Since it was first conceptualized in the 1890s, the radio has come a long way from being a novel, imperfect communication device to a major broadcasting and entertainment platform, with its golden age set in the 1930s. Although new means of communication over distance have evolved, radio hasn’t been discarded but instead it reinvented itself by fusing with the Internet to keep its listeners tuned in and engaged, with chatroom widgets being a part of the transformation.
Radio started out as a one-directional broadcasting system. Its message recipients couldn’t do anything in terms of communicating back with the senders or other listeners.
Decades later, phoning in to radio stations to ask questions or request songs became popular. A foundation for a more socially-oriented experience was laid.
With the growth of the Internet, online radio turned into a two- or even three-way channel, since people have begun to communicate in their adjacent chat communities, which added a whole new dimension to online broadcasting.
Types of online radio programs
As an Internet radio host or owner, you have a lot more freedom in terms of programming than traditional commercial stations. On top of that, you may enjoy a broader reach simply by being on the world wide web. There’s really no limit as to how you can fill 24 hours of broadcasting to stay in people’s ears.
Some of the radio segment types include:
A staple on many radio stations. People will tune in in the early morning to get that crust out of their eyes and get ready for the day ahead. If your online radio is locally oriented, you may take the opportunity to present some news, a weather forecast, or traffic warnings.
News & weather segments
And speaking of the latter part of the previous point, news and weather can constitute a separate, cyclical segment of your broadcasting. This is where you focus on sharing useful information on a local or global scale.
People turning on your station won’t always be in a mood to listen attentively to what’s happening in politics and will often want to hear some songs they know and love. A countdown of the top-rated hits of the week or month based on a system of your choice will always bring in an audience.
Staying on the lighter note, there’s a variety of shows including comedy clips, funny reviews, competitions, or call-in (write-in?) quizzes that will brighten the listeners’ day. These programming bits can serve as light pace changers between other, more serious parts.
This type of program typically involves radio hosts discussing up to date events or affairs. An occasional guest may appear, or you may invite the listeners to participate in. The point of a talk show is to provide an informative break from music segments.
Live shows can be a variety of programs transmitted in real-time. You can cover live events, do an interview, or employ any other format which hasn’t been pre-recorded. Live broadcasts are an excellent opportunity to engage your listeners through different media channels.
Specific music genre segments
Depending on the audience you’re targeting, you can play blocks of a single genre tunes throughout the day or switch things up and cater to different tastes or focus on specific themes for your music segments.
The name of this type of radio program doesn’t mean you have to engage your listeners using the phone. The point is to get them involved and make them feel like they’re a part of the station and the community you’re growing. Take requests, read comments, and pass on shoutouts.
Specialty shows can be an awesome way to break the mold and keep the audience entertained in between longer music blocks. Consider covering topics which are fun and interesting such as tech, history, celebrity gossip, or travel. Feel free to introduce weekly or daily themes.
Late night shows
Especially if you’re focused rather locally, you’ll most likely have fewer audience members tuning in during night time, so you’ll have more flexibility and freedom to experiment with your radio content in these hours.
How chat room can make your online radio more exciting
Now that you’ve familiarized with some ideas that may help you set up your online radio programming, it’s time to talk about the other end of the spectrum, those you’re doing this for, your listeners.
Ideally, you don’t want people to just listen to your shows, you want them to be engaged and interacting with you and each other as well. That’s how you build a loyal audience.
A chatroom widget can go a long way and has been an increasingly popular tool among online radio broadcasters who want their projects to be more social.
Never thought about adding a chat room widget before? Still unsure how it can help you? Well, here are some things for you to consider if you truly want to make your virtual radio station a success.
- Having a chat room installed will help you attract and keep people on site, listening for longer, and being engaged even when the hosts are off air. A website chat room is a great place to hang out with DJs and other listeners. People coming in will naturally build a community when they’ll be able to meet others who share their taste in music, sports, or other themes you may be covering.
- Many of the types of programs discussed in this post assume listener involvement. People used to call radio stations to engage with guests or request songs, but now they can do the same and a lot more in a chat room. Once chat room software is implemented, it becomes an established interaction platform between you and your listeners.
- A chat room provides you with a comprehensive look into the community you’re growing around your online radio. However, let’s not forget that it’s first and foremost a tool for the audience members to interact with each other in real time and generally have more fun. You’re in the middle of a music segment? Why not prompt the listeners to show how they party using emoji, gif reactions, or posting pics of themselves in the chat?
- Depending on how exactly you want to utilize a chatroom and what resources you have at disposal, you can make the platform available at all times or only for specific shows, perhaps making it sort of an exclusive feature, raising the demand.
How to add a chat room to an online radio site
If you’re starting to feel comfortable about the idea of making a chatroom a part of your virtual radio, that’s great. We have the solution for you which has already been proven in this context.
Chatwee is an app specifically designed to foster the growth of all sorts of online communities, including those arising around digital radio stations. Some of its key features you’ll surely appreciate as a radio owner include:
- Can be integrated into your site display-wise
- Lots of customization options to make it an integral part of your site
- Doesn’t take up your resources, runs in the cloud
- YouTube and Vimeo vids can be posted as either clickable links or with thumbnail previews
- Message moderation and premoderation options are available
The main goal of having a chat room accompanying your online radio is to get the listeners involved in all kinds of shows you’re presenting.
Don’t make your online radio a one-way broadcasting channel! Instead, turn up the social dial and add a chat room to it.
Build an online chat community of people discussing the contents of your shows or throw a virtual party together. Make them feel like they’re a part of something bigger.
On top of all that, any stats like listener time on site spent or the number of online community members will help you win advertisers and monetize better in other ways.
Use the form below to sign up for a free Chatwee account and give it a try. By gaining instant access to the Dashboard you’ll be able to discover all the available features and start using it today.