Once upon a time, people of all ages gathered by the radio to hear the latest news, opinions, humor, and music from far away. All people knew was anything worth knowing was happening somewhere on the radio, and you could travel around the world just by turning your dial. Traditionally, audio programs have been available via dedicated terrestrial networks broadcasting to radio receivers. Typically, they have operated on AM and FM terrestrial platforms. But radio fell on hard times with the rise of television. The video broadcast that settled into a narrower niche for sports fans, commuters, and the teenage pop music crowd gathered much more attention. The medium still had meaning for those who listened, but the promise of radio as a magical tool to make the world smaller had worn away.
Internet penetration into the worldwide market has been evident and is nearly over one billion users mark. Almost 70% of the American population has access to the Internet from home, and one-third can access the Internet at work. Since the mid-nineties, most traditional businesses have set up websites in order to provide complementary information for their viewers. You may not have noticed, but the past few years have seen the re-emergence of a new kind of radio – or is it something else that just feels like radio? The appearance of Internet radio mirrors the emergence of streaming technology and recent advances in audio hardware. You really can listen to your computer the way an earlier generation listened to a radio console or Hi-Fi system. And if you’re connected to the Internet, you can pick up sounds from all around the world.
The appearance of Internet radio mirrors the emergence of streaming technology and recent advances in audio hardware. You really can listen to your computer the way an earlier generation listened to a radio console or Hi-Fi system. And if you’re connected to the Internet, you can pick up sounds from all around the world. For conventional broadcasters, Internet Radio could usefully complement existing on-air broadcasts. Internet Radio also called the IR in short, works best as a narrowcast medium targeting a small number of concurrent users.
Audio via the Internet gets more and more attention for program production as a contribution medium, for business to business distribution as a useful alternative to courier services, as well as a direct to home multi-media broadcasting service. IR is inherently interactive. IR websites are places for listeners to interact not only with the station, but also with each other. These interactions are usually achieved through text messages, e-mail forums or chat rooms as well as, in a growing number of cases, audio and video messages.
IR is best suited to niche content, such as education, specialist music, and programs aimed at ethnic minorities, which may be of interest to a relatively small number of people. Often it is considered too extravagant to use scarce spectrum for such programs. IR can offer a solution for communities scattered across the world. For example, there may not be enough fans of gypsy music in a given part of the world to justify a local broadcast station, but if we add listeners around the world who are interested in this kind of entertainment, the potential audience will look a lot healthier. Internet Talk Radio redefines radio content. Not only does it introduce new music and speech formats, but can also embellish them with text, graphics and video. So be a part of the revolution and tune in to your favorite station while surfing on the net.