Radio's Never Been Needed More
October 18, 2011
Music is available everywhere ... for free.
iPods, MySpace, Google Music, Pandora, Facebook ... the list grows daily.
It has never been easier, nor less expensive, to write, produce and distribute your music if you're an artist.
However, if you're an unknown artist, or even an artist that hasn't had a hit in a long time, this ubiquity is actually your enemy.
When the cost of entry into a field becomes zero, or close to it, everyone who thinks they sing well can ... and seemingly will ... post their songs online.
Which means that if you find a way to sift wheat (the hits) from the chaff (all those horrible MySpace self-productions), you have something of value.
Because time is now our most precious commodity.
Who has time to listen to every new song that's released -- even if there was a way to do that?
And, if you hear about an artist, somehow, and want to listen at the iTunes store, you only get to hear 30 seconds. I've bought lots of songs that had a pretty good 30-second hook, but which I deleted after hearing the whole song twice.
In the age of the Long Tail, true hits have never been more valuable, and no medium helps songs become true hits like radio.
There is room on every format to expose new music and artists ... and if you and/or your station become known for revealing great new songs consistently, that will be valuable to a lot of people.
The more choices we have, the more we need help in making decisions.
Radio: Make a commitment to exposing new music and artists.
I don't mean you have to play nothing but new, unfamiliar songs. That won't work.
But let's get back to the days when we could be counted on by millions of listeners to surprise them with great new hits every time they tuned in.
New music is a part of what will keep radio vital. Bank on it.