WEST Gippsland’s community radio station, 3BBR FM, has started streaming online in a bid to reach more listeners and new demographics.
The volunteer-run station began a trial of web streaming its programs in December last year before approving a further six months of online broadcasting last month.
With a number of other community radio stations already streaming online, 3BBR president Rod Wellard told The Warragul Citizen the move online was a natural step.
“There’s quite a large number of community radio stations doing this already,” Mr Wellard said.
“It’s the evolution of community radio stations, to keep abreast of technology.
“We’ve had it on our strategic plan since May last year. We’re just evolving along with technology.”
There are hopes the move will attract more local youth and people who have left the area, but there are without potential issues.
“Part of the strategic plan is to broaden our listener base, because this just opens up many possibilities,” Mr Wellard said.
“Our demographic is such that there’s quite a lot of people who aren’t au fait with streaming online.
“I’m sure a lot of younger people will use it.
“The issues are what level of use it gets. [We will be] monitoring it just to see how it goes.
“We’re sure what to do with the copyright [issues], it’s basically looking at the costs.”
Mr Wellard said the online presence will help those in the region with poor FM reception due to hills connect with the station.
“The reception is very much dependent on topography.”
Since the trial began the peak number of listeners online at the same time has been 20.
“We might anticipate it might go higher, but it’s a suck it and see situation,” Mr Wellard said.
“I see it as something that’s likely to grow.”
Key to the project was volunteer support.
“Much to the [process has been managed] by one of our volunteers, Peter Mcavady, who has put in many hours of hard work,” Mr Wellard said.
You can listen to the stream via a link on the 3BBR website. Click here to visit the site. You can also tune in to 3BBR on 103.1 FM.
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