The Bigger Picture: Why the Quality of Your Stream Is Critical

This article was originally posted to AllAccess’ “The Bigger Picture” series, written by Charese Fruge on August 25, 2021 

I just recently attended Don Anthony’s Morning Show Boot Camp and one of the topics discussed in the VP Round Table Panel was “Total Line Reporting,” and why your stream is so important to your ratings and brand. It’s not a new topic. In fact, it’s one I covered in a “Consultants Tips” column back in March of 2020 after streaming a local station and wanting to scratch my eyes out because it was so bad, and I had to listen to it for so long for work purposes.

Back then it was important because it was at the beginning of the pandemic when people were now working and listening from home and mostly on some platform that carried the stream. Now, quality streaming is even more critical because of “Total Line Reporting.” In fact, in a Top 10 Market, if a brand is getting credit for “Total Line Reporting,” even a minimum of a .2 for the stream is worth an additional estimated $2 million in revenue. That can make or break a brand.

The overall message from the VP Panel at Morning Show Boot Camp was that a radio stations stream is not a “dumping ground.” In the past (and still to this day), we have used our streams as added value, to place controversial advertising, additional client mentions etc. But it’s not just a sales issue. As managers began to require talent to record features and promos to use as filler content for the stream, it became another responsibility to add to their list, and sadly, they were lazy about it.

It’s time to make our streams just as much a priority as our traditional signals and cross promote the two in a way that moves the needle. Streaming is the (and has been the future) of the audio industry. Here is a look at a few tips from the original column, “Listen to Your Stream,” which will give you an idea of how to prioritize your stream and clean it up. It could be the difference between both additional revenue and compensation for Sales Execs as well as Program Directors and Talent. I’m sure no one has a problem with that.