A Guide to WAMC Podcasts, Streaming, and Smart Speakers

What is a podcast? Podcasts (digital audio files) are daily or weekly shows on various topics that listeners can subscribe and listen to at any time. Podcasts can be downloaded on a variety of platforms (i.e. Smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc). 

Why are they appealing? Podcasts make it easy to listen to a lot of different types of content whenever you want, and wherever you are. Podcasts are appealing because you can listen on your phone, tablet or computer and there is a large selection of content available with many different shows and time durations. Whether you have 15 minutes to spare, or a long commute to work, podcasts have you covered. Also, you can “subscribe” to a podcasts so that the next episode of that show will automatically download when it is available. 

How do I access a podcast? WAMC podcasts are available through Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, Apple Music, and the WAMC App. After opening any of the apps mentioned, click the search icon to look for WAMC podcasts. You can either search WAMC or the specific podcast that you want to download by name. Once you have found the podcast you want, click download and enjoy the podcast! Make sure to click the “subscribe” button to stay up to date when new episodes are available.

How do I get started? Head over to WAMC’s Podcast Directory to view a wide variety of podcasts and subscribe to your favorites.

Where can I listen to WAMC Podcasts? WAMC podcasts are available through Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, Apple Music, and the WAMC App. Go to https://wamcpodcasts.org/ to view a full listing of shows and descriptions.

What does it mean to live stream? It means to transmit or receive live video or audio coverage of a  broadcast over the Internet or cellular data. This feed is broadcast and played in real time over your device (computer, tablet, smartphone). 

How do I access the live stream? Type wamc.org into your web browser and click the play button that appears at the top left of the browser screen. This will allow you to live stream what is happening on the air in real time. You can also access the live stream via the WAMC App by opening the app and tapping the play button. 

What is the difference between a podcast and a live stream? Podcasts are pre-recorded shows that are available either daily or weekly to download and subscribe to. Live streaming is not downloaded content, rather when you are listening to the content it is being played in real time but not stored for later use. You can, however, go to the WAMC podcast page to download and listen to shows that were on air previously at https://wamcpodcasts.org/ . These shows were live streamed but also recorded so that users can listen to the shows as podcasts at any time. 

Does WAMC offer live streaming or podcasts? WAMC offers both live streaming and podcasts. You can go to wamc.org and click the play button at the top left of the browser to listen live (or go to the WAMC app). You can download and listen to podcasts via https://wamcpodcasts.org/ or through Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, Apple Music, and the WAMC App. 

Having trouble with live streaming? Try some of the troubleshooting suggestions listed here. 

What is a smart speaker? Smart speakers are a wireless audio playback device that uses several types of connectivity for additional functions. This is essentially a speaker that can react to your voice commands. Smart speakers comply with your voice commands and play the content you request while using Wifi connection to access different content. 

How do I use my smart speaker to access live streaming? Access WAMC content via both Google Home and Amazon Echo smart speakers. Ask for WAMC and program by name. If you need help getting started, we have additional guidance right here. 

How do I get WAMC content to play on my smart speaker? On Google  Home say, “OK Google, Play WAMCFM” or “OK Google, Play WAMC” or “OK Google, Play WAMC Northeast Public Radio” or “Hey Google, Play WAMCFM on TuneIn.” On Amazon Echo, say “Alexa, Play WAMC” or “Alexa, Play WAMC-FM.”

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WAMC App Feature

What is an App Feature?

The WAMC App is available for iPhone and Android devices. The App Feature includes both a banner image at the bottom of the screen and an audio message that plays before the WAMC audio stream on the WAMC App. The banner image would show exclusively on the app homepage and the audio message would play when stream is accessed. There can only be one underwriter at a time using the app exclusive option.  

What do I need to submit? Files accepted for this placement must be 320 pixels wide and 50 pixels tall. Graphics must be in RGB color and submitted in the following formats: JPG, GIF, or PNG. We do accept graphics for retina display. Please note this area is best suited for simple ads, as it is a smaller sized image. You will also need to submit underwriting copy for the audio message. WAMC’s underwriting announcements are written in a 10-second format, and must adhere to FCC regulations. For more detailed information on copy guidelines click here.

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What size should your web creative be?

For underwriters who decide to send us a creative for display on the web, please follow these guidelines for size:

The sizes are below, and listed length x width in pixels.

These creatives need to be a JPG, GIF, or PNG file. We cannot accept any other file types.

Leaderboard -728x90px  
This creative is positioned right under the blue bar & menu on desktop.

Medium Rectangle – 300x250px
This creative displays on desktop in three blocks on the sidebar of wamc.org.

Mobile Web – 320×50
This creative shows on mobile devices only, NOT desktop. It is very small so keep these ads simple.

Tablet Web Ad – 728x90px
This is for tablet only, not mobile or desktop. This would be in the same position as the leaderboard, under the blue bar.

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How to make a web ad

As a part of your web ad agreement, you must supply WAMC with a web ad. The web ad size is commonly called a “medium rectangle ad” and should be 300pixels wide by 250 pixels tall.

Ads will be shown on the WAMC.org website in the right sidebar.

While there are many ways to create ads, our recommendations are to either hire a designer to create your ad, or create your ad yourself by using Canva.

Hire A Designer

Hiring a designer is great if you don’t have the time, aren’t very creative or tech savy or just want to ensure that your brand’s look and feel is consistent with the message you want to communicate to potential customers. A great designer will be able to look at your current brand, and help you create an ad that is clickable and communicates to people efficiently.

Create Your Own

Creating your own ad is a great option if you are a tech savy, creative business with a good handle on your brand’s message, look and feel. There are plenty of ways to create the ad, but we recommend Canva because of it’s ease of use and free access option.

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FCC Regulations & Copy Guidelines

The policy of the Federal Communications Commission officially prohibits non-profit radio stations from airing paid advertisements. Over time, it was determined that airing underwriting credits was an acceptable option, as a way for public radio stations to thank their business sponsors. The technical definition of what they allowed was simply 1) The name of the business, 2) The location of the business, and 3) A brief description of products and services.

Over the years, the nature of these has developed. For instance, Location now provides for placement of phone numbers or websites, and official trade slogans have been approved on the basis that they serve to identify the underwriter.

  • Name of Business
  • Location
    •  City and State is typical, though more or less detail can be used if timing permits
  • A brief summary of goods or services provided
  • Official trade slogan, if desired
    • In order to confirm that the slogan is sufficiently established for FCC standards, we ask for 3 pieces of marketing that feature the slogan- this could be the website, outdoor signage, business cards, etc.
  • Web address or phone number

 

WAMC’s underwriting announcements are written in a 10-second format, so using a stopwatch to check the spot time is always encouraged! Below is an example that is FCC-compliant, meets timing requirements, and utilizes all of the above:

SUPPORT FOR WAMC COMES FROM GARRETT ELECTRICAL SERVICES, CHATHAM, NEW YORK – – – PROVIDING NEW WIRING, REPAIRS, AND EMERGENCY SERVICES FOR HOMES AND BUSINESSES FOR OVER 30 YEARS. “SERVICE MADE PERSONAL.” GARRETT ELECTRICAL DOT BIZ.

While we do have some freedom to create announcements, the FCC still heavily regulates sponsorships. Though the FCC itself has rarely provided any specific guidance on what should not be said, through court cases over the years, we’ve inferred a few things that the FCC seems to take issue with, and while this is by no means comprehensive, these are some of the most common problems:

• Qualitative

o The FCC prohibits underwriters from describing their business with phrasing that makes a claim of quality. This could be as simple as “THE BEST SERVICE”, or “DELICIOUS FOOD”.

 Endorsements fall under this umbrella, including both explicit endorsements, as well as more subtle endorsements such as awards or certifications.

 This also applies to verbs, in which underwriting announcements must avoid any statements of success. Instead, all language must be aspirational, if mentioning a goal; “HELPING THOSE SEEKING EMPLOYMENT” is fine, “GETTING JOBS FOR SEEKERS” would not be.

 

  • Comparative
    • The FCC does not allow for businesses to compare themselves to others. “150% MORE” or “WORLD PREMIERE” are examples that wouldn’t be approved as they display one business has something before all others.
  • Call-to-action
    • The correct language of underwriting does not speak directly to the listener, and the FCC explicitly prohibits telling the listener what to do; for instance, “VISIT THE STORE” or “COME TO THE SHOW” would not be acceptable.
  • Reference to price
    • Any reference to pricing is not usable, per FCC regulations. This could be a statement of how much something costs, or it could be a statement of a discount or sale event; anything that implies any discussion about price won’t work. “FREE” is a common problem that won’t be acceptable.
  • Inducement
    • Similarly, underwriting announcements are not allowed to mention any reason for a listener to take action. Some common tripping points include rewards memberships or references to limited supply that encourage immediate action.WAMC Account Executives and their support staff are able and willing to help draft on air copy that meets the above standards while maintaining your message for our listeners.
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Submitting news and events

News Submission:

If you’d like to reach out to our news team, please send a detailed but concise email to submissions@wamc.org . Our news team monitors this inbox and will be in touch if they are interested in pursuing a story. A friendly reminder that our news team receives hundreds of messages a day, so it is not always possible to respond.

If you would like to submit an event to our community calendar, please click here.

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