10 Things to Enhance and Monetize Your Stream

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1 - Make sure that you are streaming in the latest formats that are acceptable to virtually all desktops and mobile devices. The latest compression format is AAC+ (Ver 2), and is twice the quality of MP3, at the same encoding bit rate.
 
2 - Have your streaming link in prominent view at the top of your site, either in the header or in the top-level navigation. The same 2-click rule for success with any website also applies to your player. If they don't see it readily, they may miss it and move on. 
 
3 - Have customized mobile apps for today's smartphones, like iPhone and Android. There are also native apps out there for some of the other brands, but today's majority of mobile device listening is on smartphones. Having your own apps allows your listeners to download them for free from the respective platforms, and always have them available at any time. This also allows your listeners to easily find you, and also creates credibility.
 
4 - Make sure that you are using social media and listener-interactive features that are available to you. Tie in Facebook pages, post your playlists to Twitter or to your site, allow listeners to request songs, or chat with the DJs....or each other. Embedding and social bookmarking are two great features that create loyalty and keep listeners coming back to your stream.
 
5 - You need to have a streaming player that you have the ability to customize. The player should also be able to interactively engage listeners, which creates a higher dwell time and gives them reasons to remember and bookmark your player. If you have a player that has the availability, but haven't taken advantage of customizing your player skin, you should do so for better branding. Nothing looks worse than an empty player playing only music with no branding or other personality to it.
 
6 - Are you advertising? If you are not running advertising on your desktop and mobile app players, then you are missing one of the largest growth markets in recent history. The latest stats show that not only are listeners and visitors used to seeing ads on most sites, but they have come to expect them. This is a sure-fire way to generate extra revenue, whether selling and running your own video pre-rolls, in-stream replacement spots and banners, or belonging to an Ad Delivery Network like Securenet Systems offers.
 
7 - Promote your streaming on-air. You have the megaphone to do it with, and you can tie the internet and streaming into on-air promotions, contests, listener-interactive copy or run promos throughout your day-clock promoting the player, the apps, etc. It's just like anything else; you have to promote it. It's expected of you, so adding it to your on-air scheduling will provide your advertisers and sponsors with additional value.
 
8 - Make sure that you are fully aware of all the other ways that you can promote your station's website and online streaming presence. Having a properly functioning website is important, as is the speed of the site itself. Keywords and meta-tags are very important keys in getting found on the major search engines like Google, Yahoo and others. Did you know that Google will penalize you for having a slow site? Make sure that your site is being hosted on a fast network, not some in-house DSL or cable modem. A fast site is also an important feature to your listeners as well.
 
9 - Sell the online streaming of your stations to everyone; staff, salespeople, field reps, vendors, customers, advertisers and sponsors alike. Make sure everyone knows that you have the latest state-of-the-art online streams and are promoting it. Build it into all your promotional material and make sure that your staff and everyone else involved also understands the importance of having a strong and feature-rich online streaming presence. 
 
10 - And lastly, go through all the additional features that are available to you. You can run ad-replacement spots, sync billboards with ads, run player take-overs, add listener data collection to create mailing lists, synchronize banners with ads, create premium pay-per-play on-demand accounts, add royalty-paid streams with additional genres....and there are yet more things you can do, but like anything else in life, you get out of it what you put in.

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