It’s been a while since my last meaningful post and there have been a lot of things I’d like to write about. This post should address some of those things.
There.com . Kinda sad to see it go. I had an account there and visited on occasion but there just wasn’t much to keep me there. The avatars were cartoonish (yet strangely more appealing than the noob avatars for SL) and the choices for clothing and gear was severely limited. It was also a strictly enforced PG zone as children as young as 12 were logged on. And I tell you, nothing feels more creepy than a 12 year old girl asking if you wanted to be her boyfriend. Yikes! Run away! Run Away! But it served the needs of many of its users. It had plenty of games like dune buggy races and hover-boards as many of the fun activities. You could also run There.com on a 56K dial-up connection and on computers with built in graphic chips (like those crummy Intel ones). I suspect most of the users will take a pass on SL or Blue Mars and head for the likes of Free Realms or Toon Town. Both can be played for free, are PG and have many task oriented activities to participate in.
Socializing: I’ve pretty much cut down on my activities in world the past year. Work has been a bit more demanding of my time and attention. I’m mostly concerned with station business when I do get online. But that’s not to say I didn’t have any fun. 🙂
Running a radio station in Second Life: If you think you’re going to make it rich or become wildly popular with a streaming station,you’re sadly mistaken. If you stream you’re in it to share the music, period. If your music has a lot of appeal, you have a somewhat professional sound, and you are a business savvy, then you can probably cover your expenses. What are those expenses? Let’s assume you’re going to be legit, pay your royalties and run advertising. Stream costs : $15-30 a month (100 slots), Music Royalties (assuming a monthly Total Listener Hours of 10,000) $50, and SESAC License (for advertising) $20+ . You’re looking at an outlay of $85-$100 a month. Land tier, that’s up to you if you want an in world studio or home office.
Can you make this money back? Maybe. Who is going to hear it and can you generate traffic for your advertisers? Probably not in most cases. Here’s the ugly truth about media and advertising in SL. It doesn’t work that well. SL is a very fractured market and it’s hard to get the word out. While I may in fact have the most successful and listened to SL radio station getting a wide audience to listen is difficult. Hell, a lot of people can’t place a media URL on their land. Also, most people who are in SL simply do not bother to listen to the parcel media unless someone or something tells them too. I’m not saying that getting the word out over the air is worthless, it’s just not as effective as written or graphic media.
How do I stay afloat? I have a more restrictive license that prohibits me from advertising but I can have sponsors. Prices, services, and comparisons are verboten. Business names and websites are OK to mention and it is in a way a soft sell. Repeated often enough and it becomes a form or mild advertising. I am always up front with every sponsor of mine and tell them this will not boost your sales through the roof. Most if not all of my current and past sponsors have contributed to keep the station online because they love the music as much as I do. In the nearly 3 years KONA Radio has been online I’ve always met my budget. Any extra money went into music purchases, web hosting and equipment upgrades for the radio station.
Pirates: Let’s just say that if you encounter a station that’s not licensed and is running advertising, stay away. Unlicensed streams are a dime a dozen and typically don’t get caught if they maintain a low profile, but if they try to make money off their stream it can get pretty ugly. If caught they can expect some very hefty fines and possibly confiscation of their computer gear. You do not want to associate your good business name with criminal activity.
To close out this post I’d like to thank some of my Sponsors and supporters for all their contributions:
Sponsors: Kevin Ludwig,Nikki Brennan, Brookston Holiday, Izabella Bentham, Tasha Kostolany, Yxes Delacroix, Banana Stein, Cynthia Maine, Viola Bentham, Stuart Warf, Razzap Snookums, Chatnoir Tangerine, Gayle Cabaret, Gorgeous Yongho, and many more
Supporters: Trill Lomu, LaDonna Upshaw,Crap Mariner, Grizzy Griswold, Marianne McCann, and many more also.
Home page: www.konastream.com
Parcel Media: http://gold.slserver.com:8030
We can also be found on iTunes in the “Retro 70s” category of the radio listings. We actually play 60s 70s and 80s but that’s where we got placed.