WGWG Broadcast More Accessible Via Mobile Apps, Direct Stream Access

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Broadcast Service of Gardner-Webb University Now Available on SoundCloud, Tune-In, and StreamOn

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – The Smartphone may be a relatively modern invention, but its widespread use is affecting the way consumers around the world receive virtually all information.  While traditional communication methods are certainly still viable, officials with WGWG “The Range”—the broadcast service of Gardner-Webb University—recognized the importance of reaching the mobile and Internet market and have made it easier than ever to access station programming.

By offering on-demand and archived programming through SoundCloud, WGWG is giving its listeners the opportunity to download and review specialty shows and sporting events at their convenience.  With StreamOn.fm, mobile devices, tablets, laptops and computers have access to the live WGWG programming.  And for those who want to turn their device into an FM Radio receiver, there are mobile apps like “Tune In” that allow users to access the live stream from anywhere in the world.

SoundCloud is considered the 'audio' version of You Tube.

“We have been preparing for this platform for quite a while,” said WGWG General Manager Noel Manning.  “We actually began streaming at WGWG.org pretty early on in the process, and were doing it before quite a few well-known stations.”

The history of WGWG’s Internet presence spans more than two decades.  During the late 1990s, the Internet became readily available in households all over the country.  With the emerging technology revealing an increasing dependence on the Internet for a wide range of business and personal needs, leaders at WGWG took advantage of a new path to reach a worldwide audience.

No longer encumbered by the broadcast limitations of their radio signal, WGWG was among the first radio stations in the region to launch Internet streaming of their programming.   Suddenly, alumni, parents and friends of students who didn’t live in the listening area were able to tune in via the World Wide Web (www.wgwg.org) to hear music, sports coverage, and news from both the University and the entire listening area.

Discussions about the future of radio have led Manning and WGWG Operations Manager Jeff Powell to ask the question, “How long will traditional-FM radio stations really matter if they refuse to recognize that change is coming?”  They understood and responded to the increasing popularity of Smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices that have transformed the way people receive news and pursue entertainment.  Instead of tuning in to an FM dial in which they may not be familiar with the product they will receive, many mobile users are taking a proactive role by turning to online streaming via their computer or device.

“With modern technology and mobile apps, a user doesn’t have to be sitting in front of a computer to listen to the stream anymore,” Manning said.  “Much like FM radio, it is truly mobile.”

Tune In Radio offers 70,000 stations, including WGWG.

By utilizing the online platform more fully, WGWG officials aim to satisfy their current audience with an eye on expanding their base.  “We hope to attract new online listeners as well,” Powell explained.  “Our focus will be more on the GWU family of students, parents, alumni, faculty, and staff.  We plan to expand the hands-on opportunities for students to learn radio, audio, broadcast announcing, public speaking, and writing.”

This fall, original programming offered each week will expand.  Specialty shows hosted by Gardner-Webb students and faculty, volunteers and WGWG staff will cover Christian music, exercise and science news, entertainment news, computer and health tips, Bluegrass music, deep cut rock and much more.  All of the program offerings will also be available for on-demand access and/or download via the WGWG SoundCloud.

WGWG currently utilizes a “Jack” format, which is industry lingo that simply means, “playing what we want.”  As MP3 players and iPods changed the way people sought and listened to music, the Jack FM station is likened to one’s personal music library placed on the ‘shuffle’ setting.  Classic rock is mixed with contemporary Top-40 hits; the Beatles and Bob Dylan share the airwaves with ABBA and Aretha Franklin.  Stations adopting this “anything goes” branding typically play a mix of 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s hits with some current hot adult contemporary singles.  While the station still hosts emerging artists, WGWG’s identity as a ‘roots music’ station continues to evolve.

In the beginning, WGWG was first established as a radio club at Gardner-Webb in the early 1960’s.  Intended to serve as a training lab for students who were interested in broadcasting, the call letters “WGWG” were chosen as an acronym for “Watch Gardner-Webb Grow.”  Powell believes that ultimately, the station’s roots reveal a deep and longstanding commitment to the students at GWU.

“The history of the radio club shows, even at the very beginning stages, that WGWG was intended to serve as a training ground for students,” Powell reflected.  “And today, that tradition of hands-on learning is still being carried forward.”

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University provides exceptional educational opportunities within a Christian environment, preparing students to think critically, to succeed professionally, and to serve faithfully as members of their local and global communities.