As was mentioned in the last article titled “Naming Your Stream”, it is an important step but not an absolute that decides whether or not a stream will succeed. There are 3 things to keep in mind regarding content being streamed, the target audience, enticing new listeners, and keeping those listeners.
First and foremost is to identify your target audience or rather your demographics. This helps you focus your station or program to that group. So, why limit yourself to say a few thousand instead of say 2000 or even 30000? Its simple, narrowing your program or radio station means you can put out higher quality programs or choose which music to play. Your resources (which in this case would mainly be your time) are better used towards creating a program better geared to that demographic which means they in turn are better engaged and have a higher chance of staying with you as well.
People aged 25-40 might be busy working from 8am to 5pm and would be free after that, below 25 years old and they might be in high school or college but would usually have time on weekends, retirees might have the whole day and be asleep by 8pm, etc. Identify the demographics you want and you can be more strategic with the playlists you want to run and the programs you want to broadcast which in turn means a more effective marketing strategy and a higher chance of getting new listeners
Remember as well, that different people have different tastes and ideals, different age groups have different preferences and one cannot simply server all of them without running the risk of offending the other. Choose carefully the demographic and then the content you want to put out as you would want it to be tailor made for them. Will it be strictly music related only? News and current events? Or perhaps political? Or do you want to combine them? Either way you need to be aware what demographic gets exposed to what program the most and identify if is suited and if it is, is it working?
Enticing new listeners and keeping them is pretty much where majority of the work is. You have to keep programs interesting whether you opt for controversial (read: politics and other divisive topics) or more mainstream content, what matters is that your listeners are continually engage and aren’t bored. Merely streaming music 24/7 isn’t really going to cut it after all if you just want to listen to music 24/7 you might as well play music straight from your phone or computer, more convenient and more customized right? Therefore you will eventually need to be more creative with your programs. A popular one are phone ins where listeners get to call you live during your stream this allows you to connect with your listeners on a more personal level. Another that you can do is a live stream of your station via YouTube or Twitch for example, again this makes it more personal and allows listeners to connect with you more. The internet after all offers both audio and visual stimuli so take advantage of those and make them work to your own advantage.
Being consistent with the quality of your programs and streams as well increases the chances of retaining your listeners. Higher quality means your listeners will know that your station is always dependable and eventually listening to your station means you become a part of their daily routine and basically their lives.