Radio Gets Social

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Radio Gets Social

Twitter Social Media SiteLet’s face it.  We’re living in a social media world these days.   A quick glance at my Facebook newsfeed will inform me of any breaking news story, give me play-by-play of whatever local sport is in season and keep me updated on little Susie’s first word, sniffles and playdates.  It only makes sense that social media would start creeping into what has been considered a traditional medium: radio.

Terrestrial stations use Facebook and Twitter as another way to communicate with their listeners.  Their station pages highlight promotional contests, artist news and may even poll followers on music.  In addition to station pages, individual personalities have their own page and can interact more directly with their fans all throughout the day.

Newer forms of radio are taking social media a step farther and weaving it into their programming.  In June, two terrestrial Las Vegas stations adopted the Jelli format.  Using their computers or apps, listeners can vote – in real time – for which songs will be played next.  You can even “rocket” a song to the top of the playlist or “bomb” one to bump it from the current playlist.  Additionally, there is a rock meter.  If there is enough feedback to indicate people don’t like a song, it’s pulled from rotation permanently.

Spotify allows for a more direct social media connection.  This format allows you to drop individual tracks or entire playlists onto Twitter or Facebook.  Your Twitter followers or Facebook friends can then listen to what you’re listening to.  Aside from this “basic” version of sharing, Spotify and Facebook have teamed up for more instant social sharing.  With the Music Dashboard on Facebook, you can see your friends’ top track and recent playlists, and then click play to listen.  Embarrassed by some of your playlists?  Don’t worry; you can control what your friends see.

Slacker is another to jump into the Facebook fold.  They even launched a promotion called “100 Days to Get Personal” to encourage users to connect to Slacker on Facebook.  Those who participate could win prizes ranging from retail items like HDTVs to “can’t buy” items like meet-and-greets with artists like Katy Perry and Trace Adkins.

Pandora has also forged a partnership with Facebook to add social media to their player.  With their Facebook integration, you can access your friends’ music from the station they played most recently to what songs they’ve liked.  When you come across a song that one of your friends has likes, a tag will let you know that is the case.  Also, as you “like” things on Facebook, that information will get relayed to Pandora to help them fine tune their suggested stations for you. utilizes a feature called RadCast to give their player a more social feel.  Friends can listen to each other’s music streams in real time.  Aside from listening online via a computer, friends can actually sync their smartphones to one friend’s stream. Soon, will release the “DJ” feature which will allow you to be the host and speak live to your friends.

Obviously, this is just the beginning. Our idea of radio has evolved so much over the last few years.  As technology continues to expand, so will radio and what it can do.

Theresa Russell is Director of Promotions, Media Buying & Planning at The Radio Agency. Please follow The Radio Agency’s Blog “Sounding Board” by subscribing to the email or RSS links above. Visit our website