The Sound of SYN Radio is Changing!

The SYN Radio Team is very excited to announce an awesome change coming to our radio department! For the past three years, SYN Nation has grown to host some of SYN Media’s largest flagship programs, shared diverse ideas from Community Radio SYN Hubs all over Australia, as well as aired fantastic content made by volunteers right here in Melbourne.

SYN Nation has been one of the organisation’s most innovative and ambitious projects to date, and has paved the way, by SYN embracing new broadcasting technology. We have pushed the limits in order to provide our volunteers with the opportunity to be a part of the changes that are happening in radio, and keep up to date with industry standards.

After taking into account feedback we received from our volunteers at SYN Camp earlier this year, we’ve decided it’s time to start pushing our limits again at SYN, by giving our two stations distinct identities!

From season two of 2017 onwards, SYN’s Radio Department will begin curating the shows that air on both our FM station and Digital station. This is a step into the future of broadcasting for SYN and a step towards providing our volunteers a radio department that operates closer to the professional standard in the industry.

A great example of this is how the ABC operates its various radio stations. Each ABC station has a distinct identity in terms of the content it airs and the audience it’s seeking to appeal to. Radio National desired to develop a different listenership in terms of what it programs, compared to 774 ABC Melbourne. RN focuses on long form, culturally significant content, whereas 774 ABC Melbourne focuses on different issues, especially issues relevant to local Melbourne listeners. At SYN we want the shows our volunteers are producing to grow by having audiences that come to the station they’re airing on, for the type of content they’re making.

This change is all a part of SYN Media building their audience, and therefore becoming a bigger part of Australia’s National Youth Culture.

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Luckily for you, we’ve made a simple graphic below to help illustrate these changes in an easy way! We’re going to now start asking the question: Which Platform Is Right For Your Show?

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SYN Nation Examples:

  • Long form discussions and content.
  • Ideas that are part of a national conversation.
  • Relevant to Young People all over Australia.
  • More interview based shows, with only a few song breaks.
  • Artistic shows, (Radio plays! Experimental media! Games!)

SYN FM Examples:

  • Short form segments that can be consumed and appreciated in bite-sized chunks.
  • Ideas that are part of a local conversation.
  • Music based programming, curated playlists, interviews with local artists/bands.
  • Segments that explores topics which can be enjoyed whilst driving or casually tuning in.

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This will not change or restrict the type of content that producers can create! We still expect our volunteers to keep pushing the limits with their shows, and approaching us with their out-there ideas: That’s what SYN is all about! The only thing that we are improving is our ability to help producers build an audience, and an identity with the content they’re creating. Stations normally operate this way, and we believe that giving our listeners a distinction between the two stations’ content, will provide producers a stronger sense of community with the programming they’re a part of. Also, it’ll rid the stigma around Nation, that it’s a ‘90.7-lite’.

Being a part of a station that has a clearer sense of identity means the shows that go to air will be able to develop a bigger audience, who will enjoy the type of content our volunteers are  making more specifically.

Throughout most of SYN Media’s history it’s consisted of a single radio station, however we are now in the exciting position that we can begin to once again, bring our volunteers a new platform and develop a new listenership. SYN FM has existed for 14 years. The Radio Department’s decision to start this change is all about the FUTURE of the Student Youth Network.

Think about it: SYN Nation has existed for three years now. It’s a baby that SYN must nurture, for our use of having a digital broadcasting license to help build our organisation’s voice well into the future of radio and beyond.

Being a SYNner is about more than what we do here right now for ourselves, it is about creating and growing a path into the future for new volunteers, and believing in the goal of the organisation: to “implement a national culture of young people broadcasting for themselves”.

Being open to change is vital to survive in the ever evolving climate of radio, so we can continue to pursue this goal.

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All radio stations naturally go through an evolution, in terms of programming.

SYN Nation will become the Student Youth Network’s long form, nation wide content channel. Shows that fit into this category could be content seeking to be part of a nation wide conversation, and shows mainly talks based, tackling big and current topics that appeal to audiences from all over Australia.

We want experimental shows! Ideas that perhaps you can’t explore properly in a five to seven minute segment, before you go to a song; topics that make the audience think, and need to listen to.

Acknowledging that SYN Nation is on the digital DAB+ Network, means that we are unlikely to be heard in cars. While some may see this as a drawback to broadcasting on digital radio, we want to harness this difference, and give listeners content on SYN Nation that is perhaps more special interest, something that listeners will invest their time into seeking out, and listening to for long periods.

SYN 90.7 will continue to nurture short form content: shows that are great to pop on in the car, with content that is locally based, relevant to a Melbourne listenership, and has short segments between songs. Music based shows, talk shows that can be consumed easily and enjoyed in chunks if you’re only switching on after a song, versus content that needs the whole hour of continuity to encapsulate the thought of the show.

A huge reason for these distinctions, is that we want the wonderful shows our volunteers produce to be appreciated by the audience that’s tuning in. Your beautiful detailed discussion may not be heard all the way through if someone’s tuning in whilst driving – the content they’ll be looking for is different.

Different again would be someone who is tuning in through a digital radio or our stream for Nation that is there specifically for the great longform content you’re putting to air!

We are introducing a new slogan specifically for Nation:

Young People With Big Ideas!

SYN Nation is a big idea in itself and we hope that our volunteer base and audience will continue to grow by embracing the changes we are introducing. Radio is an ever evolving medium, and SYN wants to remain innovative in our approach, so we can continue to grow our networks and reach, all across Australia.

This change is also a part of our Radio Department’s desire to engage more with podcasting as a medium, and encourage our volunteers down that path. Podcasting is a huge aspect of how listeners today are engaging with audio, and we hope by embracing our proposed changes in programming at SYN we can help pave the for the future of audience engagement for SYN’s radio department.

Podcasting as a medium engages producers to create work that’s not constrained to the radio season, with the possibility of higher production value – you can also reach out to audiences from all over the world! It gives volunteers a platform to make shows that engage with listeners in innovative ways, the freedom to test their creative limits, make content of any length, and work within a flexible production schedule.

We believe these values are part of the future of radio, as well as all audio based content today – and we want to encourage our producers to embrace this approach. The Radio Department wants to help you to continue to make fantastic content, and grow your listener base. Radio is changing, and so our attitudes to radio programming must reflect this. Listeners today are more engaged than ever with the content they consume, and SYN wants to continue to be at the forefront of the industry by embracing these ideas.

Thank you!

The 2017 Radio Team

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If you have any further questions about these changes don’t hesitate to contact the Radio Team via,

Any questions about content and your show ideas, feel free to contact Lindsey Green, our Content Development Coordinator at [email protected]