ArticlesFeature Article

Ace McKay “I Stream, You Stream, We All Stream From Small Screens

Captain obvious reporting for duty to report the most obvious fact of Radio today, “They don’t need us for the music anymore.”


The reality is that we are all radio stations competing not just in our local markets but around the world. Our menu items are mostly the same, how we package and position our best menu items will bring repeat customers.

If our eyes gravitate to the right side first on a menu, what is your right side item that makes them want that above anything else?!


As music lover,s, People are constantly streaming and listening to different sources. While they know They could easily go and create their own playlist and sometimes They do whether it’s out of sheer frustration of what They are in the mood for or maybe what they were listening to didn’t appeal to them in the moment, but I believe there are things that we can learn from our competitors that we could easily apply and make our own so that we stand out in our markets and in our streaming globally.


The first is what we can learn from SiriusXM, Spotify and Apple Music as they are using artist and celebrities to host mini countdown shows. Whether it’s the “Top 5 of the Week” or there a guest DJ on a high profiles times slot, it allows for the audience to dial in closer to the listener with the personalities, bands, celebrities and their favorite songs that you’re already playing. It’s just repackaging it in a way that helps you to stand out.


In that same vein, most stations are podcasting and if you’re not you should, but the question is how quickly is your shows podcast made available after it airs? Another reality right now is that most people no matter how much you front sell a contest or an artist interview, they’re not stopping or repositioning their lives to listen. They just by chance of routine happen to catch all or part of what you promised. However, if they can’t listen when you say you’re gonna play it, they want to be able to go and find it at their convenience or better yet share it cause it’s that Good! The quicker we can make the content available, the better chances we have of not only deliver what our audience wants when they want it but also allowing them Instant gratification. Side note: easy access and navigation of the app is vital. When apps like Spotify, Sirius and iHeart make it easy to find songs and content, we have to match that or we lose opportunities to connect.


By now, we all know that content is king. So when we’re playing the same songs a.k.a. all serving the same menu items, what is it and what is the positioning of where it is on the menu that allows it to look more appetizing so that they gravitate to your station time and time again?!


Spotlighting the listeners still has not changed. It is as important now if not more so than ever. We all seek a connection in our faith and community. While we’re talking about artist countdowns, let the listeners give you their top five songs of the week and you spotlight them on a drive time show and then make it available on demand. Win-Win!


I think the final note that we can learn from streaming and satellite networks is the availability of social media and how connected people feel whether it’s behind the scenes of a studio or Backstage, we have the opportunity and access to give our listeners deeper content if we just put our minds to it. Better yet, if you have access to a database or a listener advisory board asking them what they what and revamp the menu as needed can go a long way and remove the guessing game.

When 80% of other radio station P1’s are sampling Christian radio for the first time, what you provide reminds them where they should be listening especially when they have options to find hope.


If you don’t fully understand all the different social media platforms, Are you hiring those who do? Social media is not the disco we hope will go away. It is the perfect on ramp to get your audience more engaged or engaged for the first time. The person in charge of your social media needs to understand how each platform functions because they’re all different and they all serve a purpose.

As you pack your bag for Momentum, the greatest currency is the creative juice box. So what do you bring to the table and what you take away from it allows you to build a better radio station because your competition is not just in that room with you. They are in places that you may not even be aware of and hungry listeners go where the food is.

What are we doing to make our food savory?

Once we understand what we’re up against and put a plan in place then we truly can find our “momentum” in streams and mission to produce the best radio station for God’s Kingdom.


Ace is a producer/voiceover for EWTN. Previously he was Imaging Director for WDJC Birmingham as well as co host of Roxanne & Ace morning Show. During his 30 year career, he has hosted showed and Programmed for WAY FM, Star 88 and Air 1. Ace can be reached at acemckay@gmail.com 

3 thoughts on “Ace McKay “I Stream, You Stream, We All Stream From Small Screens

  • You hit on a lot of really good points Ace. Listening to Spotify, a platform that learns songs I don’t like, finds new ones I might like, I can always skip the ones I don’t want to hear, no DJ’s talking too much, a few minutes of commercials an hour. It’s difficult to compete with that if music is what you’re after

    • I forgot to mention that Accu Radio’s Christian channels offers 25 different genres of Christian music? From today’s adult contemporary; Rock, Gospel, Country, Southern Gospel, classics, hip hop, instrumental, etc.

  • Well said, Ace. What makes radio great radio is personality. It’s a lost art, especially in an era that rewards being able to voice track a three hour show in 45 minutes or less. What I hear way too often is smoothly delivered, mellifluous but vacuous “announcing” with no personality, authenticity or humanity. If you’re not adding anything of real value to go along with the music, I’ll pick streaming every time.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *