Tips

How to build a good program schedule for your online radio station

How to build a good program schedule

Imagine that you have made a large investment setting up your online radio station. You have bought the best equipment for capturing the audio, the ideal computer for the job, you have downloaded the best editing and broadcasting programs, prepared the studio with a top of the line soundboard, good sound insulation and have hired the best broadband connection available. As much as all of this may be money well spent, it won’t have been worth it unless you have a good program schedule.

Just as all the planning involved in building your online radio station is of great importance, preparing this schedule, is just as crucial. Quality programing can not only help maintain loyal listeners, but it can also bring in more audience; leading to more advertisers and thus more revenue at the end of the month.

If you already own an AM or FM station, you know really well what I’m talking about, but if you’re just starting out in this business, or want to change your web station’s face; here are some tips.

What is ‘quality’ programming?

I like news and information stations; you prefer stations with musical content; another person might choose to listen to a variety of programs, or educational ones. People who work in the radio industry know that there is an infinity of subjects and topics, for an infinity of different programs. If we consider just musical genres, we have variety to choose from: Country? Pop? Blues? Samba? Rock? Hip Hop? Gospel? So, what is good programming, anyways? Well, the answer is simple, and even obvious. However, it doesn’t make iy less important. Good programming I what your listeners want to listen to.

Each station has its own identity and the internet has enough space for all of them. When you find out your station’s identity, take good care of it. That being said, here is a golden rule: You need to think about the consumer. Your station’s website has (or at least it should have) ways to connect to the audience. Chats, song requests, comment sections, along with social media interaction.

But yes, it all depends a lot on the type of radio station you’re developing, since some of them rely on this constant connection with the audience. If the station belongs to a church or neighborhood association for example, you must have in mind that it may contain some entertaining content, but it also must maintain a strong informative character. If it’s a more business station, strong musical programming alternated with leisure topics and few interruptions, might be a good choice. It all comes down to merging and balancing your station’s identity (or the message you wish to get across), with what the audience wants.

Live programming or asynchronous transmission? Understanding the Auto DJ

Once the theme of your programming has been decided, there are other things to consider. If the plan is to have news in the morning, interviews during the day, entertainment and leisure in the evening, all alternated with long musical blocks; you must ask yourself: who will host theses programs? Is it going to be one or more presenter? Will all of them be available? Who will be responsible for setting up the playlists?

For a long time, the exit for most large radio stations, both in and out of the country, especially lean structured ones, was recorded programming. BRLOGIC offers in all of its plans the Auto DJ tool, which allows you to program 100% of your station’s air time, organizing song playlists, podcasts and other content. With its latest updates on the website system, it’s also possible to schedule time announcements and short programs, with up to 2 minutes each, about a variety of topics. Have you ever realized that someone might want to listen to your station while you’re asleep?

Though this tool may solve schedule conflicts, down air time, emergencies along with with other problems that your station might encounter, It isn’t recommended that 100% of your programming be previously set up. It’s important to be aware that some programs need to be updated with current information or might easily become outdated. An example of this is the news sections – this problem can be solved simply by adding a short news program.

No exact formulas

In the end, the best thing to do is trying to reach a balance, producing what you can and programming in accordance with your specific case. After all, the experience of broadcasting live and interacting (through calls, chats or other means) with with whoever is on the receiving end of the transmission, is a favorite among listeners and people who work on radio stations alike.

Don’t know how to start? Your best bet is to begin with varied programming and adjust it as you go. There is no such thing as an exact formula, or a perfect program schedule. As a matter of fact, sometimes, what the audience wants is a refresh of that only program which he doesn’t listen to (yet). The tip here is to set it up slowly; thinking first of the general weekly programing, then the daily, and then develop each specific content. Let’s get to work!

Are you interested in start your own radio station, or even put your analog radio station on the internet? Then start your free trial and build a online radio station right now with BRLOGIC!

About the author

Luiz Silveira

Luiz Silveira is a specialist in digital marketing and a radio, music and technology enthusiast. With a decade of experience, he aims to help radio stations better position thenselves on the internet.

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