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An Indie Artist Pipeline to Internet Radio
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
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Online, Are You in the Radio Industry?

Quick. How many online audio delivery platforms can you name? Pandora, Jelli, Spotify? I keep a list of websites that claim to be in the radio industry online and none of those names appear on it.

But Pandora's name is "Pandora Radio." And Jelli's home page claims "100% User Controlled Radio." Spotify doesn't mention the word radio until the bottom of its "about" page, though the radio industry keeps it under close watch because it's one of many audio services that's draining listeners.
"Youth listen to songs, or they watch music videos. It's seldom you will hear a group discussing what they've heard on the radio. That's just the way it is today."

Consider that broadcasters spent a few years shooting down the concept that "Pandora is radio." The CEO of radio industry giant Clear Channel spent much of 2011 and 2012 shouting that message, as his company was building a Pandora wannabe - are you ready for this - with the name "iHeartRadio."

They are all "not radio," while at the same time they are today's "radio." Sound crazy? It is, because radio is a word that is not assigned by a manufacturer or industry. It is used by consumers to describe something that delivers audio as content.

I own "RadioRow," which is not a radio station but a place were you go to find a couple thousand web sites calling themselves radio.

Clear Channel - again, the biggest player in the business - dropped the term "radio" from its name a few years ago, now claiming "Clear Channel Media and Entertainment." And that company is not alone in dropping "radio" from its name.

Which brings up the crux of these words: Online, you are not in the radio industry. The internet has transformed all that was radio into an audio delivery platform that old time broadcasters are scrambling to join, or badmouthing out of fear.

Radio is whatever the consumer wants to call their chosen audio player. The older you are, the more likely you will choose the term radio.

Youth listen to songs, or they watch music videos. It's seldom you will hear a group discussing what they've heard on the radio. That's just the way it is today.

The radio industry as we knew it waited much too long to become involved in the internet. Now it finds itself in a state of shock because all these new audio competitors are upending its business model, offering audiences deeper playlists and advertisers data to assess ad campaign spending.

If your "station" is online and you follow the traditional form of playing songs and audio commercials with no accountability drawn from the data at hand, than it is simply old style radio that's online.

If you plan to exist in a couple of years time, though, stop with imitating what radio stations with towers have done for 100 years. It's a style of audio delivery that's past prime. Your future is in being an online audio delivery platform - and I don't care what you call yourself.

Who'd ever have guessed that "Martini in the Morning" would be gathering place for audio, online? Now that it's a successful audio platform, like Clear Channel's "iHeartRadio" duplicating Pandora, this style programming has shown up in Milwaukee - as a new format from the radio industry company "The Milwaukee Radio Alliance."

Offline, though, it's called Martini Radio.

While the broadcast side of radio has a near lockout on indie artists, introducing music is open wide to internet stations.
A Country artist to consider:
Andy and the Rockers

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Andy and the Rockers

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We listen for songs that evoke emotion; fast, slow, female, male, group, it doesn't matter. When an artist has the power to please, they should be given a chance to be heard.

Give Andy and the Rockers's "Down Home Kentucky" a listen.

Add it to your playlist, free! Such is the new world of music distribution.

The radio industry had its shot. It's time internet radio programmers take a chance and reach into a huge pile of talent. It is there that new hit songs will increasingly be found.

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