Definition of Antenna Branding
Antenna branding encompasses all the tools used to create a radio station's identity. Whether it is on FM or exclusively on the internet, it is essential that listeners recognize the channel they are listening to. The identity of an online radio brand must be meticulously crafted, as its listeners are the ones who make it thrive. And to keep them loyal, it is necessary to:
- produce interesting programs
- create an attractive music programming
- and above all, they know which website to go to listen to it!
Thus, the Journal La Lettre Pro de la Radio recently addressed this topic in an article to alert webradios about the importance of an auditory signature. Some tips are suggested, but it is especially the sound design that will allow to retain listeners.
The new generations of users are used to switching between different television channels but also between radio programs until they find a theme that catches their attention.
Once this attention is captured, the stakes for radio 2.0 are to make them want to come back but also to make sure they know who they are listening to so that they come back. The station sound design is a form of communication around the online radio brand that is absolutely necessary for it to develop its audience.
A particularly successful example of audio identity is that of RTL, whose few notes of the auditory logo allow the radio to be recognized in a few seconds.
Types of jingles
Radio liners are very short, usually between 10 and 15 seconds. They usually consist of the radio station's name followed by its slogan. In the background, there is a musical arrangement representing the theme of the station. The liner is repeated several times throughout the day, in between programs. Its role is crucial because it is through its broadcast that listeners know which station they are listening to.
In radio, program intros and outros are used to announce the different programs of the day. They are also used between commercial breaks. Obviously, their main usefulness is to remind listeners what program they are listening to. This type of station identification is particularly important because it reflects the dynamism of the station and is usually the easiest to remember.
The advertising spot is of great importance for all web radios. Most structures have a business model whose revenues are almost entirely from advertising. Therefore, online radio has every interest in making sure that the advertiser offers a message that is relevant enough to create a desire to buy among Internet users. The most common audio ad length is 30 seconds.
The branding of a radio station is very diverse and all styles are allowed! That's why there are acapella liners, which are, as their name suggests, recorded a cappella, meaning that only the voice is heard. On the one hand, this method allows you to attract attention by breaking the usual rhythm of the radio, and on the other hand, the acapella liner can be used on different sound backgrounds to vary the styles. By adapting to the musical genre of specific programs, the liner will be closer to the expectations of listeners.
Top hours provide a time reference for the listeners of the web radio. Just like in FM radio, the time is communicated at regular intervals automatically. In addition to announcing the hour, this type of sound branding also reminds the name of the radio and very often its slogan. Thus, it adds an element to encourage memorization by the audience.
Self-promotion works the same way as advertising. The only difference is that it is created for a brand that broadcasts it on its own web radio. For example, Vertige Radio (which is the demonstration online radio set up by Vestaradio) had self-promos made by focusing on the eclectic and pop-dance aspect of its programming. If this branding had been requested by someone else, it would have been named advertising.
The medley allows you to particularly attract the attention of listeners by choosing a few flagship titles representative of the programming of the web radio. The mini-mix is a way to offer a condensed version of the music that is most often broadcast. Moreover, it is also used for programs whose music theme is specific. A web radio broadcasting a special 80s show would have every interest in having a mix made of several emblematic songs of that era for this particular program.
Importance of radio branding
As we have seen throughout this article, radio branding is a significant element of webradio. It enhances the rhythm of the radio and its programs and serves as a time marker for listeners. Even though internet users increasingly connect to online radios via computers, few of them stay on the program's webpage. It is therefore interesting for 2.0 radios to also draw inspiration from the tools that have proven themselves in FM radio for decades. A new habit has developed with the systematic use of the internet at work: people start an e-radio instead of a traditional station from their workstation. If employees are in an open space, they only need headphones or a headset not to disturb their colleagues.
In fact, music is believed to be an effective aid to concentration.
With this new way of working, radio branding with jingles, medleys, and autopromos is all the more important since the listener is not focused on what he/she is listening to but on what he/she is doing. Attracting their attention between several songs is a good way to encourage them to memorize the webradio that accompanies them daily in their hard work.
Creating radio branding
Radio branding is strategic for all forms of radio. It must be particularly well-crafted and therefore composed by professionals. The quality of a sound produced in a studio is incomparable to that produced by a simple computer. The equipment used by producers is truly expensive, which is why it is difficult to find jingles for less than €40 per unit. The price can also rise slightly when choosing a female voice or a sung spot. Indeed, few female artists are available to lend their vocal organ to radios on the internet. As for singing, it seems needless to say that any additional skill must be remunerated.
The same applies to radio branding recorded in a foreign language. The rarer and more complex the language, the higher the price.
Choosing a studio for your radio branding
The audio branding producer is a true partner for your webradio, and therefore should be chosen with care. Several criteria can be taken into account depending on the requirements of the online radio manager:
- First, the references should be studied and verified carefully. The advantage of forums is that they now allow you to inquire about the quality of a provider's productions before placing a significant order.
- Then, the study of prices is interesting. On the one hand, an excessively low price can alert you to the risk of poor quality. Indeed, if the production requires expensive equipment and is well-crafted, there is no reason why the work should be poorly paid. On the other hand, you don't want to pay a high price for mediocre results. But a cost ranging between 30 and 40 € is reasonable.
- Except for a cappella Liners which require less audio processing, and should be adjusted accordingly.
- Finally, it would be wise to buy a jingle by describing in detail the elements you want to bring out. This way, you can get a more precise idea of the quality of the work done, and especially if the style matches what you requested.
These are some common-sense tips that we can offer you to choose a partner for your radio branding with confidence.