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KCRW makes YouTube radio with live video of Morning Becomes Eclectic

Washed Out on KCRW YouTube video

Washed Out on KCRW’s YouTube channel

Last week Matthew asked the question “When does YouTube become radio?” He answered his own question with, “when it’s on” a social media music service where you use YouTube music to create your own live mix.

YouTube became radio in another way today when Santa Monica public station KCRW began live streaming performances from its long-running Morning Becomes Eclectic program. This morning’s performance was by new British artist King Krule.

The station already has an archive of “greatest hits” performances on its YouTube channel, and is one of the few public stations in the US known for also airing cutting edge music across popular and classical genres. Nathan Lubeck, KCRW’s Director of Web & Mobile Development, said “YouTube has been a successful platform for KCRW to share the greatest music moments in our studios, but now we have a chance to open up our unique programming to a massive audience.”

The station already streams its audio program live on its website, on its own mobile apps and across platforms like iHeartRadio. Streaming live video may help the station better engage the audience that already watches its on-demand archive, while potentially attracting new viewers and listeners for whom YouTube and video are the preferred media.

It’s also worth noting that on YouTube KCRW has more flexibility for making money from its content than on its terrestrial broadcast. This can be via YouTube ads, which the station already uses, or other sponsorships inserted into the video stream, but not in the radio broadcast.

Quote a few radio broadcasters have branched into video, offering on-demand playback of in-studio performances on their websites or on YouTube. I know the Boston Globe’s Radio BDC hosts live videos streams of its “Live in the Lab” series at But I don’t know of many other stations that have regular live video events, and even fewer that use YouTube for these live streams.

Please let us know in the comments about radio stations you like and know about doing live video streams.


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3 Responses to KCRW makes YouTube radio with live video of Morning Becomes Eclectic

  1. Jennifer Waits September 18, 2013 at 9:33 am #

    KFJC-FM (where I volunteer and DJ) airs live HD video streams of music performances at the station at least once a week. We also have been doing live video streams from events, including our annual Penny Pitch fundraisers from local businesses (you can watch the next Penny Pitch from San Francisco this Saturday).

    The HD live cam is relatively new, but KFJC pioneered live streaming in a big way when the station traveled to Japan in 2008 and broadcast music performances from Tokyo. Listeners could view the shows on the web, listen online, and also tune in terrestrially. Some video from those shows can be found on a KFJC compilation CD/DVD.

    KFJC doesn’t currently archive performance videos. If there’s a live event happening, it can be viewed here:

    Here’s more about the Japan Broadcast:

  2. Chris Peiffer September 18, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    WGTE Public Media (FM 91 and TV 30) in Toledo, Ohio has been streaming “Live from FM 91” since 2002, and has been video streaming since 2009. The award winning “Live from FM 91” is a program that showcases local Classical Music performers the first Friday of every month at 10 a.m. EST. We also invite listeners and viewers to comment as we broadcast. The programs are then archived at our web site
    There are many local TV and Radio programs/concerts archived at the website as well.

  3. Paul Riismandel September 18, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    Thanks for the pointers, Jennifer and Chris.

    It’s too bad that KFJC doesn’t archive the online videos. It would be great if they were posted to YouTube. It would be good for the station in terms of audience building, too. That’s because YouTube is actually the second most used search engine on the web.

    @Chris – Are the “Live from 91” video streams or just audio? I looked at the archive just now and it seemed like they were just audio streams with a still picture. Am I missing something?

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