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Custom Channels Announces Holiday Music Internet Channels For Radio Sites

24/7 Holiday Music From Thanksgiving to New Year's Day (September 28, 2001)
This holiday season, radio stations across the country will treat their listeners to holiday music 24 hours a day from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day -- but they wont have to change format to do it. Custom Channels, a service that specializes in creating specialized, Internet-only audio "side channels" for radio station Web sites, will be helping radio stations create Holiday Music Channels for their Web sites.

Over the past two holiday seasons, stations in Denver, San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, Seattle and many smaller markets provided Internet Holiday Music Channels on their sites. The channel is Webcast over the Internet using streaming technology as opposed to an AM or FM signal; its a mini radio station where listeners can hear holiday music anytime they want just by clicking a button on the station's Web site.

Holiday Music Channels provided by Custom Channels allow radio stations to customize their holiday channel to match the music and sound of their station. A Rock station, for example, can feature holiday music from artists like the Dave Matthews Band, U2 and John Lennon. A Country station can flavor their holiday channel with Vince Gill singing, "Let There Be Peace on Earth" and Brenda Lees standard, "Rockin Round the Christmas Tree." Custom Channels has created a large library of holiday songs to work for nearly any radio format. Even non-music stations like News/Talk can create a holiday music channel.

Custom Channels makes it easy for radio stations to implement a Holiday Channel. Custom Channels provides a station-branded holiday music player and covers all programming, bandwidth and DMCA music licensing costs as part of the service. Since Custom Channels handles all of the program production and streaming logistics, stations do not need any special equipment -- they just need to provide a link on their website to the channel.

"Radio program directors struggle with how to satisfy listener demand for seasonal music on the air around the holidays," said Dave Rahn, co-president of SBR Creative Media, the Radio consultancy that developed Custom Channels. "This is a way for stations to superserve listeners who want holiday music from their favorite radio station without playing a lot of it on the air." Stations can host their channel with DJ greetings, station promos and sponsors so holiday channel listeners are spending more time with the stations brand and personalities while online.

Holiday Music Channels are also a unique way for select radio advertisers to cut through the holiday clutter. "Many stations sell sponsorships of their holiday channels to one or two advertisers who are looking to do something different and have their message stand out," said Rahn. "When you combine a station's on-air promotional mentions with exclusive website and on-channel sponsorship spots, the value to an advertiser is significant." Since stations control the advertising content on their channel, there are no concerns over AFTRA talent fees for commercials -- an issue that has kept many stations from streaming their over-the-air signal in recent months.

Webcasting on the Internet has become a popular way to transmit specialty programming such as holiday music to listeners. According to recent studies by Arbitron and Edison Research, over 50% of all Internet users -- 34% of the U.S. population -- have used the Internet to enjoy audio and video programming. The studies also show strong interest in streaming audio programming by visitors to Radio station websites. "Unique content like Holiday Channels make a stations site super sticky," said Rahn.

Stations may start their channels any time in November and keep them up through New Year's Eve. More information about Custom Channels' Holiday Music Channels can be found at

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