Does This Technology Exist?
October 6, 2013 2:29 PM   Subscribe

It's fund drive time, and I have been a contributor and a host promoting fund drives for public and community radio. But a common complaint I hear from people is public radio encourages them to do their part, meaning contribute. The promise is the sooner you do, the sooner the drive will end.

But the drive never seems to end for people who listen on air - on air seems to be the public radio B seats. So, can technology be developed that if you listen to public radio online or via internet radio or from the station's direct feed, once you contribute, the IP address or equivalent of your device(s) is recorded and you will not hear any more pledging through it/them device until your pledge/payment (1 month, next drive, next year, etc.) expires? This would seem to be a huge business opportunity to public radio stations or public radio groups (NPR, PRI, APR) to insure guaranteed payment and at the same time, not annoy people who don't want to hear the non-stop pledging.
posted by CollectiveMind to Technology (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
I think that technology's called iTunes... I mean, if they're still doing the fundraiser, you won't want to listen to the live shows or new broadcasts. But you can listen to old recordings of the shows you like.

Are you imagining a technology that automatically switches you to old recordings instead of the live show? Or thinking that they'd do two separate broadcasts?
posted by mdn at 2:41 PM on October 6, 2013


So, can technology be developed that if you listen to public radio online or via internet radio or from the station's direct feed, once you contribute, the IP address or equivalent of your device(s) is recorded and you will not hear any more pledging through it/them device until your pledge/payment (1 month, next drive, next year, etc.) expires?

This seems a lot like a subscription service where you pay to avoid ads like, say, Pandora.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 2:46 PM on October 6, 2013


I'm pretty sure that KQED did this during their recent fund drive -- they had a subscriber-only live stream -- but I can't find much about it online.
posted by wintersweet at 3:15 PM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


The OP is not asking about normal subscription models, but the ability for radio stations to reward early donors by providing them with an ad-free livestream during the remainder of the fundraising drive.

Indeed, KQED provided this service, called a "Pledge-free stream" if listeners donated at least $45 before a certain date. So it wasn't an automatic switch-over to the stream after a donation, but the general concept was the same. The stream was only available online, accessible by computers or phones or tablets, but not on a regular radio station frequency.
posted by barnone at 3:26 PM on October 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


This exists at some stations -- it's called the pledge-free stream. I know KQED and WHYY have it, off the top of my head.
posted by melodykramer at 3:41 PM on October 6, 2013


Yes, I meant donor, not subscriber.
posted by wintersweet at 4:47 PM on October 6, 2013


mdn, I am thinking of two separate broadcasts; one is the pledge drive that inserts itself into the program. The other is a regular host running the same program.
posted by CollectiveMind at 7:52 PM on October 6, 2013


And if KQED and WHYY have pledge-free streaming, why hasn't it become more popular?
posted by CollectiveMind at 7:53 PM on October 6, 2013


Both of those stations are large enough to proactively take the risk of a having an opt-out-of-pledge channel and it becoming trafficked by non pledgers who get the link from pledging friends. these stations clearly accept the risk because they have large enough donor connections to be able to do so.
posted by parmanparman at 10:29 PM on October 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


KQED and WHYY have people from across the country who donate (hell probably the world), not just their local area. as does KEXP, so they can afford to be more cutting edge. i can't see my fairly popular but small station being able to do that. (WITF in Central PA). We get donors from outside our area too, but not to the extent that some of the other statoins.
posted by sio42 at 4:21 AM on October 7, 2013


I'm not talking about a link that A could send to B for B to freeride on. I'm talking about A calling the station to pledge, and the station activating an access the next time A logs into the station online by collecting A's device information. That would make it so that only that device, not a shareable link, could hear the program without the pledge. Not even A's other devices could log onto to a pledge free stream. And the business opportunity might be a business collecting that device information so that wherever A went with that device, they could listen to any public radio station engaged in pledging, but pledge free.
posted by CollectiveMind at 9:11 AM on October 7, 2013


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