Have you ever been frustrated at the limited number of radio stations available? The internet now offers a variety of media which can be searched for a desired topic, song, or video. As technology has changed, so has culture. Listeners—especially the young—now expect to find exactly what they want in the seconds it takes to enter a search word. They are impatient with media that makes them wait, or listen to superfluous material in order to get what they want. Consider how traditional radio has lost listeners to Spotify among the younger generation.
Clearly, we must pay attention to important trends such as this, if we are to remain relevant to Iranians.
Podcasts are a key part of Voice of Christ embracing this “on-demand” media model. We are now in our second year of podcasting, and analysis reveals that the majority of downloads are by people downloading multiple episodes at a time. Each episode is highly compressed so over 200 episodes fit in 1GB of storage, making them highly portable and easy to distribute.
Blocking by the Iranian government is difficult because they are available on many different platforms. The listener can also determine the safest time to download and play a chosen program, lessening the risk. We are very pleased to see that over 25% of our downloads are going directly into Iran.
Another trait of the new media model is the ability to study user preferences and respond to them. Facebook and others have used this feature to great advantage. Anonymity is important to Iranian listeners, so Voice of Christ Media Ministries does not track our listeners except to count them and study when they listen to our programs or look at posts.
Our podcast titles and descriptions are searchable, offering the curious Iranian a far more effective way to investigate spiritual topics and find answers to their questions than was possible with traditional broadcasting. The Lord has started to use this powerful model to communicate His truths to increasing numbers of Iranians.
Please pray He will direct many more new people to our searchable media: podcasts, website articles, and social media posts.