Expat media is ringing in 2012 by boldly going where it’s never been before: the radio.
David Gregerson, CEO of Overseas Radio, says expats are tired of reading information all the time, and would actually prefer hearing it firsthand. So far he’s seen plenty of interest–more than 400 professionals have applied to host programs.
David, how did you identify this gap in the expat media market?
This all started about two and a half years ago. I’ve always been interested in travel and life overseas, and I was looking for a radio show or podcast on the subject. I searched the internet and found there wasn’t a single station out there. Not even a podcast.
What do you think the appeal of radio is compared to print?
There is something about hearing someone talk about an experience that is very attractive compared to seeing words on a page. Also the opportunity to ask questions directly appeals to expats. It’s much more personal.
How is programming structured?
Right now we are organized similar to a terrestrial radio. We broadcast live six days a week from 8 AM Eastern Standard Time to 8 PM Eastern Time. Then that programming repeats overnight. The individual shows cover everything from investing advice to international living.
Were people hesitant to embrace the concept?
Actually advertisers and hosts have been very excited from the beginning. Early on we put a signup form on Escape Artist for hosts and got about 400 replies. This was a much higher number than we expected. We actually had to intensify the selection process to narrow it down.
What are you offering in terms of advertising?
Currently we are offering 30-60 second ad spots similar to what you’d hear on terrestrial radio. For now we are giving most of it away. We have a lot of companies interested in doing cross-promotion but we need to nail down some numbers before we begin selling air time.
And how have you been promoting Overseas Radio itself?
We are leveraging heavily on our hosts. They all have businesses, websites and newsletters, so we have been able to get visibility through those channels. We’ve also had several sites do articles on us, such as Escape Artist and Expat Marketing.
This has produced tremendous results for us with hardly any spending on ads.
Since Overseas Radio is subscription-based, have you developed any specific promotions?
For advertisers we are running a revenue share whereby a site that puts up our banner gets 50% of all revenues for the lifetime of subscribers. We see this as a win-win for us and our advertisers.
On the subscriber side we’re offering free trial periods. Right now it is a 14-day trial but we may eventually take it up to 30.
Looking ahead over the next year, how do you see the site expanding?
One of our priorities is to increase our broadcasting time. We’re also looking into some limited marketing expenditure across some of the major expatriate websites.
David J. Gregerson is Managing Director of Expat Broadcasting Group LLC and President of Overseas Radio Network. He, his wife and three children love to travel internationally at every opportunity. They currently make their home in the United States. http://overseasradio.com