Turn the Radio Off and Start Your Own Channel

By chrisbrummund, May 19, 2009 1:58 pm

Posted by Chris Brummund

I found a great article over at Music Think Tank that outlines an interesting idea for distributing and promoting new music in the future.

Turn The Radio OffAs a musician, you may develop a “survival-of-the-fittest” mentality and see other bands and artists as your competition.  Instead of fighting against your fellow musicians, the article suggests uniting together and forming your own internet radio station based on the particular niche market you serve.  Get a concentrated group of artists to join in and form a co-op of sorts, then start building a channel for like mined fans to follow.

You can read the article in full to get a better idea about what this author advocating.  But I’d like to just focus on this excerpt:

It’s essential to find unencumbered songs (no strings attached - any deal is possible) that squarely appeal to the niche you are targeting. Each song will have to meet a quality threshold and you will have to monitor your traction analytics (plays, skips, session ends, downloads, etc.) to determine when it’s time to say goodbye to certain songs. You will also have to set all politics and personalities aside when programming your station. Death occurs for a proposition like this when you start spinning songs and featuring videos because you like the person more than his or her music.

 This paragraph puts the emphasis on quality.  You need to play good music to build credibility as a trust source of *insert genre here* music.  Analytics are suggested to determine which songs should go and which should stay.  But won’t this make your new music channel just like the commercial radio stations and big record labels we were supposedly fighting against?  If you boot off the least popular songs and artists, you’re left with playlists that spin the same popular artists constantly.  It’s no different then your typical Top 40 radio station.

As a channel manager, you’d be in charge of finding new music to keep your playlists fresh.  This would involve quite a bit of hustle.  Sure, there are plenty of bands out there, but how many fit within your niche channel?  And how many of those bands are willing to become an active participant in your channel?  Finally, how many of those bands are good enough to be on your channel?

This is where it gets fun.  It’d be a lot of work to make something like this happen, but I’d imagine it gets a lot easier once you have a large group of solid artists to work with.  So who’s ready to give this a shot?

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