Wednesday, 4 April 2007

[ 4. The Xfm Site | Homepage ]

[ The Xfm Website ]

The Xfm site offers many different indulgences to their narrowcasted radio station’s listeners. Their main listeners are fans of alternative music, both signed and unsigned, and thus the majority of the website content is based on this. The content comes under four headings: On Air, News, Watch and Listen and Extras. Under the On Air heading, there are such things as DJ homepages, digital radio information, scheduling, playlists with streamed 30 second taster clips available online and other things to do with the radio station itself. The News section contains music news for the kinds of bands that they feature on the radio station itself, Watch and Listen contains videos and audio including podcasts available online, plus Mi-Xfm, a new feature released in February 2007 and Extras contains additional information, a section on film, forums and reviews. The website essentially replaces an Xfm magazine, which would compete against the likes of NME and Kerrang!. This, of course would not be nearly as detailed as a website is, and also not as sustainable because websites cost next to nothing to maintain, whereas magazines cost money to make. The website allows fans to keep up to date with the music world and follow up from the radio show with more information and features on their favourite bands and gig information.

[ In Detail ]
The homepage features one large navigator panel along the top and rollover buttons, which reveal more links to areas of the site. This makes it easier to find where you want to go in the site much easier than having to rummage around, especially for people new to the site. At the top, next to the Xfm logo there is a link to online digital radio, straight from the radio show itself. This allows convergence within the computer itself, as there is no longer any need for a radio and a computer, as now they can be both in one. The homepage has four columns under the four above headings, each displaying various different new features within those sections. Above, there are, again four adverts, one is usually from Xfm itself, but they are usually pertaining to the new music scene or targeting Xfm’s specific audience with such products as new mobile phones or computers, e.g. the live radio streaming is sponsored by the Sony Ericsson Walkman range, there are Samsung T9 adverts, etc. There is a feature called “Watch Live”, which allows audiences to watch gigs on webcam live streamed through to their home. A large area of the website is devoted to the Music Video Jukebox, where audiences can view the latest promo videos, and their favourite music videos streamed [ streaming ] online, on demand. This attracts listeners, as often they have the latest and exclusive videos from artists.
Mi-Xfm, a new feature introduced early 2007 is a browser-based music player. It combines Xfm’s wide library of music with the individual tastes of the audience to create the most personalised radio station, in a truly personalised, proliferative, non-linear, diverse and flexible experience with an enormous reach, larger than the radio station ever could achieve, since it has only specific distribution areas. The release of this feature has been well accepted amongst the Xfm community.
The whole site is a good example of immediacy, proliferation and diversification, as there is clearly something for everyone who has any slight interest in new alternative music.

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