get maximum digital revenue? There’s a lot more to streaming ads than just playing audio.

  • You can target by geographic area (think, “what zip codes are best for my client?”)
  • You can target by age
  • You can target by device (computer, tablet, mobile device)
  • You have direct response capabilities (it’s more than just audio; put a link to click in the streaming box for a special offer or more information)
  • You get real-life numbers in real time (it’s not time-delayed estimates; it’s real people, listening and clicking, and it’s your data to own and use immediately)
  • You can coordinate ads across all platforms (on your stream alone, you can run a gateway visual ad with audio streaming commercials)

If you’re in sales and no one in the building seems to know about these, ask your streaming provider. I find they can be very helpful about using your digital tools to get the most revenue you can.

Here’s additional info about streaming revenue: More About Making Money From Your Stream


There’s a word in the digital world for it now … utility marketing.  And I ain’t talking about running ads for the power company!

Thanks to for the graphic

This is not marketing that’s designed only to sell. This is marketing that boosts your brand by offering usable content on the web. Compelling content is fine and dandy; usable content is the holy grail. This is the stuff that helps your fans use you that much more, building relationships and trust. Hereare some things to keep in mind:

  • Your content: What makes your radio station both unique and mass appeal? That’s the stuff that your fans will go online to find. It might be deeper, more focused information about what you talked about on the radio. It might be helpful lifestyle content. It might be highlighting what people come to your website for, like the stream and your event guide, and making them unbelievably easy to find.
  • Your design: People like websites that make visual sense. It shouldn’t look like the coupons that came in the mail got scattered all over the floor. That means you:
    • set some limits on what colors and fonts you’ll use;
    • organize your site with enough white space to make it easy to find stuff; and
    • have a mobile site that is fun and easy to use on a smartphone (folks like bang bang mobile can help).
  • Your mobile apps: With so much web activity moving to mobile devices, here’s the first question: what info do you offer that is so valuable that you want mobile fans to find instantly? Hint: start by thinking about what web pages get the most consistent hits. Here’s the other question: are there things you can build into an app that will increase the perceived value of it? Thinking about your target, you might realize there are extra things you could build into an app. These might not have anything to do with your station, but that your target would enjoy, especially if it’s uncharted app territory. Think about what your target likes to do … or has to do … with its time, and that might create some ideas for you.

Here’s more about compelling vs. usable content: What’s Compelling Content?


Thanks to Michael Harrison and the folks at for using a piece I wrote for them on this subject. You can read it here.


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