How To Get Your Station In The Most Important Room In The House
March 3, 2015
Smart TVs might offer a way to get your station into the living room
Take a look around most people's houses, and most likely you'll spot radio receivers in the kitchen, the bedroom, the bathroom, or the workshop. However, chances are that you'll spot that radio receivers are absent from one room in the house.
The living room.
Pride of place is given to the television in the living room. But that doesn't mean that people don't want to listen to the radio. Particularly for trial, it's important to get your station into the living room. And here's how: get it on the TV.
I'm not talking about launching a new TV channel. I'm not even talking about bothering with any visuals at all. I'm talking about getting the audio from your channel available through the TV.
In many countries, digital television broadcasts contain radio as well as TV. The largest platform in the UK, Freeview, (which is digital TV through an aerial, just like it is in Australia) carries around thirty radio channels. Just last month, the largest commercial radio broadcaster here, Global Radio, added two more channels: classical music channel Classic FM and newstalk station LBC.
Radio broadcast through the TV is also available in many other countries, from Norway to Australia, from New York's cable system to Spain. Just keep pressing 'channel up,' and you'll find the radio channels.
That's important, because for the first time, radio shares parity with TV on the electronic program guide. Particularly for new stations, there's some evidence that it offers opportunity for trial.
There are other ways to get radio onto the TV. Some countries have HBBtv, a hybrid television service that uses both broadcast and internet, and they use HBBtv for enabling additional radio streams, too. German operator multithek has just added a bunch of radio channels to their service. These arrangements can be considerably cheaper for broadcasters, since you're not paying for broadcast spectrum, though less useful since you're not appearing on a level playing field with the TV services.
Swiss radio's use of HBBtv is even more clever, with rudimentary personalisation. Want their non-stop music channel, but don't want to miss the news bulletins on the news station? You can set your HBBtv to automatically switch over to the news, every hour. Neat.
And then there's the smart television app. Most new TVs, connected Bluray players and games consoles contain an app store of some kind. On my Samsung TV, I have access to a bunch of apps, including ones from Absolute Radio, Capital FM, and even NRJ from Europe. These offer a customizable experience for the broadcaster, and a strong identity on the app screen, but require even more work to get listeners to actually listen.
After all that: how popular is radio through the TV? It turns out it's much more popular than you'd think. In the UK, 14.5% of all adults listen at some point during the week; and in terms of TSL it accounts for 4.7% of all radio.
What's more staggering is that, until recently, radio over the TV was actually out-performing simulcast radio over the internet.
So if you're tasked with getting more people to listen to your radio station, however odd it sounds... try the TV.