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An Indie Artist Pipeline to Internet Radio
Monday, September 23, 2013
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Needed: Quality Radio Programming

There's a time when all industries make a transition out of business puberty. For internet radio, programmers need to grow up and become creative.

Most stations' programming today means putting together a playlist of songs, sprinkling it with promos and IDs, and - online - a minute or two of commercials per hour. That's called being creative.
"Broadcasters were firing warning shots over the bow of internet radio at last week's NAB/RAB Radio Show. I am glad that we're beginning to see a modicum of concern from high-level radio industry leaders."

To create a program in online talk radio, most talent just open the mike and talk. Radio pros find it's easy to tell well-researched programming because it's fluid with facts and the host knows where they are going.

For anyone involved with internet radio there appears a giant opening to be creative with content. May I suggest it's about to become far more important, because broadcast radio industry leaders are starting to realize that the content they've been creating is lackluster.

Something that's not said often by radio industry executives is "our programming sucks," but a few said so at the Radio Advertising Bureau convention Leadership Breakfast: Jeff Warshaw, CEO Connoisseur Broadcasting, Larry Wilson, CEO Alpha Broadcasting and L&L Broadcasting, and Mary Quass, CEO NRG. All were adamant on the poor quality of programming and commercials in radio today.

For the internet radio industry this is bad: The waking giant syndrome, where the broadcast radio industry has opened its eyes and ears. I believe radio is realizing just how far behind it is in employing the powers of the internet, creative, and community. These three radio executives speaking their minds, onstage, at a radio industry convention will provide grassroot effort to improve.

An improvement on audience relationships was called for more than a few times in this discussion. From an emphatic Jeff Warshaw: "The damage is self-inflicted." Larry Wilson stated, "We're letting the product go downhill. We're running crappy ads." To which Mary Quass later added, "There's a point at which you just leave."

This was a gauntlet thrown down at broadcasters. The online radio industry needs to take notice. Too much of what's produced online is no better than what's shoved out over an antenna. (Song, song, ID, promo, and repeat.)

Broadcasters were firing warning shots over the bow of internet radio at last week's NAB/RAB Radio Show. I am glad that we're beginning to see a modicum of concern from high-level radio industry leaders.

Once in-vehicle online listening becomes mainstream the resulting sea of audio choice will force broadcaster and pureplays to up their game. Choice will fragment audio consumption in ways no 8-track, cassette, CD or MP3 player did.

Some of the best conversations on what's happening with internet radio occurred the day prior, at the RAIN Summit Orlando. I listened online for a few hours and was impressed with the quality of information at this one day seminar. Listen to some of it at Tunein. Be sure to keep your eyes on RAIN. It will soon make most of its sessions available.

Internet radio needs to mature, fast. Better programming, the kind that's worth telling a friend about, is how "good" online radio needs to get. That's a long way to go.

Here I'll reach for a quote from Mary Beth Garber, EVP/Radio Analysis and Insights at Katz Radio Group. She's a fighter for terrestrial radio, but her words strike online and broadcast: "Radio got to what it is because we were young and didn't know there even were rules we were breaking."

There's a huge void to be filled. Radio needs creative content. Both sides need to break a few rules.

Today's indie artist introduction is to...
Hip Hop artist

sample song
Go Hard

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 Chosen's "Go Hard" 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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