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How much variety is TOO much variety?


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I've always been disappointed by radio stations that claim they have the best variety, when they don't go as far as they could. Stations, for example, that play 70's - today. You hear only Pop tunes, but you don't hear much of the classic rock or funk from the 70's, or the New Wave and Hair Bands of the 80's.

 

I currently run a radio station that offers a real variety, because personally I like to listen to a wide variety of music and hate having to channel flip. So, I've got music dating all the way back to the 1920's to the latest stuff today in a variety of genres to include Rock, Pop, Country, R&B, and more.

 

It seems like I'm having trouble finding other listeners who like that kind of variety. Am I alone in my taste of variety, or are there other listeners out there who would appreciate that kind of variety too?

 

Is too much variety just too much?

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If you are a net only station, it does take time to build listeners. Net listeners tend to go for a narrow style of music and there is a lot of choice. I run a transmitter on my station, but I am in a small town so i do get listeners with a wide range of music, the net side is only secondary so Im not so worried about getting a lot of net listeners. All I can say is if your happy with what you are playing, then keep doing it and see if it builds.:yes:

RAG-FM 107.7 Raglan New Zealand & ragfm.com

........"Top Music Top of the Dial"

Click HERE to listen to the RAG-FM radio stream

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  • 2 weeks later...

People don't want variety as much as they think they do.

 

Stations claim to play a "variety" all the time when in fact, they don't play anything outside of a pretty narrow genre. This is because of the research they do.

 

The reason you hear this claim so much is because "variety" tests very well with 25-44 females which are pretty much the target audience of most pop-based radio these days.

 

Listeners hate variety because it guarantees you'll play something they will not like. And listeners who don't like what they hear will tune out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The great thing about internet radio is that it's all about the DJ reaching their own target audiences not the station as a whole. if you have a DJ playing dubstep for an hour, chart music the next and then classical music the hour after , that's what i would call true variety station. one of the most successful stations I've come across which works like this is 1radio.org , some dj's will get 2 listeners , some will get 50.

 

"Listeners hate variety because it guarantees you'll play something they will not like. And listeners who don't like what they hear will tune out."

 

i don't believe this is true, most people have a wide variety of tastes in music which they don't get to hear on commercial radio, i could quite happily listen to an hour of bassline followed by an hour of enya, it certainly beats listening to the same 15 or so songs hour after hour 24/7.

 

Internet radio is also about discovering genres of music and artists that you may never have come across before, i know theres are lots of music i'd have no interest in if it wasn't for internet radio.

 

 

Matt

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Hey Matt :)

 

Here's where you and I disagree:

 

There's a difference between liberal music formats and a completely anarchic station.

 

I believe that the primary purpose if internet radio (and all radio) is to build a listening audience. The ONLY purpose of a DJ is to better serve the listeners.

 

You tend to think that a station should serve as a DJ's medium, it's more of a platform rather than a pure service.

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The great thing about internet radio is that it's all about the DJ reaching their own target audiences not the station as a whole.

Maybe some internet radiostations work like that, but some don't. It's up to the stationmanager which way to go. The above statement is not perse the definition about how internetradio should be.

 

"Listeners hate variety because it guarantees you'll play something they will not like. And listeners who don't like what they hear will tune out."

 

i don't believe this is true,

Of course this varies... there are people who will tune out, and there are people that won't. If you look at the big picture, the great majority of people are the ones that will tune out.

 

most people have a wide variety of tastes in music which they don't get to hear on commercial radio, i could quite happily listen to an hour of bassline followed by an hour of enya, it certainly beats listening to the same 15 or so songs hour after hour 24/7.

Sure they have, but all those preferences aren't the same. Person 1 can like lady gaga, but also like country music. Person 2 can like lady gaga, but also hardcore house. What do you do to keep them both? play gaga, because if you play country music, person 2 will tune out, and if you play hardcore house, person 1 will tune out.

 

Internet radio is also about discovering genres of music and artists that you may never have come across before, i know theres are lots of music i'd have no interest in if it wasn't for internet radio.

 

 

Matt

Thats your view on internet radio, which is fine. But for most people it's just like the regular fm radio... people just want to hear a certain sound, which is recognizable to them, and where they hear songs they know and like.

 

For every listener there is a station which suits their needs. If you have an internetstation, then find out what goals you want to achieve. You want a big audience? Don't bee too narrow, because then the big audience will never be there.

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i think you will find it very difficult to compete with fm radio stations which now have a strong online presence (especially since BBC set up 'RadioPlayer' for commercial radio stations in the uk , if you want to be successful your going to need to do something different.

 

The whole point of remits on fm stations is to make sure that every station is doing something differently than the others around it, you should want to do the same.

 

Matt

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Im afraid i have to disagree. If i look at the ratings in my own country, most of the stations which get high ratings are the CHR stations. So if you want to get high ratings? be CHR, so you can take your share.... of course you don't have to do exactly what the others are doing, give your own twist to things, to make your own sound, but let the basics be the same. If you have a radiostation which has such a wide variety in music, you won't even be on the ratingslist ever...

 

the biggest part of the listening audience know what they want... you can like it or not, but those are the facts, which can be seen in the ratingslists. Only serve them what they want, to get a big share. Most people are listening to the radio because they want to hear what they like, and what they know...

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My station is nearing one year old, and it hasn't gained any loyal listeners other than a cousin of mine who loves the variety. He likes that he can always here something different. Well, I do have another listener but he doesn't have internet. So I have to record the stream onto a CD so that he can hear the station. (He's old fashioned, but he loves the station too.)

 

My wife and I love the station we created. It's a wide range of music from the 1920's to the latest hits today in various genres to include Rock, Pop, Country, R&B, Electronic, Children, Christian, and even music across the world. I have different "themed" shows scheduled throughout the week, such as a 70's show, 80's show, Latest Billboard Hits, All Rock Show, All Country Show, a Christian Block on Sunday, and even an hour Children's show on the weekend.

 

I like what I've put together, but it's difficult to find others who appreciate what I've put into it. Once in awhile I catch my listener count go up a little for a few songs and then they are gone. That's why I was wondering how much variety is too much.

 

I've always wanted to hear a true variety station, so I created one of my own. I figured there would be others like myself out there that enjoy all types of music and wanted just one station where they can hear it all on.

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Those who appear for a while are streamrippers ...

If that happens check your shoutcast page and you gonna notice that somewhere a user is logged in for a longer time. That user (not a listener) works as a kind of peer to peer system, so others who are connected with that user are connected to your stream at the moment a popular/particular song is played

 

About the variety, I agree, I offer also a wide variety of music and thats more difficult than to stations who are playing only one genre.

It is known that web stations who are playing 80s or 90s or pop or oldies only do have lots of listeners.

For reason that it looks that an internet user is in search for his/her kind (aka genre) of music. Those people are logged in for hours

 

However to FM stations (around the World) people don't act that way, most of them are listening to for example a pop station, even that station is playing in between one or two older songs ...

I'm sure that web radio is still very unknown by the general internet users, some have heard about it, some are even afraid to talk about it ... After they are asked for it, well they "ever" logged into a station, but it ain't was their taste ... We as webcasters know that there is much more, but a general user don't has the knowledge how "to find" other stations (for example at partner websites, shoutcast etc etc)

 

Just and idea, check my stream and see if you like it

I like what I've put together, but it's difficult to find others who appreciate what I've put into it. Once in awhile I catch my listener count go up a little for a few songs and then they are gone. That's why I was wondering how much variety is too much.

 

I've always wanted to hear a true variety station, so I created one of my own. I figured there would be others like myself out there that enjoy all types of music and wanted just one station where they can hear it all on.

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  • 4 months later...
:)When we eat a varied diet and not the same foods every day, we are more likely to get all of the nutrients we need for good health. My Plate, the new government food guide, encourages us to eat not only fruits and vegetables, but to eats diverse kinds and colors of each. For example, if we eat only broccoli and spinach, we get fiber, calcium and B vitamins. But we won’t get the Vitamin A in carrots and sweet potatoes, or the lycopene in tomatoes. The same is true for grains, meats, and other foods. Variety also has been shown to benefit some dieters when they reach a stubborn weight plateau, probably by making the body work a bit harder to break down foods that it doesn’t recognize.
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  • 1 month later...

I've tried a '50s till now, but emphasizing on 90s & beyond' format at Good Vibrations, in the beginning. And it didn't really work, despite a warm, funky feel which had to keep everything together. The older stuff seemed to be irritating for people tuning in because of (semi) 90s music.

 

Since the switch to a strict 90s & beyond format (roughly 1988-2003), still warm and 'feel good', it seems to be more fun to listen to. The ratings are clearly better compared to the months before the switch.

 

At Only 00s I noticed something else: In the beginning, I played both the rock side and poppy/urban/dance/side of the decade. People liking rock music tuned out when playing the other side, people like more poppy/urban/danceable stuff tuned out when playing rock music. Those seem to be two seperate worlds. Now I've chosen to play only the poppy/urban/dance side, it's easier to keep listeners, although it's never become a huge success.

 

Conclusion: Don't go too far. If you've got a broad taste, take a specific part of your musical taste, instead of (almost) everything. I try to sound fresh, not boring, but a lot of listeners seem véry sensible.

 

(Going not to far is not that easy for me, because of háving a musical taste so broad the risk of sounding anarchic is high.)

Edited by Wwzapper
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Good Vibrations (90s flavoured webradio): Listen directly - Station info and playlist
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  • 1 month later...

I thought I would give an update to my original post. I still have the same format of 1920s to 2012 music, but since I've been using Sam4 I've been able to create a clockwheel/pal script that balances the music out very nicely. I'm pleased with the results. I've also changed broadcast servers several months ago, and since doing that I've been getting more listeners. No, I'm not being overloaded or flooded with listeners, but I am getting a few more than I used to and some of those are repeat listeners which is nice. I've had some comments on my Facebook page too. One thought it was cool to hear a 1920's jazz song right after a Ke$ha song. He thought it was pretty refreshing.

 

I also don't do the wide mix 24/7. I have themed shows throughout the week. Some nights I do Classic Rock, other nights I do #1 hits, and on weekends I have other themed shows such as a 50-60s hour, 70s hour, 80s hour, and 90s and Beyond hour. Some of the shows get listeners and some don't. I think it's just going to take awhile before the station catches on with more and more people.

Edited by Starrfoxx
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Broadstar, I like your page setup, gave me some creative ideas. However, when I tried to donate, the Pay by mobile link is broken.

 

Hi Brutish

 

Thanks for the heads up.

 

What do you mean by page set up?

Edited by Broadstar Radio

BroadStar Radio

 

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We are now listed on the tunein app.

 

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The lay out. Its very interactive, yet not to the point where your dragging people from the main point of the websight. The websight itself.

 

Like the games, which take the high score, and post the to the radio webpage front page. Entertaining, but not a total "nothing to do" with the station. You have a couple of attractions in this manor.

 

I'll give you credit, because most stations try the interaction through games, outside activities, and FAIL miserably. You pulled it off, and you pulled it off to a tee. The page isn't too over-whelming. I would make the music links a little bigger, and change the BBC ticker to a "listen now" call to action, with the arrow pointing to the links. Maybe segregate the tune-in link, and have it as a "mobile" call to action, as most page visitors will come, ask "What is that thing" guess it as an offbeat player, and move on.

 

But as far as the interaction goes, its there. You display a way that a community radio page could be, and succeeded running it in that manor, and the cool part is you did it using simple java and HTML. Respect- +1 from me.

KNSJ.org / 89.1 FM San Diego
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Thankfully the players were supplied by my hosts as were the now playing and recently codes.

 

Not bad eh considering me and html don't mix.

 

Not sure what ya mean by: a "mobile" call to action,

 

The player images I feel are a good size but are ya saying they could be larger?

BroadStar Radio

 

Twitter Us Facebook

 

We are now listed on the tunein app.

 

Also on Gtalk

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Its more like:

 

Most people know what Winamp, WMP, and flash, ect are...

 

NOW, anyone that doesn't listen to mobile radio doesn't know what tune-in is.

 

Most will look at that tune in link, see it next to the links of all the other players, and not realize its an app designed for mobile. They will guess it as some offbeat player.

 

A "mobile call to action" Would be to segregate it, and have something that draws attention to it. Like a MS Paint picture, that draws attention to it, and says "listen on your phone!" or "For Droid and I-OS listeners". That way, they know thats an app that will work for their mobile devices.

 

A little article thats pretty awesome for call to action:

http://boagworld.com/design/10-techniques-for-an-effective-call-to-action/

 

Again, thats just me, and you have such a community group, that I'm sure theirs a hundred different outlets to make any call to action happen seamlessly. Your very blessed.

KNSJ.org / 89.1 FM San Diego
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