Is Spreaker the Future of Internet Radio?
If that’s true, then you’ve probably heard of several podcast-type platforms, all the way up to the big dog in the industry, BlogTalkRadio.
Because demand is the main driver of more podcasts, platforms have evolved to add a number of social and practical features to entice would-be hosts to join their community. Today, we add a new face to that group with Spreaker.
Spreaker gives you two immediate calls to action. First, “Free the DJ inside you,” which doesn’t really appeal to the inner marketer in me. Second, they ask you to “Talk to the world.” Not a bad start, but I wanted to see if Speaker was all taglines and hullabaloo before I passed a final judgment.
Reasons to Give Spreaker a Try
Spreaker just looks cool. When you pop open the interface you actually feel like a real DJ… for a second. Spreaker gives you the option to record your session for future posting, or you can be brave and record a live session immediately. Be warned that if you record a live session, it will be automatically posted on your Facebook wall, so be careful when you test the platform out for the first time.
You have clear areas to tell you how much time you have left, and how much time there is until the next commercial break. Spreaker handles all commercials, so it’s kind of like a DIY (do it yourself) Talktainmentradio.com. You also have the option to upload samples of music for your show into a toolbox for use at any time, and even a pool of sound effects to integrate into your broadcast.
Great Tutorial Videos
One of the issues marketers have with this medium is that often there isn’t enough direction from the makers of the platform you’re using on how to use it effectively. Spreaker really stood out here. In six very helpful videos, you feel like a Spreaker pro in less than half an hour.
Unfortunately, this is the end of the good news…
Reasons to Give Spreaker the Boot
Notice that the previous section is really short? That’s because there’s really nothing more to say about Spreaker. It’s a DJ-type platform with a mixer that lets you record “shows” and add soundtracks as you wish. Sound familiar? Of course, there are tons of platforms out there that do the exact same thing (minus the mixing live). Spreaker seems to have focused a lot of time on the “fun” aspect of their platform, and might have slacked on the side where they offer something new or different from their competitors.
When you’re in an industry with a large entrenched competitor like BlogTalkRadio, it’s important to carve out your niche and differentiate yourself, which brings me to my next point:
Is this for marketers?
Looking through the existing shows on Spreaker.com, you’ll notice that they’re about 90% radio shows (with music) and 10% talk shows. There’s probably a reason for this. Spreaker is carving out its niche to be music-focused, and it’s being adopted well by that niche.
Unfortunately for many marketers, that’s not a realistic avenue to use when reaching your customer base. Even their blog posts unapologetically lean towards the music mix radio shows, not showcasing a talk alternative until recently. Sometimes you just need to read the tea leaves…
In my testing of the platform I ended up feeling more like a DJ and less like a communicator of anything valuable. Don’t get me wrong, I like Spreaker and Spreaker is fun to use. I’ll even go as far as saying Spreaker is a great niche platform; unfortunately, I believe that the general marketer is not included in that niche.
My Final Judgment
For the general marketer, Spreaker is the Easy-Bake Oven to BlogTalkRadio’s Cameron Mitchell Restaurant, minus the burned fingers. This is a tool that can entertain you and your friends for a while, but I fear that it will end up tucked away in marketers’ “online closet of abandoned platforms” when the novelty wears off, and it will.
This is a tool that caters to music mixing and, to be honest, that’s not what many of us are looking to do with an online radio show. I imagine that the sound effects and cool tools are fun to play with, but they don’t offer any long-term benefit to the user or the listener. At the end of the day, an awesome-looking embedded audio widget isn’t enough to choose Spreaker over a tool like BlogTalkRadio in terms of functionality and community.
Spreaker makes the mistake of thinking that it’s competing with terrestrial radio… on the Internet. The problem is that terrestrial radio is competing with tools much more advanced and is just now beginning to catch up in the social space when it comes to distributing content online. Spreaker seems to have forgotten about the 800 lb. gorilla already dominating online audio (as well as the myriad of second-tier competitors). They’ve chosen a foe they can beat handily, but that unfortunately is irrelevant.
Have you used any online radio show recording program to promote your brand? If so, which one? Let us know about your experience in the comments section below.
Elijah R. Young is the lead strategist and owner of Social Talk Live. He's also a business strategist who helps existing and new companies promote and grow their business. Other posts by Elijah Young »