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By Kayvon Siadat, Guest Columnist

The addition of online streaming content has helped KSCU 103.3, Santa Clara University’s non-profit, volunteer run radio station, tremendously.  Before the radio station had this technology our listenership was limited to however far our radio signal would go, which is, give or take 30 miles in any direction.

Now with advances in technology we are able to deliver our content to anyone in the world at any time.  Currently, a big portion of our listeners use our online audio stream (computer, smart phone, etc.) and because of that we are able to bring local content to a much bigger scale now.

Being a small college radio station, our focus tends to be in local or “underground” music trends. By having our content streamed it provides outsiders a glimpse into our world. They get a pipeline into our local community that to us might seem old and monotonous but to outsiders might seem groundbreaking and innovative.

It also provides record labels, managers, record executives, promotions companies, and out of town bands an idea of what our local scene is like. In the past they would have to take our word on what the local sounds were via CMJ playlists, blog posts, and email correspondence.

Now they can actually tune in and hear our programs to get a better sense of who we are as a radio station and a community.

How Audience Insight Improves Programming

The manner in which an individual show gets programmed has changed as well due to our online stream. We now have access in real-time to the number of our listeners we currently have and can see the number fluctuate depending on what we say or play.

Before we couldn’t tell if 1 or 1,000 people were listening. Now we can get a glimpse into how people react to certain things that are played and we are able to adapt our shows to better fit our listening audience.

Radio over the years has been a harder and harder format to sell to the consumer. Even though it is one of the last “no cost” forms of entertainment it still is becoming more difficult to access.

Whether it be streaming from your work computer in your office, anywhere with your phone or at home on a laptop, online streaming has opened a door for KSCU to a wide variety of new listeners who aren’t able to have access to a radio.

Overall, having our content accessible to everyone via online streaming is the best thing to happen to our station in 20+ years.

Kayvon Siadat is currently the Promotions Director & a DJ at KSCU. He also runs a vinyl imprint (makeyousick.com).

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