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David Palmer
ChristianNetcast.com

Why You Should Stream

 

 

 

 

Not long ago, I was speaking with the owner of a small radio station and in our conversation about streaming their signal on their website, they resisted.  “We only do local sports and things that are of interest to people in this area, I don't need to stream to a global audience…my audience is all within 50 miles of the station,” they pointed out. Soon after, that station manager called to me to say that some of the local boys had graduated and were now deployed to the Gulf region and wanted to hear their brother’s basketball games to help them feel close to home.  The “local only” radio station began streaming immediately.

Like many station owners, this one had heard all the myths: "there is a lot of equipment to buy" or "the licensing fees will eat you alive" or my favorite "you need an FCC license to do that."  As you read on, any fears about streaming your radio station’s signal will be assuaged and hopefully provide the motivation to want to stream your station online. As for the "Fear Factor," the FCC has no regulatory authority over the Internet; most of our clients pay, on average, $500 annually in royalties, and use a spare computer already sitting at the station.

To stream your station you need two things: A computer and an Internet connection. With these two necessities in place, a streaming company can connect you and provide a link to your website so listeners can tune in online.  You do have a website don't you? Arbitron recently reported that 95% of all listeners find stations online and then on the dial. It is absolutely imperative to have a website and when you have a website, there are many reasons to stream.  Let’s explore just a few…

 

Listening at Work

News flash: Your competitors stream…and the reason why is they understand that streaming is the only way to win the "listen at work" audience.  If you walk into any office around the country you won’t find a radio, but you will find a computer, probably many computers.  By streaming your station on your website, you will not only reach the “at work” audience, but also the “going to work audience.”  This month at the CES show in Las Vegas, four major automotive firms unveiled new cars that had Internet radio built in.  A radio station’s identity will cease to be the frequency numbers on the dial, but rather an IP address where a driver can stream your station.

 

Revenue

I love the line in the movie Jerry McGuire "show me the money!!"  It may be uncomfortable for some to admit, but radio stations exist to generate revenue, and streaming can provide an additional revenue stream (pun intended).  This past year at NRB, CMB and NAB conferences, ChristianNetcast has shown clients how to transform their audio streams from an expense into a money maker.  Our innovative player box technology allows stations to place ads in their box as well as run gateway ads which run each time a listener clicks to hear your station.  Including ads does not increase the monthly expense of your service while offering new tools for your sales people to generate revenue.

 

iEverything

In case you haven't noticed, Apple has taken over everything.  When I work out at the gym in the morning, nearly everyone I see are listening to their favorite streams on their iPhones.  Portable radios and “walkmans” are a thing of the past replaced by iPods, iPhones, iPads and even Apple TV.  One of the toys my wife gave me for Christmas this year was the new Apple TV.  It’s amazing what this little box the size of an old 8-track tape can do.  Once connected to my 52-inch TV, I can pull movies wirelessly from my iTunes account and even watch YouTube!  When I explored my radio settings, much to my surprise, there were many of our ChristianNetcast customers available on iTV.  I tuned in to the Bott Radio Network and the sound was incredible!

At this moment in a garage in Alabama a retired pastor is broadcasting an internet only radio station from his garage.  Using ChristianNetcast.com’s streaming technology the pastor is able to broadcast music, teaching and youth events from the same spot once dedicated to working on his truck.  Streaming, podcasting and other new technologies go hand-in-hand with helping radio stations and ministries take the Gospel to the world at a fraction of the cost of what people believed was possible.  With the decline in attendance of young people in churches throughout the country, many church leaders wisely believe that using technology will help reach the young people of America.  Almost 9 in 10 people between the ages fourteen and thirty-five own, or have regular access to a computer.  Search engines on the web are at an all time high for activity.  Barna recently published a study that detailed how congregations are rapidly incorporating new technologies into their activities…including Internet radio.  Among the fastest-growing adoptions are big-screen projection systems (now used by almost two-thirds of all Protestant churches), websites (57% penetration) and e-mail blasts to congregants (56%).  Explaining the move toward such mechanisms, Barna commented, “These are tools that draw people to church events, that help churches communicate more effectively, and that have the capacity to provide a more compelling and memorable experience. The integration of these applications into the church’s normal process also conveys an image of cultural sensitivity and relevance to those who are trying to determine if the church has something valid to offer.”

In conclusion, I think we all agree that there will always be terrestrial, over-the-air radio. However, the delivery of that signal will continue to change and evolve. We currently have stations that use ChristianNetcast streams to feed their translator sites because the cost of the IP feed is more affordable than microwave.  Listeners who travel now tune into their local stations via an IP stream or iPhone stream.  Streaming is incredibly simple and the way of the future.  Catch the wave and start streaming today.


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David Palmer is co-founder of ChristianNetcast.com. With 20 years of internet experience, David has assisted ministries in taking their message global with the ever evolving world of technology. With over 500 Christian radio stations as clients, ChristianNetcast has be come a leader in streaming technologies. His goal is to see Christian broadcasters use every tool available, so that ministries can have an impact beyond their four walls and zip codes. As technologies have evolved, David has held the hand of many ministries as they have watched their church grow to include virtual congregations. His diverse experience as a Navy Veteran, ordained Minister and coach have made him a fun and informative speaker at Universities, high schools and Conventions. David has been featured on Fox News, 700 Club and TBN .

 

ChristianNetcast is the parent company of ChristianNetcast.com, CNC Technologies, MainstreamNetwork and NWR Network. ChristianNetcast.com was birthed in 1999, in what many would consider the most unlikely place to establish an internet company. While many internet startups were based in the Silicon Valley, ChristianNetcast.com was started in what used to be the lumber capital of the world, Bangor Maine. Todd VanTasel and David Palmer, founders of ChristianNetcast.com were attending a local church and saw the need to have the churches services broadcasted on the internet. When other ministries learned how the church was using this new streaming technology, they soon wanted to use the same type of tools for their church. The word about ChristianNetcast.com quickly spread and the company began to receive international recognition and was featured on television and radio programs such as Fox News, CBN, 700 Club and TBN. In 2006 the company moved its headquarters to Virginia Beach VA. ChristianNetcast.com currently serves over 500 ministries worldwide.