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An Indie Artist Pipeline to Internet Radio
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
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What to Do With Website Data

Since the beginning of this year, Audio Graphics has been concentrating on helping two groups of people: 1) indie artists who are suddenly finding themselves with a huge number of competitors, fragmenting audiences, and a broken distribution system, and 2) internet radio station operators who are up against a broadcast radio industry moving online, an inability to sell advertising, and extremely high performance rights fees.

To keep from drowning in information, let's take a look at a single item which (when used properly) will help both groups: data gathered through online contact.
"Are you aware of any post-campaign analysis being performed in the online radio industry? Or how about when indie artists launch new albums and put album art on their websites? Does either group dissect the response and then change their approach to improve sales?"

Who is defined by the word "contact"? In both cases it's audience. While the online radio industry is placing too much faith in advertising, indie artists are needing this media element (they are trying to sell music).

Have you organized a systematic way to gather AND USE the metrics, which only an online environment will deliver in large enough quantities? If not, why not?

The use of analytics for improving a consumer's experience is not even on the radar screen for many. That's evidenced by so little change in a radio station or independent artist's website. Analytics helps define what needs to improve. "A/B" testing is one tool, out of many, for improving response.

But let's skip the programming and presentation side in this discussion. Jump directly to why artists sell so little music on their site and why selling advertising isn't taking hold in the independent internet radio industry: Everyone still depends on impressions driving sales!

Online, there are far too many impressions to make an ad valuable.

Create any form of consumer interaction online and there's need for a more robust response system (be it a landing page, on-page chat response, or email followup to each query). Online ads in radio streams - and on artists' websites - are so poorly received by media buyers and music buyers because, in part, nothing is being done to add value to an impression.

Are you aware of any post-campaign analysis being performed in the online radio industry? Or how about when indie artists launch new albums and put album art on their websites? Does either group dissect response and then change their approach to improve sales?

There's a flurry of activity in radio industry trade magazines surrounding a report that iTunes Radio will soon launch, with multiple major companies devoting millions of dollars to ads on it. Yet, none of the articles I've read has even one mention of the bucket of data that each of these advertisers will receive during their campaign's run and after it's complete. This is the single, strongest selling point of placing ads online, yet the radio industry (pureplays and broadcast streamers) is still trying to sell by CPM. It's a losing approach.

Website data needs attention. It requires digesting, like a football coach dissects the movement of opponents and tries to alter his strategy to compete. Nothing like this is happening within the internet radio industry or in conversations at indie artist websites.

Let the broadcasters do their thing; it's being done wrong. Its leadership's MO is to keep Wall Street thinking that broadcast radio is doing something. But just a cursory glance shows stagnation, which even a highly publicized FM chip in cellphones won't rectify anymore than its highly publicized HD Radio push did.

iTunes is rattling a serious saber. Pandora has teams making first contact with local advertisers in nearly every major market. The other major online players are all making movements to attract audio and banner ad dollars.

That leaves the next move up to the independent online radio industry, and to indie artists looking to sell music directly to consumers.

Begin digesting website data in ways that clients and audience find beneficial - and sell that! It's the only leg-up you'll have in an online audio world that's quickly reaching maturation.

There's nothing worse than being asleep when the world is passing you by. Do nothing with data and you may as well close your eyes to any remaining online opportunity.

Today's indie artist introduction is to...
Rock artist Black & White Group
sample song
I Feel Like Dancing

Download Song


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 Black & White Group's "I Feel Like Dancing" a listen.

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

It's time internet radio programmers reach into a huge pile of untapped talent.
It is here where new hit songs will increasingly be found.

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