Illustration showing a lady broadcasting with a laptop and microphone with a clock on the wall behind her.

Going hyperlocal really works for radio

A while back I wrote that just because an internet radio station can be heard around the world, it doesn’t mean the station owner should try and take on the whole planet, or try to cater for everyone.

In essence, the basis of my post was that so-called ‘local’ corporate stations had widened their remit to cater for even larger geographical areas – often via acquisition. The outcome being that the people they were originally licensed to serve – those working and living down the road – were being left behind.

The local radio DJ often isn’t a local, the station itself may be far removed from the community, and newsroom staff are often unable to report on what is going with any real local knowledge. This has created a gap in the market.

Why hyperlocal matters was a call to action for all internet radio broadcasters to forget the world and concentrate on their backyard. To serve the local community.

Because if you want advertisers to help support your internet radio station then they will likely be the shops and businesses down the street, not across the water, or even in the next town.

Well, one UK-based internet broadcaster has followed my advice and connected with businesses and listeners on their doorstep. He is focusing on the local area and reporting on local sports fixtures and news – both on the air and on the station’s website.

I don’t want to mention the owner or the station’s name today, because the broadcaster is in a growth phase and I don’t want to jinx it for them.

However, in just a few months, by changing the station’s name to reflect the area they broadcast from, by pitching themselves as the new voice of the local area, by meeting with business leaders in the town and connecting with local people, the station owner is already talking about moving to broadcasting via DAB within a year or two – support for the station is that strong.

It’s a great story.

If you run an internet radio station and are struggling to make headway, stop thinking your audience is global. It is local. You are the new local radio station for your suburb, village, or town.

Go hyperlocal and connect with the locals.


Steve Hart is a writer and podcaster.