Paid Listening Essay Research Paper Paid ListeningIn

Paid Listening Essay, Research Paper

Paid Listening

In today’s society radio serves as a popular source of entertainment. Online radio stations have been popping up all over the internet. A relatively new radio website,, now offers it’s listeners money to tune in to their station. RadioFreeCash’s innovative pay-to-listen strategy benefits the web industry, but it may not benefit its listeners as much.

Radio stations have been around since the 1920’s. “Some long term research indicates a very gradual decline in radio listening (LaRose, 160).” Radio formats are constantly changing with new generations. The generation of today can turn to computers for almost anything, and radio stations took note of this. “We view this period as a turning point for the radio broadcasting’ said investment bank Robertson Stephens in a recently released research report. ‘We see the internet medium as a tremendous opportunity for radio to reinvent itself (Stephens, 1).’” Online radio stations started in 1998 (LaRose, 131) and flourish in today’s computer society. “According to Arbitron, there are currently an estimated 30 million users of Internet Radio. As the growth of broadband continues, that number is expected to triple by mid-2000 (, 1).” With such a big number of users wanting to listen to the radio while surfing the internet, the company RadioFreeCash was formed.

RadioFreeCash was founded in September 1999 and has become very popular within the last year. RadioFreeCash is very similar to an online radio station. Members can choose from hundreds of musical channels, where they find formats that meet their personal tastes in music. “RadioFreeCash’s mission is to violently change the strategic landscape of delivering radio content and audio advertising over the internet (, 2).” So RadioFreeCash already had the music now it needed the advertising. RadioFreeCash uses outside companies to place banner and audio advertisements through it’s website and radio bar. So basically, RadioFreeCash members get paid “listening to tunes while chilling out at the computer” said Fox Anchor Shepherd Smith while interviewing RadioFreeCash’s CEO.

RadioFreeCash doesn’t charge a membership fee, but it does require some personal information. The information they require is your name, address, city, state, zip and then personal interests. Some personal interests might be travel, hobbies, sports, fashion, etc. you must choose at least three interests. After you fill in all this information you create a user name, start downloading and once that is done, enjoy the music and money. So what’s the catch? Your personal address and name are never given out, but your personal interests are given to the advertisers. These interests “enable the creation of a loyal listener community of known demographics and predictable attributes, and thus commands much greater leverage with audio advertising clients world wide (, 2).” So then when a member listens to the online radio, advertisements will go across the radio bar or they might just pop out. This feature may be very disruptive at times. Advertisers still attract enough users to make money from advertising. A study showed that “Eight out of 10 internet radio listeners claim they would be likely to seek information on products and services from a station web site (Stephens, 1).”

The big factor is that the members get paid to listen to the radio. Its all very simple. Users of RadioFreeCash will be compensated for every minute that they listen to the radio as well as for every minute that their friends and family they referred listen to the radio. So for example if you and all your referrals listened to the radio an average of six hours per day, RadioFreeCash will pay you and estimated $140 (see chart for better understanding).

RadioFreeCash has become one of the most popular online radio sites. This past September RadioFreeCash was the #1 Online Radio Station (to see how it compared to other online radio company refer to chart). This new industry is rising fast and sooner than we can say “radio” there will be three more of these pay-to-listen companies popping up like the advertisements do. This type of online radio listening is fun and rewarding, once you get past all the advertisements. I’ll leave the listening to you!

1. About RadioFreeCash. (2000, October 12).

2. Investment Bank Robertson Stephens Sees Bright Future

for Webcasting. (2000,

October 12).

3. LaRose, R., & Straubhaar, J. (2000). Media Now: Communications in

the Information Age. California: Wadsworth.

4. RadioFreeCash Partners with to Launch globeRadio -

Referral Program to Pay Community Users as The Listen

to Internet Radio. (2000, October 12).

5. Smith, Shepherd Smith. RFC Tames “the Wild West of the Internet”

Interview on Thursday, June 22, 2000. (2000, October 12).


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