With new shows coming onboard while the network schedule continues to grow, we ask for your cooperation with some new policies, effective immediately.
We feel these new policies will help us better to serve Creators in the long run, thus helping us to boost your brand strategy and strengthen the network.
1.) 48 hours in advance of airtime: Please send us your episode title, description/blurb, and any pertinent info for blog post creation.
If this isn’t received within 48 hours of showtime, we will try our best but may not be able to create all of the post and custom social media promotional content for your show’s episode. Our promotions for your show will default to only evergreen content, posted to Twitter instead of Facebook as Facebook marks evergreen posts as “unoriginal content” and downranks posts.
2.) For pre-recorded and MidnightFM archived content, please edit ID3 tags with the following:
Track: Episode Title,
Artist: Your Show Name,
Year: 2020 (and add your cover).
Please keep this consistent. This saves us time, helps us find your files in our automation system of hundreds of episodes (which uses Metadata to sort), and helps listeners identify episode content information when they download them to their devices, strengthening your brand.
For more info on ID3 tags and editing them, including our preferred format for tagging, visit this tutorial.
3.) Pre-recorded content needs to arrive at least 24 hours or more in advance for automation scheduling.
We are setting up an automatic nightly refresh for the automation servers which will happen every day at 5AM Central (6 PM Eastern, 4 AM Mountain, 3 AM Pacific).
If your episode isn’t received by 7PM your local time (US) the day before it’s meant to air, it will likely not go into the automation schedule. As a best practice, most prerecorded shows send their episodes 48 hours in advance along with their blog content, which gives us ample time to setup automation and show promos.
Every time the server resets, it halts all listener streams and dumps them from the channel. If a listener does not refresh, they are no longer tuned in. As we add more shows, we will not be able to reset the server during programmatic times on demand.
*If your program is unable to give us content 24 hours in advance, we may also need to revisit your scheduled time slot around other “prime time” programs to prevent us from losing listeners closer to other shows due to automation resets.
If it were up to us, we’d love to allow shows more time to send over their archive content, but we persistently have listeners ask for archived episodes within the first two to three hours after a live show has ended.
At the very latest, archive content should be provided the following morning of the day after the episode airs, if it airs in the evening.
Otherwise, archive content is expected within the first 12 hours after your show airs, as a courtesy to the listeners and the network, as we receive a litany of customer service emails from subscribers.
5.) Live Shows will no longer be allowed to go overtime as clock scheduling is now in effect for all streamers.
You will be disconnected automatically by the automation server at your scheduled end time and this may halt your show recording if you use BUTT (Broadcast Using This Tool).
6.) Make Backups.
While we extend MidnightFM hosted episode content to some of our programs, it’s not a permanent backup solution for your episodes. We always recommend following the 3-2-1 rule for backups: Make at least three copies of your data, store it on at least two different devices where you are, and host at least one copy offsite.
7.) You are responsible for your own file edits.
If you need additional assistance with basic episode edits (top and tail) we can offer discounted per-episode rates from one of our audio engineering and production experts. Otherwise, we would prefer to teach you how to do this yourself with either future Creator tutorials, group video seminars, or private lessons over Skype.
8.) You are ultimately responsible for your own success.
While we offer weekly episode blog posts, content promotions, and some (limited) social media promotions, it is ultimately up to you to join us in helping you to promote yourself.
Get to know when and how audiences on social media engage with the shows, and don’t be afraid to live chat right along with them. Some of our most active spots are the Midnight Society Facebook Group, the #MidnightFM hashtag on Twitter, and if you’d like access to our exclusive subscribers-only Discord server to extend your engagement, please don’t hesitate to send us an email with a request to join.
Cross-promotion with other network shows is also a quick way to tap into new listenership.
9.) Our network is commercial but largely listener-supported.
Sometimes, Creators ask about monetization for shows.
While we don’t directly compensate Creators for content, we also do not charge for the use of our platform (hours of maintenance for streams, social media, file hosting, and exclusive promotional content) for your programs. Any monetization we receive from listeners through subscriptions covers these costs.
Soon, we hope to be able to offer our Creators access to MidnightFM advertising offers as we find time to build our network and affiliate advertising partner programs. We can confidently say we are working on some pretty cool stuff behind the scenes, and encourage you to adopt a commercial radio-style clock for your shows with consistent breaks, whether you broadcast live or not.
Tip: If your show has breaks at the exact same time, every time, and is a consistent length every single time, it’ll make these efforts to help you monetize go a lot smoother when we have advertising offers for Creators.
We also definitely recommend that all individual shows have their own Patreon (or similar) types of accounts. Monetization and social media strategy is a vast topic which we hope to address in future posts within this Portal, as well as our new MidnightFM Creators Community Group on Facebook.
10.) No licensed media, especially commercial music and unlicensed commercial photography.
Music licensing is extremely expensive, and as a few of us over here are independent musicians coming from the commercial music industry, we think the cost of licensing commercial music is insane and absolutely ridiculous. We’ve looked at this think from a lot of different angles. Some of us have worked in commercial radio where we are very familiar with licensing costs.
At this time, it’s just not doable, but we’d love to hear new ideas. Similarly, we know how tempting it can be when the paparazzi snaps a photo of you or your favorite guest and you want to use it in a blog post or for promotional content. If it’s not licensed, we just can’t post it. Fines are steep and we are just a small business.
We can point you to some royalty free content, or point you to some independent artists who can, for a fee, help you to develop royalty-free original music and bumpers for your shows.
11.) Keep it light-hearted.
All seriousness aside, if you’ve hung around us for five minutes on social media or listened to us on Midnight Drive or the Midnight FM Comedy Hour, you’ll know that we like to have fun. We want you, our listeners, and all of our other Creators to have fun as well.
In that sense, we’ve made it a policy to have fun and “keep it light-hearted.” Give yourself permission to have fun, breathe a little, enjoy the company of your fellow listeners and Creators, and as always— if you ever need any help or have any ideas, we are absolutely here for you every step of the way.
Last Edited: October 6th, 2020