Reporter's Notebook

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Pledge Free Streaming

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Stream

Quick, if you could listen to music versus music but with a lot of unrelated talking mixed in, which would you choose?

For listeners to public radio pledge drives, pledge free streaming makes the answer an obvious one.  The technology, first introduced in 2011, gives paying listeners the choice to link their device to a code that is activated when they contribute.  And for the length of the drive or until the next one, they listen without pledge pitches.

Simple.  Elegant.

But for stations, it’s a different question; If I have to choose between a pledge drive which has worked raising money for the last 40 years versus a technology that has only been around for seven years, which makes more business sense?  Pledge free streaming has the potential to not only eliminate drives that a large percentage of listeners have made clear they hate.  It also has the potential to raise tons of money in the spirit of something akin to a Netflix subscription.

The technology, though, also might diminish the one-on-one stations have with listeners at pledge drive time.  The personal testimonies, the challenge grants, the giveaways.  How would all of those other streams be affected if algorithms for payment and listening take over?

It’s a question I address in my upcoming book, PLEDGE: The Public Radio Fund Drive.  But for now,  here’s a funny example of a pledge free stream concept, produced by Noah Madrano for @Sub Human Intellectual Theater @KBOO with graphics by my book’s cover designer, Karen Green.
https://www.youtube.com/watch…

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Written by Interviewer

February 28, 2018 at 06:23

Posted in Scratchpad

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