I saw on Brand Republic that Beam have been hired to ‘excite’ people about new radio streaming startup Radiopaq. I hadn’t heard of Radiopaq so I thought i’d stop by. It’s not a particularly new idea, but the site’s quite nicely done and AJAX-style allows you to navigate through the content without interrupting your listening.
However, they are basically making money form nicking other people’s content [edit – potentially, as they haven’t got any ads at the moment], and actually worse than that, their inhibiting the way these stations make money online, whilst stealing their content.
Radio streaming economics means that for each additional listener you add, you have to spend more money on bandwidth/infrastructure to serve them. That’s why the online radio players are so important as the banners and pre-roll adverts help the station cover these costs. The players also provide more information about the programmes and the music that’s being played, which is a nice listener benefit.
Radiopaq chooses to ignore these pop-up players and link directly to the streams. Looking at some of the GCap stations on their site (Capital for example) it also links to the pure streams rather than the links that will play a pre-roll advert. It also looks like they’ve nicked the station logos off the websites (though according to their terms and conditions these have all been licensed to them. hmmm).
Now ‘broadband portals’ can be a good way of letting people sample these radio stations and potentially bring them more listeners. However, the difference between this and say something like iTunes, is that organisations choose to put their content into iTunes, they don’t for something like Radiopaq.
Perhaps i’m being naive and Radiopaq has negotiated with all of the radio groups access to pure ad-free streams in exchange for a cut of the site’s revenue. If anyone can confirm that please, of course, leave a comment and i’ll edit this post accordingly.
[Edit: Lots of interesting comments from the RadioPaq team below]