The (Not So) Wonderful Internet
|"If you are looking for the recipe to success on the internet, here it is: Being found online is the secret, not just being there."||
Because of the several wide-ranging skills required to be successful, a majority of companies and people are held back from succeeding online.
Specifically for this conversation, radio station operators and indie artists are affected; neither group goes far outside of their main skills of a) being a broadcaster or b) being an artist. Problems are created by the internet appearing to be simple to master, or in its appearance of "leveling the playing field."
What we explore today is how offering so much to so many is so problematic.
A station operator from the radio industry or pureplay arena gets a false feeling of accomplishment after building a web site or offering a stream. Then, when they start receiving monthly stats (of web site visitors) it dawns on them how few people are being reached.
Independent artists see the internet as a vehicle for self promotion. Then they start looking at the numbers of people who heard their song and realize theirs is but a spec in a mountain of online music.
It would be great to go online and immediately start seeing returns on your efforts, but that's not the way it works.
It doesn't matter which group you're in (musician or station); both require far more work to produce results than is evident - which is why this wonderful internet so often turns into a hole where money, time and energy are spent for little return.
The immense choice offered to consumers is one reason failure happens so often. Not understanding the importance of search engine optimizing is usually fault #1. Not peppering the internet's vast resources with your link(s) comes next, though this in itself is not why getting in front of people is so hard.
We now have radio industry aggregators with lists that are thousands of stations long. Besides the common names of TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and Pandora, there are dozens of others: Live365, (Audio Graphics' own) RadioRow, Radionomy, MyRadio, etc., and etc. For artists, there are web sites listing thousands of songs or videos (think YouTube). How is anyone supposed to get noticed?
As a side note, I'm amazed at how few US radio industry stations request a listing at RadioRow. While there are dozens of suggestions filed each week from pureplay operators and radio industry stations in other countries, it's usually a station listener who suggests a US broadcast station's call letters (not station personnel).
It doesn't matter whether you're in the radio industry or you're an indie artist - finding an audience requires effort. And here's the most difficult idea to grasp: You don't become aware it's a falsehood that the internet is a wonderful tool for opening many doors until months after going online. This light-bulb moment happens around the same time you realize that - to make the internet payoff - you need to put more time into becoming a techie.
If you are in the music or radio industry, the internet is a vast wasteland where everyone seems to be hanging out. A person's first impression is that they will get online and immediately start to see response. Only, that's not normal.
Adjusting your expectations on what is "normal" response is difficult because there's no real place to find out what "normal" is. One example is in getting listed in search engines for stations, or in a music directory for artists. There are only 10-20 slots on most of the first pages a user sees, so you know that being listed there is not "normal." But oh how it helps, and oh how you hope to get there.
If you are looking for the recipe to success on the internet, here it is: Being found online is the secret, not just being there. The difference between the two is what makes the internet wonderful, or not.
Artists looking to increase exposure can try Audio Graphics' RRadio Music. In addition to being a destination for internet radio programmers looking for music to add to their station's playlist, AG produces "Intro to Indie Artists" programs, which have been requested for airplay on over 180 stations.
Stations interested in airing new music may request a free "Intro to Indie Artist" program here.
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