OX Live is a digital radio station, broadcasting out of Sydney, Australia and reaching all corners of the world. We chatted about the changes affecting radio at the moment, OX Live’s current line up of shows and its plans for the future!
Why do you think Sydney, the gay capital of Australia, has struggled to maintain a gay radio station in the past?
Unfortunately no community group in Sydney has been able to secure a permanent community radio license, as Melbourne did with Joy 94.9. A few private operators have tried to fill the gap in Sydney, both with small FM licenses and web streams, but I don’t think any have been able to resonate with the audience as well as OX Live! Our music philosophy is to give people what they want – plenty of pop, dance music when appropriate, and big hits from the big divas. We closely monitor where and when people listen and cater to them.
OX Live is a digital music station, right? For the not so technologically-minded among us, can you please explain how that works and how it’s different to a regular radio station?
Yes, it’s digital-only and you won’t find us on FM. But we love that!
The rise in smart phones has given everyone a radio in their pocket. Who even owns an FM radio anymore? With the OX Live app, we’re able to broadcast over the internet directly to listeners who can crank up their speakers, plug in their headphones, dock to a sound system, or connect via bluetooth in their cars.
The actual differences to regular radio are small. We use a cutting-edge audio format to deliver high-quality sound for very little download allowance. We built OX Live for 3G – listening on WiFi or 4G is a bonus!
How supportive have the local Sydney gay and music scenes been to the station?
Extremely supportive. We regularly have local DJs take over the station on Friday and Saturday nights, and have had some big music names in our studios – including Ricki-Lee, Samantha Jade and Luciana.
Since launching OX Live in March 2012, what are the biggest lessons you’ve learnt? Has anything surprised you?
We launched and marketed purely to the Sydney market, to fill the gap that had been missing for so long. There was very little time or money spent spreading the word to anyone outside Sydney. But within months we were getting awesome feedback from gays and lesbians in country NSW, Queensland, South-East Asia, the USA. It’s been an explosion! We’ll always be based on Oxford Street, but I think we’ve realised how great the demand is for a great radio station worldwide.
The station currently has 4 regular shows. What has the response been from the public to these shows?
Our breakfast hosts “JQ & Casey” have taken Sydney by storm! They are two best friends (one is a lawyer, the other a public servant), who started on OX Live with a weekly 2-hour show and no radio experience. They’ve gone on to become the juggernauts they are! They’re not afraid to offend, regularly take things way too far, and generally do whatever the hell they want. But people can’t stop listening!
Our other presenters, James Breko and Kate Monroe, are stars in their own right – and we were extremely lucky to score them! James started the massive DIY Rainbow movement, while Kate is an award-winning global DJ affectionately known as “the first lady of house”.
What plans do you have in the works for future shows and what direction do you see that station going in?
I can’t say too much, but we have a very exciting show starting November 2013 – hosted by one of the biggest gay DJs in Australia. It’s a collaboration, and there are dozens of people involved…but I’ve already said too much!
In terms of OX Live, we know there is demand for more music formats (classic gay hits, heavier dance, etc) – and it’s something we are exploring.
If you’d like to give OX Live a listen, just search for “OX Live” in the app store on your device.