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An Indie Artist Pipeline to Internet Radio
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
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It's closing in on that time of year where, for most radio industry trade journals, reflection becomes as important as prognostications for 2014. It's when we begin seeing statements that next year will be better; and that, in 2013, radio leaders successfully moved to make relevancy a priority. You judge if those are accurate statements.
"You can spend little time reflecting on what was done in 2013 in the radio industry - online or off - because there was so little accomplished."

On the internet radio industry side things are not much better. My reflections on 2013 are that more stations hit the online air. More stations are replicating those that exist. The art of "programming" is ceding to where merely "existing" is good enough.

There's no mystery why playlist services are gaining ground. Most radio stations today are playlists based, with more complex site designs. Navigating them is problematic.

So where are radio's new audio programs?

Check the industry trades and you'll find information about people moving, getting fired, and complaints that "Pandora is not radio." There's also a constant cry for Pandora to make public its methodology behind claiming such a high degree of radio listeners. The latter is strange, though, because there's no similar call to Clear Channel when it claims large numbers of online audience attracted to iHeartRadio.

New programs? Besides the ability to create your own online stations on both the broadcast and internet side, there's little evidence either is "creating" programming that's different than what's been in place for years.

A huge opening for the internet radio industry is to go after making stars. Echoed here many times, play indie artists not found by persons like Clear Channel's Tom Polemen, just identified "As the guy who decides exactly what songs are played on each of the 850 Clear Channel stations..." That dashes Clear Channel's claim of having decisions on music made locally. Check radio's 2nd largest company, Cumulus, and awhile ago reports spread how its John Dickey was the main man for deciding which songs get played.

Indie artists increasingly have fewer radio outlets, which is strong reason why the online radio industry needs to embrace what they offer. (Blatant plug: Try RRadio Music or Audio Graphics' "Intro to Indie Artists" programs. Free indie music is found at each.) Creating new programs that highlight indie music fills the broadcast radio void, where few "new programs" exist.

Other topical options for new programming are few, too. A Google search for "radio programs" brings up a list. Finding one that's "new" is nearly impossible. Most are music based, and many orignate through NPR. And, what I find hard to believe, few are designed to explain the new health plan introduced in the United States.

Search "new health plan radio programs" and almost every return is NPR based. Commercial radio stations seem to feature a "show," not a series of programs. (Again, blatant plug: This is the reason I created "New Health Plan Info" 1-minute radio programs, making them available free to internet radio stations. It's the void broadcasters are ignoring, where internet radio stations can draw attention.)

Want an eye opener? Check for audio health programs. Out of 471 returns only 5 are about the Affordable Care Act, and they come from Capital Public Radio, That's alarming, considering the Affordable Care Act is top-of-mind for every person and news channel in America.

You can spend little time reflecting on what was done in 2013 in the radio industry - online or off - because there was so little accomplished.

However, if you are part of the new online radio industry and you want to do something which makes your station stand out from the template formats and radio programming found elsewhere, create "new." It's one thing that will push you forward in 2014, farther away from what old radio seems stuck on delivering.

Today's indie introduction is to...
Pop artist Barbara Kiss
sample song
Catch Me

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 Barbara Kiss's "Catch Me" 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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