Video Seen as Critical to Radio Industry’s Web Revenue - TvTechnology

Video Seen as Critical to Radio Industry’s Web Revenue

Most professionals within the radio industry will admit we are living in the age of video.
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Most professionals within the radio industry will admit we are living in the age of video.

Call it the YouTube effect if you will, but video is quickly becoming the core element of many radio station Web sites. Video also is at the heart of making your station’s Web site a revenue generator, some experts say.

“Video for a radio station’s Web site not only is a way to increase unique visitor page views but also as a revenue driver,” said Thom Callahan, general manager of the Radio Division of the Associated Press Broadcast News Center, whose company provides video content to member radio stations.

“Many of our members have been able to sell ads against video of all kinds, from local video that they shoot to news and entertainment that we provide.”

AP provides video services to radio stations as an ad-supported service, and many other suppliers of video content are doing the same, Callahan said, so the initial cost to offer video services is negligible.

Video on the Web has experienced exponential growth since early 2006 when YouTube burst on the scene, Callahan said, and spurred other groups like Google and AOL to begin offering video content.

This proliferation gives radio stations the opportunity to monetize their Web sites by enhancing the radio station experience, said Callahan, who will moderate a panel on this topic at the NAB Show.

“It really gives the audience another reason to listen to the radio station and visit Web sites. It’s another way to be interactive with the audience.

“It’s a case of the Web site becoming a second integral medium for broadcasters and a chance for people to listen to radio in other places.”

Emmis/NY uses video on each of the cluster’s Web sites, said Dan Halyburton Sr., vice president/market manager for Emmis Communications in New York, including the sites of WRKS(FM), WQHT(FM) and WRXP(FM).

“Video is becoming a core element of our Web sites. Growing bandwidth speeds and better codecs are making video a big part of any site,” said Halyburton.

He specifically points to HOT 97 as being at the forefront of the video craze, offering both event and studio video along with listener-generated video.

“Our capital requests have recently included requests for video gear. We think local, local, local. Get the content audio and video on your Web sites. Our strength is local so we exploit that. When Hot 97 sponsors an event, we are there with digital audio recorders and high-quality video cameras,” Halyburton said.

Hot 97, which uses AP’s video services, even hosted the worldwide premiere of the 50 Cent video “I Get Money” in 2007, which generated “huge online traffic” for the radio station.

“Be careful of copyrighted material. Be sure you have permission to show the video. Don’t expose your company to any liability. Make sure to get permission in advance so you don’t have to pull it down later,” Halyburton added.

Entercom/Seattle produces in-house what its Internet Sales Manager Joshua Dirks calls “brand extension video” as a catalyst to drive listeners to its Web sites.

“Additionally, we use a lot of content from YouTube. Our demos here seem interested in unique and out-of-the-box video,” Dirks said, “including vlogs (video blogs) and on-demand sections.”

The interaction between radio listeners and video content is easily monetized as marketers understand the power of video, Dirks said. He expects video will create nearly $1 million in revenue this year for the Seattle cluster, which includes KKWF(FM), KISW(FM), KMTT(FM) and KNDD(FM).

If your radio station is just beginning to dabble in video, be sure not to dominate your Web site with it, Callahan said.

“It should be an enhancement and another reason to visit the Web site and ultimately listen to the radio station. Look at your online presence as just another channel to program,” Callahan said.

The NAB Radio Management session “Radio Goes Video: The New Business Model of Monetizing Online Video” is April 14, 11:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m., and details how to turn relevant video content into online advertising dollars for your organization.