Old Media. New Tricks.

Spread The Word, Ya Heard?

Posted on: July 30, 2008

I’ve gotten involved in a discussion over at Hear 2.0 this morning in regards to whether or not radio station content being shared on P2P sites is a good indicator of what your audience thinks of you.

Mark makes this point:

What most folks in radio don’t know is that nearly half of all web traffic happens on peer-to-peer (P2P) networks – that’s the place where fans share music and movies.

Now radio stations spawn a lot of content – some of it available in mp3 files and podcasts. But have you ever tried to look up your favorite morning show on a P2P network to see what, if any, of their content resides there?

I have, and the results come up way short. There’s very little authentic content from even the best known morning shows (with the possible exception of a certain “Howard Stern”).

Why is this, and what does it mean?

P2P content is shared content. And shared content is content that I or you save. When you don’t find your radio station’s non-music content on a P2P network that means it’s generally not saved in folders which are open to sharing, which is another way of saying there’s little interest in sharing it in the first place.

Now granted, a morning show interview with a music star or a comedy bit is in a different category than, say, your favorite song (the former you want to hear once, the latter many times) or a movie that has yet to hit DVD.

And I know you might argue that P2P is driven largely by the sharing of illegal content, but you can find plenty of free TV shows on there, why not free radio shows? Sure there’s a bunch of Howard Stern and NPR content there, but where’s your “content”? [Hear 2.0]

My belief is that Stern is on P2P because his content is locked in a subscription model. You have to be a satellite subscriber to hear it, it’s not podcasted.  The fans break the model and look like hero pirates by putting his content in the torrent engines.

However, if a mainstream radio station is actively archiving and podcasting their interviews on a website, where’s the need to P2P it? If people want it, they can get it from the site, they don’t need to go to LimeWire or the Pirate Bay to download the latest interview from Nat and Drew.

The more accurate measure of radio’s presence and the quality of spoken word content is to search your call letters or jock names in Summize, or Technorati.

People blogging about something you did, spreading the word virally, is more valuable than a 3 min bit on fart jokes on LimeWire or YouTube.

How are you enabling your audience to spread the message?  Are you giving them a message to spread?  Do they care?

Ego surf yourself on the torrents, P2P, and blog engines and see what the world has to say.

catch the buzz … pass it on.

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1 Response to "Spread The Word, Ya Heard?"

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