On-demand audio does more than just satisfy on-the-go P1 listeners. It’s also a potent vehicle for marketing programming to new consumers, deriving more value from original content. The goal is to make relevant audio surface in search results for people looking for info about a team, a news story or the latest pop culture bombshell.
“We’re trying to serve two masters: P1 fans who can’t listen 24/7 and the broader marketplace that we want to sample our shows,” says Entercom’s Tim Murphy. “Being discoverable is a huge part of this strategy.”
Having the radio rights to the Seattle Seahawks gives Bonneville’s “710 ESPN Seattle” enviable access to players and coaches, a winning on-demand formula. When coach Pete Carroll, during an on-air interview, offered support for Steve Sarkisian after he was fired as head coach at USC, the audio clip quickly racked up 35,000 listens and was picked up by multiple outlets. When Tom Brady gave Entercom’s WEEI his first interview after being unsuspended by the NFL, the on-demand version went viral with links to the WEEI interview turning up in online articles in People, US Magazine and a raft of other outlets, exposing the station to potential listeners whose primary interest wasn’t sports. To date it has been streamed or downloaded 139,837 times. “It helps drive people’s awareness in our programming and helps drive ratings,” Murphy says.
It isn’t unusual for on-demand audio segments on Entercom stations to garner 10,000-50,000 listens, sometimes eclipsing the original live broadcast audience. Bonneville’s Seattle cluster alone does 1.5-2 million on-demand listens per month.
For some Bonneville shows, particularly sports, 10% of the total audience occurs on-demand with most taking place within 12 hours of its original broadcast time. That’s important for ratings credit. In PPM markets, time-shifted encoded audio must be listened to within 24 hours of the original airdate to receive ratings credit. Nielsen advises stations to keep at least 5 minutes of the content unedited so that the encoded timestamps don’t get cut up, thereby hurting chances for credit.