Radio's Clout Hailed At SXSW
March 15, 2013 at 2:18 PM (PT)
Radio's continued importance in breaking music was the topic of discussion in two panels on FRIDAY at the SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE in AUSTIN. Wildly disparate takes on radio were flying fast and furious at the Radio Promotion for the New Millennium session that was moderated by MIKE JACOBS of FEARLESS RECORDS
HEARST-ARGYLE Active Rock WIYY/BALTIMORE PD DAVE HILL told the attendees that "PPM awards familiarity" while noticing that "the lines of formats are starting to blur, and I think that's a good thing."
The bottom line remains the same to OWNER IN DE GOOT ENTERTAINMENT head BILL MCGATHY, who declared, "It's about having a song -- plain and simple," then exhorted programmers, "Don't sit on the fence, take a chance!"
The digital era has given Indie label product more of a fighting chance to get airplay, as RED's DANNY BUCH noted, "Music availability has become ubiquitous due to the Internet, and it opened the door for more than the majors just getting artists airplay."
Speaking about the longstanding importance of small indie labels, USRN Sr. Producer/Rock Programming ROXY MYZAL pointed out, "Most of us have forgotten that THE BEATLES were on SWAN RECORDS before they were picked up by CAPITOL."
The radio and record relationship was illustrated by radio programmer-turned-CRUSH MANAGEMENT VP/Promotion GARRETT CAPONE, who said the big difference is that "my phone calls don't get returned as quickly" when he's on the promotion side.
Nevertheless, ALL ACCESS Pres./Publisher JOEL DENVER asserted that "Radio and label business can't be adversaries; it needs to be a symbiotic relationship."
More Affirmations Of Radio's Influence
The "Navigating The Waters Of Radio To Your Benefit" panel, moderated by CCM+E Pres./National Programming Platforms TOM POLEMAN, offered the insight of a bevy of industry heavyweights.
LADY GAGA producer and renowned songwriter/producer and label executive REDONE spoke about how radio made him feel connected in his early days of beginning his production career. "Radio connects the world together," he said. "It's my friend and its everyone's goal to have a big hit song on the radio."
Added GLASSNOTE Founder/CEO DANIEL GLASS, "When you hear your song on the radio, it's amazing. When you get the call that a radio station is adding your music, it's right up there with learning about having a child."
A consensus emerged among the panelists that the more respect the radio and label industries show each other, the better for both businesses.
"The companionship provided by radio is so important to radio," ENTERCOM Pres./CEO DAVID FIELD said. "And it has more listeners than ever ... 243 millions listeners. And radio dwarfs all the new entities that have tried to take its place. It still the way that people discover new music."
One study found that local radio stations still have 90% of the pie, with the rest split among Internet, satellite and other platforms.
"Radio helped finished the job that MACKLEMORE & RYAN began independently with 'Thrift Shop'," WARNER BROS. RECORDS SVP/Promotion PETER GRAY noted. "It's heard by 175 million people weekly. That's astonishing ... and it helped grow this song to its popularity. Radio is essential."