For the Boston Globe, online radio may actually be the “new thing.” They created RadioBDC, which has been streaming from Boston.com, and they created it with a touch of local flavor. Recently, a popular alternative station was bought out, but the Boston Globe quickly scooped up some of their popular DJs and these DJs are now part of this new format.
As the article points out though, this may only be a regional trend and not a national trend, as this web radio station has momentum from the DJs, who already had a fan base. It was convenient for The Globe to get these popular DJs to help with the launch of this station, but I think this could be a winning formula.
Online ad revenue is cheaper, so perhaps if more newspapers create a similar platform, more advertisers will try get their ads on it, thus creating more profits for the paper. The Globe has already gained a few more sponsors and has expanded it’s male demographic from 21-34 (i.e. men at work), according to the article.
Another possible plus is getting journalists on the air to speak about the news, which, honestly, is a huge plus. A newspaper being able to speak to their audience as news breaks? That sounds pretty cool to me.
But yes, there are inherent costs to starting a web radio station, “like constructing a new studio, obtaining music rights and paying staff salaries.” These costs could cause some hesitation, but I already got into the pluses, which could pay off in a huge way.
Unfortunately, even if this is successful for The Boston Globe, it may not be a trend that catches on, due to the fact that they caught a break with the DJs, which helped jump start the site. However, as I’ve said before in this blog, I love risk takers and this is a risk by The Globe. No paper has done what they are doing, according to the article, and no one may want to do what The Globe is doing until they see if this can be successful or not. One thing we do know, however, is that if this online radio station does work out, there will be plenty of copy cats waiting in the wings to begin their own station.