Cleveland Internet Radio Station oWOW is Over

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oWOW
, the internet radio station founded five years ago by former WMMS program director John Gorman and industry vet Jim Marchyshyn, is calling it a day.

Citing a downturn in advertising thanks to the pandemic, Gorman announced this week broadcasts will end come October.

"After much consideration and weighing several factors in our industry, we recognized that continued operation of oWOW radio is no longer viable in this negative business environment," the station said in a press release, "Since we are not in a situation to influence the uncertainty of the future, we are unable to ride out the storm."

"Though this past summer’s online streaming ratings on oWOW were 20 percent above last summer’s numbers, the numerous business closures prevented us from converting those numbers in a stagnant advertising market. In previous years, the summer months accounted for over 50 percent of oWOW’s annual revenue."

When oWOW launched in February 2015, Gorman had high hopes that the medium would attract listeners thanks to an expanded playlist and local personalities.

“The idea [for an Internet radio station] has been there for ages,” Gorman told Scene at the time. “It goes back to when streaming first became viable online. That was in the mid-’90s. You could see it in the future because there was a need for it. The other side of it is that it’s expensive and why do it unless there’s an audience for it. The idea has been in our minds but the timing wasn’t right. We saw that Pandora had a critical mass of audience of people using the Internet for entertainment and that was when we realized something was going on. Spotify solidified it. But the other side of both of them is that there is no element of surprise. You’re going there for a specific reason. In the old days, you had people on the air into the music and they would say things like, ‘Here’s something we think you’ll really like.’”
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