It’s a fact that, one way or another, every radio station needs money to keep going. Even community stations that are manned by volunteers have some bills to pay – perhaps their electricity, and certainly for tea bags!
Everyone who works in a radio station needs to be paid – that’s the presenters, producers, engineers… and it costs money to keep all the technology working – from the microphones in the studio to the office printer, and that’s before we’ve paid the bills for the building we use – whether for rent or heating.
So how do radio stations make money to keep running? Well, some radio stations get their money from the government – the BBC for example is funded through the TV licence.
And that’s why you don’t hear any adverts on the BBC, except for their own shows. But there are rules attached to the money, and that’s to do with what sort of things they broadcast and how they broadcast it.
Commercial stations, like Fun Kids, have to raise their own money. And also stick to rules, although the rules are a little different.
Fun Kids needs money to make all the great shows that our listeners hear. The main way we do that is through advertising, which is a way of telling people about a product, like Lego, or a service or an event, like Winter Wonderland, and encouraging them to buy it, use it – or take part. Fun Kids has hundreds of thousands of listeners, and so lots of companies are happy to pay us to help deliver their messages.
We need the right amount of the right type of adverts – and to put them in the right places. We don’t want adverts about…paying tax or slow drying cement! And we don’t want adverts on so often, that the presenters don’t have time to play any music!
Adverts on the radio are what we call spot ads. They’re usually 30 seconds long and describe quite a lot, such as what’s in a new book or film. But that’s not the only way for companies to get their messages across. There’s also sponsorship.
Sponsorship is a way for a company to be associated with something we’re doing on air, and which fits with the sort of thing they do or the product they’ve made. You might hear a show is sponsored or a feature inside a show like ‘Take Me Out’. Or it could be one of our podcasts, or even a competition or giveaway.
There are rules to make sure it’s appropriate for our listeners and we have to make sure they know when something is sponsored. We can mix up advertising and sponsorships in lots of ways to come up with a really great way to spread the word – that mix is called a campaign.
Companies might have their own adverts ready to go or will ask our commercial producers to put something creative together. It can be a lot of fun writing a catchy script, and then choosing the voices and sound effects.Add a comment