Indie/Eclectic KCRW-FM has a history of embracing innovation – they were the first public radio station to stream their programming online (’95), podcast all shows (’05), and launch smartphone apps (iOS in ’08, Android in ’10). A relevant anecdote: Steve Jobs used KCRW’s The Treatment when he first demo’d the podcast at WWDC 2005.
KCRW’s new “mobile first” website continues this trend, and features a totally custom HTML5 media player accessible across all devices, and a modern design that focuses on rich audio and video media.
The new website’s streamlined design features an “always on top” smart media player and allows users to easily explore KCRW’s award-winning content with over 100 hours of new weekly programming, HD video, and 20 years of archives. Driven by the spirit of Los Angeles, KCRW’s unique mix of content centers around music discovery, NPR news, cultural exploration and informed public affairs. The Website launches as KCRW makes an additional $10 million investment in technology and new programming, as part of its broader $20 million capital campaign.
“In our rapidly changing media landscape, we are constantly exploring new ways to connect with our audience, whether through mobile devices, apps, social media, or live performances. KCRW.com is the most important tool we have to reach our global community,” said Jennifer Ferro, KCRW President and General Manager. “The new website focuses on what we do best—our programming. It brings audio and video to the forefront, delivered to people at home, in their car, at work, and at play.”
Originally founded in 1945, KCRW became Los Angeles’ first NPR affiliate in 1969. Over the past 30 years, KCRW has organically attracted a national and international audience. Today, over 70 percent of KCRW.com visitors come from outside of Los Angeles, 2.1 million hours are digitally streamed monthly, and 1.6 million programs are listened to on-demand.
• Ability to listen to and easily share individual segments from show pages.
• Contextual HD video of Morning Becomes Eclectic live in-studio performances from emerging and established artists and bands, and cultural events.
• Optimized search with streamlined user interface, filtering options and faster search results.
• Ability to easily share content via social media or email, as well as view popular content.
• Access to over 20 years of archives featuring hundreds of original in-studio performances, and hundreds of interviews with leading thinkers and creators, including such musical talent as Jake Bugg, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Moby, Jim James, Lorde, The National, Phoenix, Tame Impala, Ben Harper, Vampire Weekend, Local Natives, The XX, Hot Chip, Jimmy Cliff, M. Ward, Alabama Shakes, Future Islands, Death Cab for Cutie, White Denim, Cut Copy, St. Vincent, among hundreds of others.
World-renowned for its music programming, KCRW DJs are given one directive: “play what you love.” Many artists made their U.S. live performance debut on flagship music program Morning Becomes Eclectic, currently hosted by music director Jason Bentley, including Beck, Adele, Massive Attack, Gotye, Sigur Ros, Coldplay, Fitz and Tantrums, Franz Ferdinand, Mayer Hawthorne, Sigur Ros, The Naked and Famous, Two Door Cinema Club among dozens of others.
RBR-TVBR observation: As the press release said: “KCRW DJs are given one directive: ‘play what you love’.” Given the era of Pandora and the music discovery it offers, commercial radio should get back into doing that. KCRW’s brand is so much more that a set of call letters because of it. The station immerses itself in the LA musical and cultural community—as well as with music from around the world. The DJs know their music and give Pandora a run for their money in that major market. Any commercial station can do just the same. There are plenty of audiophiles out there that could really create an experience with a three-hour show.