Over the weekend, I tried to listen several times to a very major market radio station owned by a very large multimedia company via their online stream, and I thought my ears would start bleeding. It was a complete nightmare.
I don’t want to mention the station or owner because they would be truly embarrassed to know that their very special programming over the weekend was almost unlistenable if you were trying to listen online as I was in St. Louis. This company claims to have a “streaming strategy”, but by listening to their big broadcast from this very major market, it’s clear that whatever they dream of delivering simply isn’t happening.
The music content and high powered Air Personalities sounded GREAT. Its when the breaks came that things imploded. During the eight or nine minute commercial breaks, I heard commercials start and then get cut off, local commercials begin and then get replaced by streaming spots that ran over and into the net commercial, periods of dead air, the same spots up to four times in one break, and other atrocities that are guaranteed to send many listeners away from the stream.
And let’s not even talk about how the stream took up a tab in my browser instead of opening in a new window, so I had to make sure I didn’t close it by mistake. And I NEVER went to that tab to look at the ads the company placed on the page for my viewing pleasure.
I had the same awful experience on my Android phone, where I went to this major multimedia company’s app to listen but heard the same brutally bad commercial breaks.
NOTE TO BROADCASTERS: The future is mobile. The future is streaming, not those big towers on the Empire State Building or in the middle of cornfields. If you want to compete with people like Pandora, who know how to run short, smooth breaks, you’ve got to pay attention to what goes out on the stream during your local breaks.
Please don’t send your listeners to the Emergency Room with bleeding ears from poorly programmed streaming breaks. Thankyouverymuch.