LA's KCRW-FM has been awarded a $500,000 grant from The Annenberg Foundation to develop business models to sustain webcasting activities and further its innovative online music service. The station has been a pioneer on the Internet launching three live streams (simulcast, all-news and all-music) in 1999.
KCRW's GM Ruth Seymour believes that “public broadcasting faces unique challenges in the online world. We have spent years educating the audience about the relationship between listener contributions and programming. But that relationship doesn’t appear to resonate online. Many users listening on the Web may not even understand that they are hearing a real radio station. This is especially true for KCRW’s most successful podcast programs.”
Currently, KCRW.com generates more than 1.6 million live streaming hours per month. In January nearly 1 million podcasts were downloaded.