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Preview: Comments on: Original Radio Drama in the 21st Century

Comments on: Original Radio Drama in the 21st Century

Reinventing Audio Drama for the 21st Century

Last Build Date: Mon, 05 Feb 2018 16:16:00 +0000


By: finalrune

Fri, 21 Feb 2014 16:33:00 +0000

Thanks for writing and for the comments! I agree, since writing this, the "Netflix" model is very much what I think could work for radio drama - a platform that captures interested listeners, and then has quality material and keeps people engaged. People would sign up for an 'all you can eat' subscription and then based on listening stats the platform would compensate artists appropriately. - Fred

By: writerightnow

Sat, 25 Jan 2014 07:17:00 +0000

Netflix seems to have a pretty good business model that maintains control over copyrighted materials. I'd like to learn their fee & royalty's structure.

By: John Ordover

Mon, 13 Dec 2010 04:34:24 +0000

I think the best way would be to offer a product tailored to the needs of morning and evening drive-time radio "zoo" programs. I'd suggest a 3-5 minute soap opera with racy content that is stripped five-a-week, with a cliffhanger at the end of each episode and a mega-cliffhanger at the end of the week. Stations can have the first two weeks free and see if the audience is hooked by it. Pitch is that it would fit into both talk-heavy and music-heavy commuter radio since it's the length of a song and has the potential to keep people tuned in day after day to hear what happens next. If you're thinking of regular 30 minute radio drama or comedy as it was back in the 40s, I think you have to make this work first - and then build up to 30 minute drive time shows. The problem of course is production costs and talent - as it always is.

By: Fred

Sat, 23 May 2009 18:55:23 +0000

Jody, Thanks for comment. PPC is a great way to get clicks, but how do you convince the visitor that what you've got is worth the risk to pay? And how many people are actually interested in paying? For an independent producer like myself, it's hard to compete with the insane amount of free stuff out there -- some of it being junk, but some of it being remarkably good. I think it's hard to actually sell this without some star power -- pulling in published authors or developing a reputation for putting out good work... ZBS for example. I still think getting crossover from audiobook buyers is the key to getting commercial viability in audio drama and hey, maybe advertising on search networks will help reach that goal. But the content being put out needs to be there too. Thanks again, and interested to hear any other thoughts you have. Best, Fred

By: Jody

Sat, 23 May 2009 01:18:11 +0000

Google and Yahoo make it possible for advertisers to spend very little, experiment with budgets and prove sales. As the advertiser of a new product, I'd be happy to create ad copy and pay for time sponsoring audio dramas if I could start with a minimal investment and use profits to pay higher rates and schedule more frequent spots. Deliver an audience, deliver sales, and begin with realistic ad rates (something newspapers abandoned years ago), and I believe audio drama can be commercially funded.

By: betsy

Mon, 13 Oct 2008 18:58:15 +0000

BodyLove is radio drama that's good for you. Developed by factuly and staff at the University of Alabama at Birmingham's School of Pubic Health, it has revieved front page coverage in the LA Times, Baltimore Sun, Kaiser Health Disparities Report and more -- yet we still can't get it on mainstream radio. We have not tried pubic radio yet because we are not sure it reaches our demographic. We have 83 15-minute episodes produced to date that air on local radio stations in AL, GA, MS and FL. You can read learn more at and lean alot more at and see BodyLove in the spotlight. Betsy

By: Laura

Mon, 08 Oct 2007 01:33:27 +0000

When I moved from the UK to the US I was very surprised to find that there was no drama on the radio. It seems that drama on NPR would be an ideal combination - lets face it, I'm sure there's the odd show there we wouldn't miss! Personally I don't think audio drama will ever be a mass media, but I'm sure there would be a market on NPR. BBC radio figures(unfortunately I can only find figures for online listening) suggest a small but loyal listenership for BBC R7 (drama and comedy) and the top 'listen again' program is a radio soap which has been running for decades. Maybe some of these numbers would help convincing radio executives... Actually I was thinking along similar lines to you in terms of an audio drama store. As a listener it would be great to have somewhere to go with a comprehensive directory with reviews where you can download/podcast/buy audio dramas. Dramapod has the potential to do some of this, but I think it would be valuable to have a site which crossed the line between free podcasts and bought audio drama. There are lots of possible pricing strategies, and I like the idea of subscriptions though I don't know how it would work in practice. I think it is important however to have free episodes available in order to attract new customers. Just some of my ideas!

By: Fred

Sat, 05 May 2007 02:10:29 +0000

Brian, Thanks for the comments -- I'm certainly as interested as you are as getting the movers behind XM, NPR and Pacifica excited about radio drama! As far as the nuts and bolts of marketings, well, that's an area outside of my experience, know-how, or general expertise. Though I do have some ideas. There are a couple of things holding back radio drama from being on the radio again. Most audio drama being produced is simply too long for most radio stations to be interested in picking it up. It's also, quite honestly, not all broadcast quality. I think in reality, the best bet is to move towards getting audiobook publishers interested in audio drama, and drawing in people used to single-voice narrator stories to the allure of full dramatizations. This is a more wide-open form and audio drama excels with digital formats you can hear on your personal music player of choice. How to garner that interest? Choose good stories and produce them really, really well. And come up with a business model that gets publishing house's attention. I think at the moment, it's just a chicken and egg thing. And for the radio? Well, there's always the possibility of a really great host sharing radio drama every week (ala Ira Glass or Selected Shorts). I'm no Ira, but do check out Radio Drama Revival! ( Thanks again for the comments! Fred

By: Brian Case

Thu, 03 May 2007 19:12:54 +0000

I found this article through Google-ing keywords "radio drama marketing". My question is not so much the need to "get radio drama into the ears of the unsuspecting audience" as much as it is how to do that. That is, developing and implementing a specific marketing plan that achieves getting in front of the decision-makers at XM's Sonic Theater and NPR and/or Pacifica. There are quality sources, such as Rasovsky's treatise at and other on the nuts and bolts of radio drama, but very little on marketing. What do you think?