Listener Registration Is a Critical Streaming Strategy

At RAIN Summit West last week we introduced a new segment called POV, a familiar acronym for Point of View. In business circles, POVs are a type of presentation used to briefly define a position – often on a new or widely debated topic. We thought it would be interesting to invite leaders in the industry to weigh in on a broad topic, so this time around we invited several folks to make  a brief presentation on “Redefining Radio”. We didn’t offer any further instructions about the topic than that. 

Triton CEO Neal Schore took the stage early in the day and used his POV presentation to talk about something that I think is critically important for Internet radio – listener registration. Schore told the audience that it’s time to require listener registration in exchange for online content.

I couldn’t agree more. As Schore pointed out, most online stations are already requiring registration. This enables them to offer highly targeted ads and content that is more interesting to the listeners and more valuable to advertisers. It expands the time that listeners are willing to spend with a station, and it raises the likelihood that they’ll interact with an ad because that ad is specifically targeted – by gender, geography, or perhaps other criteria, to their specific situation.

Folks that don’t register their listeners argue that it depresses audience growth. But in the next breath they’re arguing that streaming expenses are too high. Those two things go hand in hand — require registration and maybe you lose a few listeners but that lowers your overall expenses while at the same time raising your ability to effectively monetize the remaining listeners. They’re more valuable because you know exactly who they are, you can interact with them and expand your relationship, and offer them targeted ads.

This is not broadcasting folks. Internet radio has the ability, as Schore pointed out at RAIN Summit West, to uniquely target every single listener and develop a unique one to one connection that is far more valuable and meaningful in today’s content marketplace. There is no reason not to. Schore’s message was an excellent contribution to the smart exchange that took place at RAIN Summit West last week.

2 responses

  1. Registration does create a slight barrier to entry. That may have been an issue in the early adoption phase of Web radio but in todays double digit growth any suppression
    of listening will be short lived. I agree capture listener data and when you capture get more than name and email. A motivated listener will give you a wealth of data if you ASK!

  2. Ironically, as recently as 2009/2010, some of the biggest radio groups with shunned registration for their Interner radio properties because it was perceived to create too many barriers.

    Registration, of course, has some challenges. First, it creates a barrier to immediate use. Second, it needs to be curated as savvier users will often provide incorrect or incomplete information about themselves. Finally, it needs to be presented in a way that is relevant to the user. Presenting users with a giant form that resembles an IRS document is NOT the way to collect user data.

    To be successful, registration should be a gradual process so that users are not slammed with too many questions and/or personalized details up front. Over time, they can be incentivized to provide additional details about themselves as well as more accurate ones at that.

    If done right and when coupled with other data sources, registration data can enable a very elaborate, personalized advertising experience that benefits the entire Internet radio eco-system: ad buyers, content providers and, of course, end-users.

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