Is social radio platform Radiojar wasting its time on a dying medium?
Absolutely not, says co-founder Stathis Koutsogeorgos. He not only expects streaming radio to boom in the next decade, but he thinks that it has been held back so far by taxing technical requirements facing would-be DJs – a problem he believes the venture will play a key role in solving.
“Streaming stations are blooming and are going to do so in the next decade,” Koutsogeorgos said. “The fall back till now is the lack of user friendly technology that could make things easy for radio stations.”
The primary service Radiojar provides to DJs is virtualizing access to the resources that a web radio station traditionally needed to run, like servers, automation, library, and apps. The idea is to cut out the hardware, software, and training skills that stand between music enthusiasts and starting a web radio program.
Koutsogeorgos also pointed toward market research showing that streaming radio is on the rise, in tandem with social media and mobile devices, with an estimated 103 million Americans – more than a third of the population – logging on to the web to listen to a radio program at least once each month.
For consumers, Koutsogeorgos said, the matter of accessibility is important. Internet-enabled gadgets that can stream radio are ubiquitous increasingly common, while devices with a radio dial are increasingly difficult to find.
“If you have no technical knowledge or no budget is not likely possible to ever broadcast professional shows online,” he said. “On the other hand, internet radio stations are winning the battle against AM/FM mostly because they exist to any digital device, everywhere.”
Playing the devil’s advocate, why would anybody choose to listen to a stream over their own music collection?
Some listeners might prefer a radio stream over their own extensive music collections at times because it lets somebody else – the DJ, in this case – take control, avoiding what some sociologists call the “agony of choice.” Others might tune into a curated channel in order to explore a new genre, or to dig more deeply into one they already enjoyed.