When Artistic Stops and Business Begins
We live in a light switch world where "I want it now" overshadows "do it right." Many times the affect is that people disregard details, thinking there are quick roads to success.
"What do you mean I have to read the agreement?" "You want my first and last name on this form?"
|Sugar coat the symptoms all you want but it boils down to this: Many creative people no longer wish to spend time on the business side of being creative.
Since 1999, Audio Graphics has operated RadioRow. This web site lists online radio stations. It's much like TuneIn or any of the big companies. Only, I've never tried to increase its visitor numbers because I used it to practice code writing concepts. Scaling up would require dozens of code writers, sales, and customer service reps.
I've been a one man shop since launching Audio Graphics in 1991. For me, one employee is a comfortable working environment.
Concerning RadioRow: For many years I listened to, then added, 6 small and independent radio stations each week. That routine stopped around 2009 when, upon doing a link-verification, I notices approximately 40% of the stations just evaporated; the owners folded them or changed the stream URL without notifying RadioRow.com. The result was that users were finding many "Page Not Found (404) errors at RadioRow, which drove user satisfaction down.
Since 2003 I've also operated RRadio Music. It lists indie artists who sign a waiver, giving radio stations free use of their music in exchange for exposure. The "waiver" is short, but legally binding. It explains all that is offered. Yet, I find that a large number of artists submitting their songs do not understand what RRadio Music does. They haven't taken two minutes to read what they are becoming involved with.
There's no question that both artists and stations enjoy providing their product - organized sound - to an audience. All want to increase their fan base. But the groups also share another trait: The vast majority place little effort into completing the required business actions of their business.
Examples? Not completing signup forms in a serious way - I have hundreds of submissions from people who, on a legal document, list their name as "DJ Bob" or "Two Guitar John.
We should be aware of the increased competition brought about by the internet. So why is it a majority of up-and-coming artists and stations believe their entry into a highly competitive world should be done with anything less than a focus on doing business correctly?
Success is elusive in every business. Failure is expedited by not presenting a solid business image.
These numbers may help drive home just how "un-business minded" online station owners are.
From a just completed link-verification at RadioRow:
2,126 stations have been listed. Today, they breakout as:
- 997 active stations, across 26 radio formats.
- 728 stations simply dissolved, returning a 404 (Page Not Found) error message.
- 130 left a web site up and just shut down the stream.
- 113 refused to, or had no way of providing a contact email.
- 43 (while maintaining the original name) changed to some other type of web site.
- 31 requested removal from RadioRow.
- 22 fall under "other" reasons for removal.
- 17 trigger a "virus" or "security" alert when accessing.
Over 700 of these station owners provided no last name when submitting their station for consideration. 416 gave no email address. On submission, very few explained the format of their station, or gave promotion-oriented information. Analytics tell me that even fewer read the "What Prevents - or Helps - a Listing at RadioRow."
I have tracked these items for 15 years and feel confident about this sentence: The stations still listed, especially those listed for a long time, are run by individuals who have paid equal attention to the business as well as their creative product.
Being more business-minded is required in today's competitive world.
Friday, September 29, 2017
Today's artist introduction is to Country from Casi Joy
Give "Old Town Lane" a listen.
Stations: Add it to your playlist, free.