Radio Station Survey

An exhaustive list of radio stations in Ireland was assembled. The radio stations were National Local Community Special Interest & Online. The total was 70 stations.

The survey was open for 2 weeks and extended for 1 week. Stations were emailed 4 times with request to take part in the survey.

18 stations completed the survey by May 1st 2016. This is 26% of the total sample.

The questions were set to gauge the usage of podcasting within the Irish Radio Industry.

 

The questions

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/radio-radio

1. Your Station Name

2. Station Type

3. Franchise Area

* 4. Hours of Live Broadcast Per Week

* 5. Number of Staff Employed at Station

6. Number of People Volunteering at Your Station

* 7. How Many Unique Programmes Do You Broadcast Each Week

* 8. How Many Programmes are Made Available On Demand / Podcast

9. Which Podcast Platform Do You Use

* 10. Do You Retain Music In Your Podcasts? Yes / No

* 11. Do You Retain Advertising / Sponsorship In Your Podcasts? Yes / No

* 12. Do You Have Chapter Points In Your Podcasts? Yes / No

13. What Factors Prevent You From Outputting More Programmes as Podcasts?
Licensing constraints
Time constraints
Budget constraints
Other (please specify)

14. Podcasting is 12 Years Old This Year. What Has Been Your Stations Experience With Podcasts To Date

15. Your Email (optional, so I can send you a copy of the results)
* = required answer

 

The Results

Station Type: 6 Local (33%), 8 Community (44%) & 4 Online (22%). No national / quasi national or regional stations filled the survey. Community radio are over represented in the results and national stations are under represented.

Franchise Area: there was a good spread of stations nationally but the capital city Dublin would be under represented by population weight.

Hours live broadcast per week: ranging from 17 to 133 hours the average is 66.75 the median is 54 hours.

Number of Staff Employed at Station: ranging from 0 to 50 the average is 15 and the median is 10. The total was 268 bringing the industry total to just over 1000 in Ireland.

Number of People Volunteering at Your Station: The mean (average) is 55 and the median was 20. The sample is over representative of community radio where volunteering is very high. The total is 945 volunteers, which is just under 2000 for all stations in Ireland.

How Many Unique Programmes Do You Broadcast Each Week: Average 42

How Many Programmes are Made Available On Demand / Podcast: The average is 47% of live programmes are podcast. The mode of this range was 22%.

Which Podcast Platform Do You Use:

Mixcloud 35.29%
Soundcloud 23.53%
Website 17.65%
Your Own Platform 11.76%
Audioboom 5.88%
Other 5.88%

Do You Retain Music In Your Podcasts? Yes 66.66% No 33.33%

Do You Retain Advertising / Sponsorship In Your Podcasts? Yes 39% No 61%

Do You Have Chapter Points In Your Podcasts? Yes 5% No 95%

What Factors Prevent You From Outputting More Programmes as Podcasts?

Time constraints 64.71%
Other 29% (mainly resource issues)
Budget constraints 5.88%
Licensing constraints 0%

Podcasting is 12 Years Old This Year. What Has Been Your Stations Experience With Podcasts To Date: 95% positive to very positive experience with podcasting.

 

Analysis

Irish Radio is having a very positive experience with podcasting. 54% of live programming is not being podcast and is missing as public archive material.

There is a lot of volunteering going on in Irish Radio even among the commercial stations. Volunteers as citizen journalists can have an important role to play in preserving the archive. Stations lack human resources to extend archiving. While many volunteers are interested in on air duties there exists a requirement to fill the resource gap with volunteers. If archiving could be outsourced to off site volunteers it could spread the bottleneck that is podcasting for radio stations.

Mixcloud is by far the largest platform of choice for podcasting / archive playback. This means that broadcasters are using a streaming service with no download facility. As wifi and 4G service improves and data plans come down in price this should not be a problem for radio stations or audience. The licencing solution that is inherent with using Mixcloud means radio stations can leave music in their archive which is positive for the integrity of the archive and for listeners alike.

One of the four broadcasters using Soundcloud is retaining the music in their podcasts, and this is the reason stations are flocking to Mixcloud.

One station reported having chapter points in their podcasts. But on inspection they use Mixcloud with no chapter points.

So across the board no radio stations are not using chapter points which isn’t that surprising as the software to achieve chaptering is not widely available.

With the lack of human resources available to radio stations and the lack of technical tools available coupled with the added time it takes to mark up audio means the development of chaptered archives will be an uphill climb.

Marking up 1 hour of radio with 18 chapter points and associated annotations can take 30-35 minutes.