Bahá'í Internet Radio Station Goes Live
Webcast9 recently changed its name as well as its web address to radioNUR, and has "gone live."
When I put the station on the air, initially, I asked the House of Justice for guidance as to how to proceed. Based upon that letter, we're in the process of putting together a new corporation -- radioNUR Inc. -- which will own and operate the station as a commercial enterprise. By the second week in May, 2002 the corporation will be registered with the State of California and we should be moving off our existing low power servers to a new service, via WarpRadio. This change will provide unlimited, stereo connections that can be accessed by people with dial-in connections as easily as those with broadband, with no downloads or installation required. At the same time all the necessary forms will be filed with ASCAP and BMI for the payment of performance royalties.
Even with limited bandwidth, radioNUR has been garnering an audience.
In the first two months the server handled about 5000 connections, with listeners in over 80 countries and in every part of the world. Although the bulk of the audience has been in North America, Europe and Australia/New Zealand, there have been hits from places as widespread as Gambia, Chile and Argentina, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Korea, Poland, China and Malaysia.
There has been significant support from the musical community since radioNUR began. Record producers, small record companies and independent artists have either uploaded or e-mailed songs electronically or mailed CD's and/or cassettes to the station. The station now plays everything from Joany Lincoln to Korma, the Baha'i Victory Chorus to ARKA, Seals & Crofts to Anna Hostman and Matthew Levine to Justice Leeg -- over 200 artists performing close to 1500 songs. As new material arrives daily from as far away as the Congo, France, Chile, the United Kingdom and Canada, the library continues to grow and is starting to truly represent the diversity of the world-wide Baha'i community. The music comes from all genres, including Jazz, Classical, Choral, Rock, Rap, Reggae, Country, Bluegrass, Pop, Disco, Folk, Techno, Native American, Persian, various Latin Styles and others -- songs are sung in English, Romanian, Russian, Persian, French, Arabic, German, Spanish, and several native American and African languages.
We already have our new website up and running (www.radionur.com). The site includes a guestbook and a discussion forum where listeners have left their greetings and appreciations. Additionally, the site includes links to many musicians and background on the station, as well as features like surveys, "tell-a-friend," a listener mailing list and other features.
RadioNUR is also working on developing the on-air staff, as well as the office and sales staffs. We hope to have three on-air hosts in place by the end of 2002. I am functioning as General Manager and Program/MusicDirector. Fernando Huerta is functioning as the Director of Special Projects. His role will change with the formation of the non-profit entity, in a few months (see below).
We're currently seeking investment via long-term loans from anyone investor interested in participating in the creation and establishment of this station. If radioNUR can manage to stay on the air for two or three years it should be able to sustain itself, financially, from advertising revenue, from that point on. The station has now begun courting advertising clients who wish to reach a world-wide Bahá'í audience. As the station is one of very few places that businesses can actually advertise their services and products, directly to a targeted Baha'i audience we're confident that this service will prove to be very useful.
In addition to the music programming, the station will soon begin additional features such as a global "community calendar" and a global "concert/performance line". These programs will be designed to support the individual and community activities around the world. Within the next 6 - 12 months radioNUR also hopes to add a regular newscast focusing on Baha'i related subjects, world-wide. This newscast will probably start out as a weekly program, but, the goal is to develop it into a daily broadcast. This will depend primarily upon staff and sponsorship.
As one of the primary goals of radioNUR, from day one, was to promote Baha'i performers, we are happy to partner with www.CafeAnnick.com in a new on-air promotion called the "Featured Album" promo. Every few hours radioNUR plays a track from the album that is featured for the month, drawing the attention of the listener to that song. The listener is then invited, if he/she is interested in owning the album, to the station's website to purchase the album, on-line through CafeAnnick's on-line storefront. Each month the feature will change and if it becomes successful enough the featured album may change more frequently. Much of this depends upon the response from the listeners. The featured album for May is Chris Ruhe's "Still Rockin'...".
Additionally, the radioNUR is planning all the same sort of promotions that any on-air station might have, such as giveaways and contests. These will probably be handled via the web or using e-mail, but, the station intends on giving away items such as concert tickets, t-shirts, bumper stickers and the usual fare of promotional items. Many of these contests will require the listener to answer a question about the Faith -- history, administration, quotations, etc...
One thing that the station staff is currently pursuing is to begin airing concerts from a variety of venues from around the world. The initial venues will probably not be too far from the studios in California, however, the radioNUR staff is working on a setup that will allow performances from anywhere around the world to be fed back to the control room, at the station and out over the regular broadcast.By the end of the year the founders and owners of radioNUR hope to have a not-for-profit operation set up to work in areas such as training and support for Baha'i radio initiatives around the world, the development of children's programming, support for the Institute Process and similar enterprises, world-wide.
The non-profit entity will be involved in SED projects, training and deepening and teaching activities which will be supported by and in support of the station, but, not directly related to the day-to-day operations of the station. Many of the non-profit activities and developments will be coordinated by Mr.Huerta.
©Copyright 2002, Radio Nur