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Mar
24
Airchecker
Around The Dial: Broadcast News Today
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FYI MUSIC – By David Farrell

News about media and the regulatory environment both inside and beyond Canada’s borders.

Bell Tops Radio Awards

Bell Media Radio eclipses nomination counts among all competing radio groups with 46 in this year’s Canadian Music and Broadcast Week Industry Awards that takes place Thursday, April 20 in Toronto.

Also, as previously announced, CHUM FM’s Marilyn Denis will be inducted to the Allan Waters Broadcast Lifetime Achievement Award at the CMBIAs, honouring a career that spans more than four decades as a radio and television personality. She is the first female broadcaster to receive this prestigious award. The awards will be handed out Thursday, April 20 in Toronto.

Bell Media, the nation’s top-ranked radio broadcaster, holds 105 radio licenses in 54 markets across Canada, including Virgin Radio, Canada’s #1 ranked contemporary hit radio network, along with top brands TSN, ÉNERGIE, CHUM FM, Rouge fm, and QMFM.

Bell Lands 4 WW Summit Noms

Bell Media Radio is recognized with four Industry Award nominations at the All Access World Wide Music Summit in Hollywood, May 3-5.

Bell Media Radio is in contention for Best International Radio Group; a pair of nominations in the category of International Music Director for CHUM FM’s Lisa Grossi and 99.9 Virgin Radio’s Dames Nellas; and Programming VP David Corey competes in the Best in the International Program Director/Controller category.

“These nominations underscore that Bell Media Radio represents the very best and most respected teams among peers in this very competitive industry,” said David Corey, VP, Programming, Bell Media Radio. “Congratulations to the entire Bell Media Radio team for being recognized across a diverse range of nominations, celebrating individual and collective excellence both on-air and behind the scenes. I’m blown away by the energy and talent that our Bell Media Radio teams bring to the airwaves each and every day, and proud of our role in elevating the entire industry, year after year.”

Remembering Gary Miles

Gary (Lawrence) Miles, the former CEO of Rogers Radio, died on March 14 at the age of 78. Various friends, peers and competitors including Pat Bohn, Chuck McCoy, Geoff Poulton and Elmer Hilderbrand contributed to a eulogy published by Broadcast Dialogue on Thursday.

Happy birthday Bob FM

When CFWM (99.9 Bob FM) Winnipeg launched the first Adult Hits format 15 years ago this month, the radio dial was a very different place.

These days, Classic Hits, Classic Rock, and Mainstream AC are all crowding around the ’80s as well–and even the all-’80s format is resurfacing. Stations like Bob- and Jack-FM seem diluted. But even if playing the “’80s, ’90s, and … whatever” has lost its shock value, there are still significant Adult Hits success stories. Sean Ross takes a fresh listen to the station that started it all in the ‘Peg, as well as format pioneer Howard Kroeger’s current version of Bob FM.

In 2000, Howard Kroeger, a former programming executive at CHUM, came up with the idea of Bob FM that focused on classic rock tracks mixed with a grab bag of current Hot AC tracks.

iHeartRadio logs 100M registered users

America’s largest radio conglomerate, and one of the biggest players in the streaming music game, has announced reaching a milestone 100M registered users for its app which launched in Nov. 2015. It’s an impressive number to be sure, but the company has declined to say how many active monthly listeners or premium-pay customers it has.

The broadcast giant officially entered the on-demand streaming race with the launch of two new products in December: iHeartRadio All Access and Plus that carry monthly fees of $4.99 and $9.99. The radio chain claims 250M monthly listeners in 150 markets through 858 owned radio stations in the US.

Vice loses legal battle on source confidentiality

An RCMP investigation has triggered a court ruling forcing a reporter to hand over electronic exchanges with an accused terrorist. Vice Media president Ryan Archibald says he intends to seek leave to appeal the decision at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Google’s ‘hate’ video crisis could become a $1B problem

AT&T, Verizon, pharma giant GSK and the Enterprise car-rental company all said Wednesday they were pulling their ads from a variety of Google platforms including the YouTube video-sharing site until they are satisfied their brands aren’t popping up next to internet garbage.


Marketing groups applaud US Senate vote letting ISPs sell private consumer data

Democratic Senator Ed Markey was among the dissenters, saying that the GOP “just made it easier for American’s sensitive information about their health, finances and families to be used, shared and sold to the highest bidder without their permission.”

RIP

Reginald Anthony Sellner, a Kitchener native who worked in radio at CKCR and joined CKCO very shortly after the TV station went on the air in 1954, died Monday, March 20, at U Gates in Waterloo at the age of 84. With the exception of a brief stint with the Ministry of Amateur Sport in Ottawa in the early ‘60s, he spent his television career with CKCO, hosting talk and cooking shows and the Canadian Bandstand teen dance party before becoming Promotion Manager for CKCO-TV, CFCA-FM and CKKW-AM until his retirement in 1995.

Mar
22
Airchecker
The Tyranny Of The Target Audience
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TALKERS | March 22, 2017

By Bill McMahon
The Authentic Personality
CEO

EAGLE, Idaho — I cringe every time I hear a well-meaning PD or GM instruct a personality to focus everything they create and present on “our target audience.” It often goes something like this:

“Our target audience is a woman 25-44. I want everything you create or put on the radio to appeal to her. Figure out what she cares about. Find out what she’s talking about. Imagine what she’s thinking about. Find out what she likes to do. Everything on your show should be about her. Just to remind you, I’ve put a big picture of her on the control room wall so you’ll see her every time you open the mic.”

These instructions are debilitating and dehumanizing. Without saying it, they strongly imply that the life the radio personality is living has little in common with the “target audience” and doesn’t really matter when it comes to creating stuff to put on the radio. The effect is corrosive. When radio personalities are constantly told, subtly or directly, to look outside themselves for ideas for their shows, they suffer a loss of self-awareness and self-esteem. Their individuality and even their humanity are diminished. They gravitate to safe stereotypes about the “target audience.” They rely on trending topics on social media and syndicated prep services. They begin doing a show to please their bosses and not themselves. They end up doing a show that excites almost no one, including themselves. It’s not distinctive. It’s not personal. It’s not intimate. It’s not memorable. It’s not important. The lack of energy, enthusiasm, and passion is palpable. And sadly, the show sounds just like every other morning radio show. For example, when was the last time you heard a morning radio show with a female “target audience” that didn’t have a woman reporting celebrity news and gossip each day. The exact same celebrity news and gossip heard up and down the radio dial and widely available on Facebook and other social media. You know, the ever present trending topics.

The tyranny of the “target audience” instruction has created countless victims within the radio business. It’s also caused many really talented and interesting personalities to flee traditional AM and FM radio for places like the world of podcasting that allow more creative freedom and encourage innovation and experimentation. I’ve talked to many of the victims over the years. Regrettably, what they all seem to have in common is a loss of their individuality and personal identity. When I ask them what kind of show they want to do, they always tell me, “I can do whatever kind of show you want me to do.” They often ask me, “What is your target audience?” If I give them an answer, no matter what it is, they nearly always tell me, “I can do a show for that audience.”

There are other big problems with the “target audience” instructions. They assume every woman or man is living their life as part of a homogenous demographic group. Like every woman 25-44 has the exact same life with the same interests, wants and needs. They also assume that it’s possible to predict, with some certainty, what every man or woman wants to hear on the radio because they belong to a demographic group. That’s a myth. If it were true, every song would be a hit, every movie a blockbuster, every book a bestseller, and every radio show would be killing it in PPM.

So why not forget the mythical “target audience” and instead encourage personalities to focus their creative efforts on the one thing they all have in common with their listeners? Male or female, no matter our age, we all share the same set of emotions. Joy and sadness. Love and hate. Doubt and fear. Emotion is the universal human connector. The surest way for a radio personality to create the most distinctive, appealing, and relevant content and attract the largest and most loyal audience possible is to pay attention to what rings their emotional bell in every event and circumstance of their lives. What makes them laugh, cry, or marvel. What generates a sense of wonder and awe. What causes them to think or feel differently or completely change their mood. What inspires them. What gets them truly excited and arouses their curiosity. This is the source of great content because it springs from what we all have in common. Not our age, sex or demographic group, but our humanity, our human emotions.

Don’t let the tyranny of the “target audience” claim another victim, produce another bland and disposable radio show, or chase another talented artist from AM and FM radio.

Bill McMahon, CEO of The Authentic Personality, is a longtime talk radio station and talent consultant who has played a role in the development of the careers of many leading hosts over the past three decades. He can be phoned at 208-887-5670 or emailed at Bill@AuthenticPersonality.biz.

Mar
17
Airchecker
Andy Walsh Signs Off After 65-Year Radio Career
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The number you have reached is not in service.”

There’s no mistaking the voice if you’ve happened to misdial a telephone number. It literally booms across the phone line with a blend of authority and warmth.

And it belongs to Richmond (Seafair) resident Andy Walsh, who, on Feb. 13, retired from a 65-year-long career in radio.

Walsh, 85, launched his career in 1951 in Cornwall, Ontario and later worked in his hometown of Montreal for 15 years before moving to Vancouver in the early 1970s, joining CHQM. He moved over to News 1130 when it switched to an all-news format in the 1990s. And he signed off from there at the end of a mid-morning newscast last month with a characteristic, humble goodbye.

“I think it was the best day of my life at the radio station,” he said, “in the sense that I was up for it and everything went so meticulously well. And yet, I’ve enjoyed every day in broadcasting.”

And there have been many since he decided to give radio a try as a youngster working at an advertising agency in Montreal that was populated by a host of former broadcasters who, when they heard his velvet tones, encouraged him to send an audition tape around to see if he could get some interest.

Radio also beckoned Walsh as he followed his beloved Montreal Canadiens with the play-by-play call of Doug Smith.

“Back in the ‘40s, way before TV, I would listen to Doug doing the play-by-play and realized that radio was something I would like to try,” he said.

So, Walsh put together a tape and the response was almost immediate when a radio station in Cornwall, called him back.

“It was almost like, ‘When can you start?’” Walsh said. “I didn’t think about how quickly it happened, to be honest. But I wanted to do something in radio and I guess it worked because I was hired.”

The only problem was that he came with a family name – Woloshen that was deemed hard for the average listener to digest.

“It wasn’t good to the ear of the guy I was working with, who asked me how to spell it,” said Walsh. “And he told me listeners would have trouble with it and it would have to change.”

So, since then he’s gone professionally by the surname Walsh.

“That’s what it’s been on air,” he said.

Along the way in his career Walsh has lent his voice to a number of other things than radio, such as the Telus “not in service number clip.” One was being the announcer at the appearance of Pope John Paul II at B.C. Place Stadium in 1984.

“They asked me to emcee his arrival with thousands of people there. The event just filled me with wonderful feelings.”

He was also present when Mother Theresa made a visit in 1988.

“I saw her coming down the aisle in this darkened place with thousands people watching. She was this tiny little figure who I had just introduced. And she was illuminated by this single spotlight. It was quite a sight,” said Walsh, who also used to be a regular scripture reader during masses at St, Joseph the Worker Catholic Church on Williams Road.

“I’m still getting called to do some things. In fact, I have to do an event at St. Joe’s in a month or two,” he said. “People ask you to do all kinds of things and you do them, if you can.”

Walsh said he plans on remaining active in his retirement, using a small, home studio set up to record his voice.

“It’s a computer with a nice microphone, so it’s pretty convenient,” he said, adding he still hears his voice on some commercials aired on CHEK TV in Victoria where one of his sons work as a producer.

“There’s work out there in a number of places, so I could probably stay pretty busy.”

But after six and a half decades behind the mic, he welcomes the rest, but quickly admitted he already misses the routine.

“No question, I loved what I did. That’s why I stayed so long in the business,” he said. “Plus, there was really nothing else I wanted to do.

“It’s been a fun ride.”

© 2017 Richmond New

Mar
10
Airchecker
The Future Of Smart Radios
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CFJC Today

KAMLOOPS — I imagine that the future of radio will combine traditional FM with the technology of smart phones.

I’m not talking about the distant future: the FM broadcast protocols already exist and most cell phones already have an FM radio chip, although you’d never know it. Chris Burns wonders why. In his article for SlashGear.com and he explains how you can find out if your phone has the chip:

“A whole bunch of smartphones out on the market today have FM radio capabilities – but their owners don’t know it. There’s no real good reason for this lack of knowledge save the lack of advertising on the part of phone makers. . . Today we’re listing the whole lot of phone devices that can run FM Radio right out the box.”

I first heard about the FM chip in cell phones last year on CBC Radio’s Spark. Barry Rooke explained how useful they could be. They could be used where no cell service exists and in an emergency when cell towers are down as in the wildfires of Fort McMurray in 2015.

Rooke is the executive director of the National Campus and Community Radio Association and he’s formed a consortium of broadcasters, including CBC, and radio listeners who would like to see the FM radio chip activated.

It doesn’t even have to be a smartphone to receive FM. A friend bought a simple cell phone in Mexico with the FM chip activated for $22 dollars, and that included free calls for eight days — no contract (it galls me how much more Canadians pay for cell phones, but that’s another column). You can hardly buy an FM radio alone for that amount.

The innovation that I imagine would be the use of graphics in smartphones. Some of the FM audio spectrum would be partitioned off for text and lo-res graphics. The text could include lyrics of the song being played and a picture of the artist, news, weather, sports, traffic, stock reports. In poor countries where the phone is more common than radios, it could include voting information, crop and commodity reports. Text and graphics could be saved for future reference.

The graphics would be stacked on the original signal with a subcarrier much in the way that left and right channels are now carried on regular FM as described in Wikipedia. The protocol already exists for car radios and would need to be adjusted for smartphones.

The best system would be a digital overhaul of the FM modulation signal. But that won’t happen because radio stations must be received by regular receivers as well as the new smart radios.

Broadcasters would never transmit a signal that can only be received by relatively few. That’s what happened when stereo radio was introduced. The new stereo signal had to be received by old mono radios as well as the new until the new technology was adopted.

The push for smart radios won’t come from cell phone service providers –they would prefer that you pay for data. It must come from broadcasters and listeners.

Mar
10
Airchecker
Rock Ramblings: The Way Canadians Listen To Radio Is About To Change Forever
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By Medicine Hat News

Radio as a medium has changed very little since Marconi invented it in 1895 (or more accurately stole the technology from Tesla but I digress). Its transmission method has somehow survived all this time. Think about how the way we’ve consumed music has changed over that same period — vinyl, reel-to-reel, 8-track, cassette tapes, laser disk, mini disk, CD, mp3, YouTube and back to vinyl.

To what can we attribute FM’s longevity? It’s not that the technology was just so state-of-the-art right from the outset that nothing has been able to surpass it. There just hasn’t been another transmission method that all providers could agree on. This is not a unique problem in the broadcast world. Several types of “AM stereo” technology was developed but quickly scrapped because providers couldn’t agree on which type to make “standard.” Quad-stereo recording technology was abandoned for the same reason.

When the majority of Canadians found their way onto the internet 10 or 15 years ago, radio was there waiting with streaming technology but audio dropouts, poor sound quality and bandwidth issues were the price of admission for early adopters. Over time that changed with the advent of radio-player apps. While these apps solved many of the challenges, they failed to offer the selection and convenience of switching station to station the way any good, old-fashioned FM radio could. Until now.

Last week, the Radio Player Canada App launched; a collaboration of broadcast companies from across the country, offering 400 plus radio stations, all from one free app. Before this starts sounding like an infomercial, I will say that I doubt this technology will catch on completely until it’s available directly from your car’s dashboard the way FM currently is. That said, agreeing on the channel through which conventional radio will be delivered going forward is a big step towards radio’s inevitable transition from FM to digital streaming.

Radio will never “die” but it’s destined to change. There will always be an appetite for local news, weather and entertainment. If there’s a tornado brewing miles from the city, most would sooner hear about that than listen to Howard Stern interview a stripper for the 10,000th time. And that’s not to say that the satellite radio platform is without its place either. But the reality is, that radio, in its current incarnation, continues to reach 93 per cent Canadians every week. It’s free, always within reach and range and reception issues have just become a thing of the past. So slip into a bathroom stall at work with your phone, download the Radio Player Canada App for free and be a part of this exciting new broadcast frontier.

Layne Mitchell is on your radio at 105.3 ROCK (and your Radioplayer Canada app) 11am-3 pm weekdays.

Mar
10
Airchecker
Rogers Sportsnet Radio Coming To Vancouver
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Moving to a new radio station is a little like moving to a new house.

Apart from all the daunting labour involved, moving your family brings angst and uncertainty. A new neighbourhood means a new school for the kids, maybe a new doctor and babysitter, a different piano teacher or pastor.

Sure, it’s exciting if the house is bigger and newer. But few people enjoy moving. That’s why you find the right house and neighbourhood and just stay.

After 11 years, the Vancouver Canucks are changing radio homes, leaving TSN 1040 for a yet-to-be-named station owned by Rogers Media. This is a huge move — a game-changer with the potential to alter the radio landscape in Vancouver.

That’s what happened 11 years ago when 1040 took the Canucks’ radio rights away from CKNW, a local heritage-brand station that had partnered the National Hockey League team for three decades.

That decision affected people and their careers, and so will this one.

“I went through this exact same thing in 2006,” longtime Canuck play-by-play broadcaster John Shorthouse said Thursday morning as the Canucks prepared to play the New York Islanders. “I was in Nashville getting ready for a game and I got three phone calls all in a span of 15 minutes, from CKNW, from 1040 and from the Canucks.

“I remember how disconcerting and mind-blowing that news was. Am I going to keep my job? What about the great people I work with? So I know what people are going through now at 1040.”

Less than a month after losing Canuck rights in 2006, CKNW announced layoffs.

Back then, the radio rights were decided in boardrooms in Toronto by smaller media empires — CHUM Limited and Corus Entertainment — whose top executives may or may not have had a clue about the impact in Vancouver and British Columbia the hockey team’s rights carried.

Snaring Canuck rights validated 1040, which started in 2001 and was later bought by Bell Media.

TSN is owned by Bell, which is in ferocious competition with Rogers to rule Canadian broadcasting and the mobile phone market.

Canuck chief operating officer Jeff Stipec is aware how his new five-year deal with Rogers Sportsnet, which swooped in late to win the rights after months of negotiations between the hockey club and TSN, will affect not only the media market but many people who work in it.

“It was a funny day in the halls here,” Stipec said Thursday afternoon. “We’re excited to strengthen this partnership with Sportsnet, but there’s no confetti, no champagne. These TSN guys have been awesome with us. We’re going to have that chance to celebrate with Sportsnet down the road when they kind of get their station in order. I look forward to that time, but it has been pretty subdued in some respects today.”

Stipec said the rights wouldn’t have changed had the Canucks not had such a strong relationship with Rogers.

Rogers owns naming rights on the Canucks’ arena, reportedly for $60 million over 10 years, and pays the hockey team about $20-$25 million annually for television rights. Amid this financial scale, radio rights are a comparative drip in the revenue stream for the Canucks.

The radio rights themselves have gone down in value.

TSN 1040’s expiring agreement was worth about $3.5 million annually to the Canucks, but the new deal with Rogers is believed to be worth only about $2 million per season. The contract, however, is for five years, which is longer than TSN had offered.

“There are so many things,” Stipec said of the Canucks’ multi-faceted partnership with Rogers. “This is the one piece in the broadcast platform that wasn’t in Rogers’ portfolio and it made sense on a lot of levels to extend that.”

“We’re thrilled,” Rogers Sportsnet president Scott Moore told Postmedia. “It’s been a terrific partnership with the Canucks over the last 20 years and it was a natural to expand the relationship. We’re now in the enviable position of having the most important sports content in the market on both television and radio.”

But Rogers does not yet have a radio station to broadcast the Canucks.

It owns News 1130 AM, but isn’t likely to mess with a profitable station that leads the Metro Vancouver market in news and traffic.

Rogers’ local FM properties are KISS 104.9 and JACK 96.9 — both music stations.

It seems to make little sense to acquire Canuck radio rights, monopolizing the team’s broadcasts, without an all-sports station like 1040 to drive listeners.

Moore said no decision has been made on where and how Canuck games will be presented on radio next season but didn’t rule out the possibility of Sportsnet developing its own all-sports station. If that happens, can TSN 1040 survive without the Canucks as an anchor?

Seattle station KJR tops its sports radio market without holding any major local broadcast rights. But no one entity dominates the Seattle sports scene the way the Canucks do in Vancouver.

“It’s a little early for us to talk about that,” Moore said of an all-sports Rogers station. “But we certainly will build a great deal of content around the Canucks. We plan on expanding our online capabilities in Vancouver. Having just acquired the rights, we’re still in the process of putting together the right strategy.”

TSN 1040 mid-day host Matt Sekeres assured listeners the station will continue to cover the Canucks, and praised the owners who brought all-sports radio to Vancouver.

“It has changed my life,” he said. “It has changed a number of our lives and it has given Vancouver and B.C. at-large a sports radio campfire … to gather around.”

But soon there will be a new fire burning, and no one knows how hot it will grow.

imacintyre@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/imacvansun

Mar
10
Airchecker
3 Top Tips On Becoming A Radio Presenter
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Becoming a radio presenter takes a lot of hard work and determination. Three radio personalities shared their advice with us on how to build successful radio careers in South Africa.

By Darren Gilbert
Start small and build up your radio career by working hard

According to Frankie du Toit, co-presenter of The 947 Breakfast Club, the toughest thing about getting into radio is getting into a radio station.

With that in mind, its best to start at a community or campus station. Or anywhere else that will give you some form of radio experience.

“It’s usually on a volunteer basis so don’t expect to make the big bucks but go and ask them if they need any help at all,” say Du Toit. “If there’s a gap in marketing, do it. If they need someone to make the coffee, do it. Get your foot in the door and start soaking up every bit of knowledge you can.”

Once you have your foot in the door, you can start twisting the station manager’s arm to get a shot at the graveyard shift and work your way up.

And work hard, adds Du Toit. “When I say ‘work hard’, I mean work harder than anyone else. Be willing to do every stand-in show, every event and anything you can, inside, and outside of the station.”
Focus on what makes you different as a radio presenter

Making it into radio as a presenter is one thing. However, you will not have much of a career if you can’t differentiate yourself from everyone else on radio.

So believes OFM’s general manager, Nick Efstathiou. “Trying to imitate a presenter from your favourite radio station is a death sentence and is career limiting,” he says.

Rather develop your own “radio self” that will set you apart from any presenter you may feel is in direct competition to you.

“Anyone can be a radio DJ but not all can be radio hosts and presenters,” he adds. “The more you know about the industry and how best to execute a great radio show, the better you are conditioned to be part of the industry and easier it will be for you.”

Du Toit agrees with Efstathiou, saying, “Your life is different from every other person on the planet. Share it with the listeners. Presenters that can take the average day events and turn them into compelling radio always win.”
Be passionate about all things music and making a difference

It sounds like an obvious tip, but if you want to get into radio, you need to have a passion for music. However, for Suga, host of Drive326 on Heart FM, there is more to music than just knowing what people want to listen to and playing it for them.

“Music has the power to change people’s realities, so be respectful of the power of the music and strive to deliver it in that way,” she says. “When words fail, music speaks.”

That’s not where it ends for Suga. She also believes in the need for radio presenters to have a desire to have a positive impact on the world. It’s a responsibility that goes with the power of the microphone, she says.

“It’s important to remember to use this instrument to create debate, change, celebrate people and things, create awareness about issues affecting lives and above everything, change mindsets, patterns and behaviour.”

Want to stay up to date with the latest media news? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Heart FM recently changed the way they present the news on radio. Read more about the change in our article, Heart FM News pioneers the future of radio news broadcasting.

Mar
10
Airchecker
Streaming Helps The Radio Star
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If Netflix is using user-generated data to confidently launch successful programs like House of Cards, then it’s fair to say it’s been borrowing a page from the digital music industry’s playbook.

Music streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer have long been collating data from users to create everything from curated playlists to algorithms that can predict when a song is about to become a hit.

“There are literally billions and billions of data points,” says Paul Smernicki, who was the head of digital music for the UK division of Universal Music for the last 17 years.

Data like how long someone listens to a song, where they are, what else they’re doing and other statistics are all recorded for every single listen on every single track, he says.

This amounts to a staggering amount of data, Paul says, adding that it’s fair to say the big streaming services are “as much data platforms as they are music platforms.”
Read On.

Over the years, artists have generally come to terms with the way they are paid through streaming services, he says, noting that they also still receive royalties from the record companies that hold the rights to their music.

And as record company executives become younger and more used to the idea of streaming, the friction between the recording labels and streaming services has become less and less. “They’re digital natives,” he says

Mar
6
Airchecker
Power Of The Jingle
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You hum along, you call out a phrase or two, you tap along to the beat, and before you know it you find yourself singing out loud about soda, or a taco dinner or a carpet installation service. Jingles are sneaky. They slide into your ears and then into your mind and when you are standing in the aisle deciding which brand you are going to buy, a few recalled musical notes can remind you to reach for something that’s mmmm, mmmm, good.

“Mmm, mmm good”, is of course, the signature musical phrase of Campbell’s Soup. The heyday of the jingle was the 20th Century, when radio first took over living rooms and then moved into our cars. Advertising Age celebrated the jingle in its Advertising Century package, listing the top 10 advertising songs, which include McDonald’s “You Deserve a Break Today,” the U.S. Army’s “Be All That You Can Be,” and Oscar Meyer’s “I Wish I Was an Oscar Meyer Weiner.” The jingle fell out of favor for a while there, but with brands now creating their own content and feeding their own brand platforms, audio content is a great asset to have. And thanks to the ubiquity of mobile devices and their ear buds, more people are listening to audio content at their desks, while exercising, cleaning house, in their cars or while shopping than ever before.

Gayle Troberman, exec VP-chief marketing officer of iHeartMedia, for one, believes the time is right to revive the jingle for the digital age.

“People don’t realize the scale of radio reach today,” she said. “Just in broadcast radio alone, we reach 270 million consumers a month. That makes us bigger than Facebook or Google. And when I think about what radio is great at, it’s a daily habit with your favorite personality, driving to and from work with your favorite show on, hanging out with and having conversations with people you know and trust. It’s an ongoing relationship.”

A jingle really lives well on radio, believes Jingle Punks President & CCO Jared Gustadt. “That’s where the jingle came from. The jingle interrupts entertainment in a pleasant way to say ‘look at this and please pay attention to this product.’ In a world of pre-roll ads and consumers opting out of commercials, the jingle is making a comeback,” he said. “From ‘I’d like to buy the world a Coke’ to mattress warehouse ads, the jingle has the power to grab people’s attention in a cluttered market place.”

“Short messages and high frequency is a powerful way to get a brand to be top of mind and puts you in a consideration set,” Ms. Troberman said. “Jingles can be a crazy effective way to get into consumers’ heads with a message that this brand is this, and delivers this benefit. A brand can get into a consideration set because of simple reminders served at high frequency.”

iHeartMedia has a long working relationship with Bacardi, and last year the idea came up to use music to deliver its message. The brief turned out to be dead simple, get more people to drink Bacardi when they were out with friends. The team came up with a little riff that was just, ‘Drink Bacardi Tonight.’ The result was a 54% lift in purchase intent during the first wave of the campaign, and that lift continued throughout the year. “It shows the power of a great jingle, it gives a feel and a little tropical vibe and a little energy and it lands the one simple message benefit about that brand. When run with enough frequency, it works to put Bacardi into the consideration set,” Ms. Troberman said.

“Radio is really powerful for bringing a brand to front of people’s minds,” said Heidi Arkinstall VP of Global Brand Equity, Logitech. Logitech, she says, has “high prompted awareness,” meaning that if the brand is named, a consumer usually recognize it. “Radio can move a brand from the ‘back of the tongue to tip’.”

Read On.

Mar
5
Airchecker
Samantha Stevens Returning To Winnipeg To Join Peggy 99.1
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By Global News

WINNIPEG — Samantha Stevens, a well known name in Winnipeg radio, is coming back to the city.

Stevens will co-host Feel Good Mornings with Sam and Travis on Peggy 99.1. She was last at QX Country in Winnipeg before a brief stint in Calgary.

“We’re extremely excited because she’s not only a well known talent in Winnipeg, she’s a well known talent across the country,” Peggy’s program director Tammy Cole said Thursday.

I didn’t realize I’d miss Winnipeg as much as I did,” Stevens said.

“It’s the people, honestly. There are so many kind, lovely, welcoming people that are just so sweet.”

The new show launches on March 20.

“We really want the listeners to be the star of the show,” Stevens said. “We want to see the faces of Winnipeg and want to hear the voices of Winnipeg.”

Travis Stewart will co-host the show with Stevens. Stewart will be coming to Winnipeg from Yorkton, Saskatchewan where he was a host and music director of radio station Fox FM.

Mar
5
Airchecker
Radio is In Danger Of Becoming Safer Instead Of Better. PPM.
Net News 0

By Alan Cross’

Here’s a little inside baseball look at why the radio stations in your town sound the way they do.

Late last year, a longtime affiliate of my The Ongoing History of New Music program decided to stop running the show, something that I obviously found disappointing and more than a little distressing. The program director’s reasoning for canceling the show? Poor ratings.

Okay, I get that. A PD’s job is to keep as many people listening to his/her station for as long as possible as often as possible. No ratings, no revenue–and no more job for the PD. Fine.

But what annoyed me was the data this fellow used to determine that the ratings were, in fact, poor. They may not be telling the whole story of who is listening to his radio station and for how long.

In his market, as with all the largest markets in Canada, the prevailing ratings system for over-the-air radio is called PPM, which is short for Portable People Metres. These are small pager-like devices a select group of people called a panel are supposed to carry with them all the time. These devices pick up inaudible tones broadcast within the main signal of a radio station. By sensing what radio stations panelists are exposed to over the course of a day, a week or a month, listening habits can no only be extrapolated for an entire city but can be sliced and diced into specific demographic groups.

These are the numbers by which advertising rates are set. If you have a lot of listeners from a particular demo–let’s say adults aged 18-34–your station can make a lot of money from advertising things that age group likes: beer, concerts, fast food and so on. And because PPM records passive listening–it automatically logs all the radio signals to which a panelist is exposed without any other intervention or action–the resulting numbers are hyped as accurate.

Well, maybe not.

It took about 13 seconds for people to figure out how to game the PPM system when it was introduced about a decade ago. Because metres need to keep moving to keep recording (that way you can’t just put a metre in front of a radio and leave it there all day to soak up the listening minutes when no one was actually listening) some wiseasses figured out they could attach a metre to a dog or (my favourite) a ceiling fan. There also were some other technical issues involving the signal encoding that could be exploited in some interesting high-tech ways that I won’t bore you with here. (But if you want to go down that rat hole, just Google “Voltair.”)

But there are other problems, especially with that important 18-34 demo. How do you make it cool for someone that age to carry around a page-type thing all day? What do you do when someone chooses to listen on headphones? Yes, there are special PPM dongles for headphone listening, but how many people actually use them? And most importantly, how big is the panel of listeners?

This is a big problem. In a city the size of Toronto, the listening habits of over three million people are determined by what’s reported by just a few thousand PPM panelists. And that’s all age groups who are listening to a variety of radio stations over 24/7 periods.

When you drill down to specific age groups–let’s say men 18-34 or the even more mercurial men 18-24–you start working with a sample size that is, as Larry David might say, pretty, pretty, pretty small.

Let’s go back to the data used by the guy who canceled Ongoing History. The program was running on the weekend–Sundays, I think, in competition with the best TV of the week–on an alt-rock station in a large Canadian city. In an effort to make sure he was getting as many listeners to his station as he could–and again, I’m completely on board with that in principle–he looked at the performance of his radio station, including Ongoing, on a minute-by-minute basis, something that PPM allows you to do. There are even software programs that allow PDs to go back through their broadcast days, noting the exact minutes when ratings dip and when they surge. By going back over the program logs, you can see what caused people to tune out–panelists, anyway–and what held their attention.

Overnight data comes in within 24 hours, so by Tuesday, he’d have a minute-by-minute report of how that past weekend’s Ongoing History show performed ratings-wise. Based on that data, he determined that ratings for the show started to suck, so it was time to pull the plug. Can’t argue with that, right?

Well, hang on. Let’s go back to the methodology for gathering that ratings data. If, for example, he was looking at adults 18-34 listenership during the show, how many listeners might actually have had a PPM metre? Ten? Six? Four? Two?

As someone who has analyzed PPM data in this way, I can tell you the number can be tiny. That means if just one PPM holder decides he/she doesn’t like the topic or the song–or if that person gets called away to do something else–the extrapolated numbers go off a cliff. Hence ratings suckage. Decisions for an entire city are made on the basis of the habits of a small, small group of people–and sometimes that group is miniscule.

In other words, it’s possible that my show was canceled not because too few people were listening but because too few people with metres were listening. There’s no way of telling, but it’s possible that the show had thousands of listeners each week, but with no way of capturing that ratings data, no one would know.

(There’s another tangent on which we could depart here: What kind of person agrees to be a PPM panelist?)

And another thing: my one-hour show constituted exactly 1/168 of a listening week. Even if the program had a 50 share for that one hour (that would be YUGE), it wouldn’t have that much of effect on the station’s overall ratings.

Remember how I said how PPM technology allows PDs can look at minute-by-minute listening? Let’s take a look at a typical radio station between 1 and 2 pm on a Wednesday, specifically at, say, male listeners between the ages of 25-54.

Out of all the men of that age group in that city listening during that hour, let’s assume four have PPM metres and that all of them are driving in their cars. When the DJ starts talking, two of those men switch stations in search of music. One eventually returns 10 minutes later, but the other is off somewhere else, having reached his destination and has left the car. Around 1:30, some commercials start playing and two of the three men with metres tune out, leaving just one person’s listening to speak for the rest of the city until someone else with a metre tunes in. Which may or may not happen until…whenever.

You see the problem, right?

But back to the PD. His/her job is to keep listeners–especially listeners with PPM metres–from tuning out. The mantra is sacrosanct: Never give a listener an excuse to stop listening. Ever.

Again, good in theory. But the result is that radio has been getting safer and safer, staying away from anything that might turn off even one of those priceless PPM people. As a result, fewer chances are being taken with music, talk and programming in general. In an effort to appease those who have PPM metres, many PDs, prodded by their general managers and sales managers, are wont to make their radio station sound safer rather than better and more interesting. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

But I’m going to keep doing Ongoing History shows the way I’ve always done them. I put my heart and soul into making interesting and compelling radio, something that seems to be working. I mean, this is a show that’s been running since 1993, right? And it doesn’t follow the traditional radio rules. The host talks too much, plays a lot of unfamiliar music and never mentions the call letters of the radio station. What makes the show work are the stories and the context in which the music is presented.

I believe if you give people a good reason to listen to DJ talk and to unfamiliar music, they will. It’s the human element that distinguishes radio from context-free Spotify playlist created by some echo chamber-creating algorithm. People crave great storytelling, information that surprises and delights and the ability to be taken new places–places that they’ve never been and maybe never knew existed.

I refuse just to play the hits and stick with well-known artists (something this PD wanted me to do) and stick to non-challenging topics. It’s not always safe, but it does have the potential to make radio better.

Sometimes the official ratings don’t tell the whole story. Jacobs Media has a few more thoughts on the subject.

Mar
5
Airchecker
Podcasting In Burli Newsroom
Net News 0

To say podcast use in North America is on the rise would be something of an understatement. In 2016, America’s podcast listening audience had grown an estimated 23% since 2015, and 75% since 2013 (Edison Research). Since their rise in 2007, smartphones have turned into the perfect portal for carrying on-demand audio around with us at all times, and our culture is certainly interested in the smartphone!

Podcasting, at its heart, is a produce-and-consume model of distributing audio. Content generators publish audio (and sometimes video) to the web, and subscribers use podcast receiving software (iTunes, Overcast, and similar) to download and play the content. The actual downloading process on the part of the listener is usually automated, and playback is at their convenience.

To keep up in a challenging environment, many traditional radio stations have taken to podcasting as a way of staying in touch with their audiences. Why not? Radio has been in the business of creating high quality, captivating audio for decades, why not take advantage of that existing and constantly refreshed source of media? There’s surely a place for professional audio engineers to capture some podcast listeners among a field of competition that has largely been developed by amateur enthusiasts.

Burli helps its customers get onto the podcast train by helping you easily convert your audio into podcasts. From planning your show, to recording and editing, and all the way through posting it online, Burli Newsroom has it all. Let’s take a look.

Read On.

Mar
5
Airchecker
Why Live Podcasts Are Becoming A big Deal This Year
Net News 0

Podcasters like to argue that theirs is the most intimate medium. But to grow their businesses, more and more of them are getting into live events, with producers big and small either growing or launching events operations.

In the past week, both Midroll and WNYC announced major podcast festivals on opposite coasts: LA-based Midroll’s Now Hear This festival will take place in New York, while WNYC’s Werk It, a podcast festival focused on women, will take place at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles. Later this month, Gimlet, the venture-backed podcast startup from Alex Blumberg, will present its very first live podcast at the Bell House, in Brooklyn; even podcast newcomers Spotify, which announced its first slate of original shows this week, www.airchecker.ca/wp-admin/post.php?post=16818&action=edit&message=6# putting on live events for shows like AudioHQ’s recently launched scripted podcast Bronzeville.

Read On

Mar
5
Airchecker
Steve Marlow: Digital Audio Broadcasting Won’t Come To Canada
Net News 0

By Kamloops This Week

On Jan. 11, the small northern city of Bodo became the first city in Norway to go entirely to digital radio. The rest of Norway should be switched over by the end of 2017. Norway has not abandoned radio for the Internet. Rather, they’re going to a new form of radio broadcasting.

Digital audio broadcasting (DAB) has a clearer radio signal than FM radio. It also allows many more stations than an FM signal.

Radio stations can pack eight signals onto one frequency, each with separate streams of music or information. In fact, a station could carry an AM and FM signal on a sub-frequency of their own digital station.

orway’s decision has been controversial and full of problems. Sixty-six per cent of the population in Norway opposed the decision, yet the government went ahead anyway. Switzerland and the U.K. are also considering a switch over in the next five years.

Is digital radio superior to current FM and AM radio? That depends on what you’re looking for. Much the same as the debate between CDs and vinyl, you’ll find fans of both a digital signal, which is distortion free, and an analog signal, which some find “warmer” than a sterile digital broadcast.

A station could sell separate ad packages for each sub-station on their frequencies, leading to more money coming into the station. However, current radios do not have the ability to pick up digital radio broadcasts.

A digital adapter for existing radios costs about $235. More than two-million cars in Norway do not have DAB receivers and will need to be adapted by the end of 2017.

Some critics have pointed out that emergency signals would be missed by non-DAB receivers as Norway does the switch over during the year. There’s also the possibility of a lockout system, like Netflix, so only those who pay for the service would be able to hear it.

The U.K. has no plans to switch any time soon, saying it will review it when listenership for DAB reaches 50 per cent. DAB also covers less distance than an FM system, which, in turn, covers less distance than an AM signal.

For a small country like Norway, this system might work. But for a country like Canada, with huge distances between cities, there will be enormous gaps in DAB coverage. Another problem is cost to the radio stations themselves.

It currently costs Norway’s broadcasters about $39 million to operate DAB stations, some of which will be covered by the government. With Canada’s size and the current cost of DAB, I doubt we’ll be seeing it here any time soon.

Mainly small and rich countries will benefit from DAB at this time, with much of the third world still relying on cheap and reliable AM and FM signals.

Steve Marlow is the program co-ordinator at CFBX, an independent radio station in Kamloops. Tune in at 92.5 FM on the dial or go online to thex.ca.

Mar
5
Airchecker
Kevin Lim and Sonia Sidhu Vancouver Radio
Net News 0

Kevin Lim and Sonia Sidhu will step into the host chairs of the Rogers Radio-owned station’s breakfast show from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. The pair are no stranger to airwaves in the city, having co-hosted morning shows in the Vancouver area since 2011 — first with Bell Media’s 99.9 Sun FM and and then on 102.7 The Peak, owned by the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group. They were named Broadcast Performers of the Year by the BC Association of Broadcasters in 2014.

Lim and Sidhu, who met as classmates in the BCIT broadcasting program in 2002, announced on social media in August that they had been let go from The Peak as the station looked to move in a “new direction.” They described the move as “unexpected.”

However, Julie Adam, SVP of Rogers Radio, told MiC that Lim and Sidhu’s long-established chemistry — and audience — were what Rogers Radio was looking for.

“The interesting part about radio is the humanity behind it,” said Adam, who added that Kiss’s programming has always been about mass appeal and attracting a wide age demo (skewing slightly female), something the company is not looking to change. “We’re looking to build loyalty to the station, and having two hosts with that chemistry is really conducive to that.”

She said with the pair’s pre-established relationship, Rogers looked to plan a show “around” the two, bringing over some of the segments and games from Lim and Sidhu’s days with The Peak such as “Fist Pump Fridays,” “First World Problems,” “Sexy Slow Jams” and “The Not-So-Secret Word.”

Prior to Lim and Sidhu’s hiring, the show had been without a permanent host since January following the departure of Kid Carson in January. The show has been hosted by afternoon host Ara Andonian in the interim. Rogers did not provide ratings of the show when requested, however Adam said Kiss is the #4 station for adults 25 to 54 in the Vancouver area.

Mar
5
Airchecker
Making Money With Radioplayer
Net News 1

Making Money With Radioplayer

If you’re a station that doesn’t need to generate income – lucky you! For all the rest, you may be wondering how you can monetise your online listeners without needing a degree in Computer Science to build clever widgets.

Well, we’ve done a lot of the hard work on this already. Built into the new Radioplayer console there’s a suite of commercial features you can control yourself. Some are dead easy, some require a bit of configuration.

So, here are four ways you could be monetising your online listeners using Radioplayer.

1. Join an in-stream service* like AdsWizz or Triton. They insert targeted ads into your stream, sometimes with synchronised visuals. We’ve done the work to integrate the front-end bits into the Radioplayer console for both systems (so you’ll just need to make any server alterations they require). Stations already using AdsWizz in their Radioplayer consoles include Absolute Radio, and those using Triton-enabled versions include Jack Oxford.

2. Switch on ‘click-to-buy’ in your Radioplayer. It’ll automatically take the ‘now playing’ track data you send us, and insert a ‘buy’ button in your console. When a user clicks it, it’ll open the music affiliate site of your choice, and offer the track for purchase. An example of a station already using this feature is Fun Kids.

3. Sell a ‘Radioplayer takeover’ campaign, which displays an ad before your Radioplayer loads. It’s a console-sized web window, containing anything from images and text to video, audio, Flash, or a quiz. You can switch on this feature very easily, and it can also be networked – with one piece of creative sold across dozens of stations. Here it is being tested by Radio Essex, showing a Radioplayer ad.

4. Set up a ‘Radioplayer overlay’ to display automatically over the ‘plugin space’ at the bottom of your console. This can load at the start of a session, or you can make it appear any time. Again, the content can be anything – either silent (with your stream still playing), or with audio (in which case your stream will temporarily mute).

Four ways you can generate cash using your Radioplayer console. We’re here to help, so please get in touch if you need guidance on setting these up.

*Radioplayer doesn’t endorse or favour these particular in-stream systems – they’re just the only ones stations have asked for. Let us know if there are others we should investigate.

www.radioplayer.co.uk/blog/making-money

Mar
5
Airchecker
NORTHWEST BROADCASTERS: Jeff Winskell Heads Back To Kelowna
Net News 0

Former Astral Media and Bell Media Vancouver executive Jeff Winskell has accepted a new role within Bell Media and will be moving to Kelowna to oversee 22 stations throughout the B.C. Interior as group PD, succeeding Mark Burley, who was released due to staff cuts last month. He has most recently been PD for Bell’s St. Catherines ON radio cluster and assumes his new position at the end of the month. Winskell held a number of positions, first in Nanaimo and then in Vancouver from 2002-12.

Mar
5
Airchecker
Georgetown’s Jesse ‘Modz’ Joins Calgary Radio Station
Net News 0

Independent Free Press

A voice familiar to many local residents on the radio airwaves has headed west to Calgary.

Georgetown native Jesse Modzelewski, known to listeners as Jesse Modz for the past three years on St. Catharines-based radio station HTZ-FM, recently left his afternoon drive home spot to take on the morning show duties at Calgary’s CJAY 92.

The Christ the King Secondary School grad previously worked at radio stations in Kingston, Ont., Prince George, B.C. and Lac La Biche, Alta. prior to being hired on at HTZ-FM in May 2014.

The 28-year-old got his start in the business on an Erin community station before catching on as an intern with Toronto’s 102.1 The Edge.
Jesse_Modz_Hits_FM___Content

Mar
5
Airchecker
Canada 150: Shushma Datt Pioneered Ethnic Broadcasting In B.C.
Net News 0

To mark Canada’s 150th birthday, we are counting down to Canada Day with profiles of 150 noteworthy British Columbians.

Shushma Datt once chatted up a young Mick Jagger and George Harrison for the BBC. Now she’s the highly respected matriarch of an ethnic broadcast enterprise in one of the most ruthlessly competitive radio markets anywhere.

Born in 1946 into a large family in Kenya, she was the daughter of an accountant. She earned a degree from the University of New Delhi. She has worked as a reporter for the prestigious Times of India, ranked among the world’s top 10 newspapers. In 1965, she emigrated to London with her parents and five siblings. Both she and her father got jobs at the BBC but, she later wrote, her dad thought she was a secretary. Instead, at 19, she was learning the ropes of radio broadcasting at the place that invented quality radio.

Read On

Mar
1
Airchecker
Vancouver: Roundhouse Radio Dials Itself Into The City’s Heart
Net News 0

Michael White — Westender

When radio mainstay Martin Strong – whose more than 20 years on air include long-term spells at CBC and Rock 101 – was approached by none-more-veteran broadcasting visionary Don Shafer in 2015 about joining a new, independent, hyper-local talk station, his trepidation about the concept was overruled by his faith in Shafer. “‘If Don Shafer thinks this can work,’” he remembers thinking, “‘then I’m onboard.’”

Strong’s confidence appears to have been well placed. Roundhouse Radio, whose only appearance in last year’s Best of the City poll was an impressive but isolated Silver for Best Local Radio Station, this year took Gold in the newly launched Best Local Talk Radio category and made a clean sweep of Best Local Radio Personality: Martin Strong (Mornings, Gold), Cory Price (Live from Railtown, Silver) and Emelia Symington Fedy (Trying to Be Good, Bronze). Little more than a year after its launch, the station has established itself as a still-evolving but crucial outlier among the city’s terrestrial and online radio options.

“This is probably the only city in the world where I’ve ever felt at home,” says Shafer, Roundhouse’s CEO and general manager, whose 50-plus years in the industry have taken him around the country, including stops at Toronto powerhouses CHUM FM and Q107. When Canada’s licencing body, the CRTC, made a new spot available on the FM dial, he says, “I thought I had the perfect idea, which is a station that’s all about the city.”

The catalyst was a report from the Vancouver Foundation that said, he recalls, “that the city was disconnected and people weren’t talking to each other.” His solution was a station that devotes itself largely to facilitating communication between the diverse people and goings-on that are otherwise being overlooked by local radio, if not all media.

“The idea of being local is not new,” Shafer admits. “I’d love to take credit for the idea, but it’s really an old-fashioned idea of what radio did [when it was new] – or even television. The city of Vancouver is almost one million people – bigger than a lot of Canadian cities – and yet all radio stations in town, except maybe Co-op, are less than 30 per cent local. Over 70 per cent of Roundhouse’s content is local. It’s all about community, it’s all about art, politics, what’s going on in the street.”

“Roundhouse is more like stations in the old days,” Strong concurs. “It’s a family-owned company, as opposed to these media giants that own four radio stations and two TV stations in one town. It’s a lot more organic and it’s a lot more fun. There’s so much interesting stuff that goes on here – the little microcosms of the city – and we get to explore them in all the different parts of town.”

This means a programming roster that includes the likes of Price’s Live from Railtown, an in-performance showcase of local music; Terry David Mulligan’s food-and-drink-focused Tasting Room; and Kirk LaPointe’s Evenings, which, like Strong’s Mornings counterpart, spans the gamut of arts, politics, sports and everything else under the sun, usually including interviews with known and unknown Vancouverites seeking to make their mark. “We want to be Vancouver’s voice, not just us talking,” says Strong. “There are so many people who have come through our doors as guests and to contribute in some way. I’ve met so many interesting people – I’ve met more interesting people in the past year than I did in the previous 10.”

“Our team has worked so far to find our place in the city, to find our sound, to reach out. It’s overwhelming to see the results,” adds Shafer. “We’re still in the process of proving ourselves. The Best of the City results are, frankly, inspirational. It says the patient is alive!”

Roundhouse Radio 98.3 FM
roundhouseradio.com
- See more at: www.westender.com/best-of-the-city/roundhouse-radio-dials-itself-into-the-city-s-heart-1.10197543#sthash.d48AuMrw.dpuf

Mar
1
Airchecker
Sean Ross: When It Comes To Smartphone Usage: Two Countries
ARTICLES, Net News 0

RAIN-by Brad Hill
Over the years, a picture has emerged of Country P1s who are more loyal to Country radio and less inclined to broadcast radio’s emerging digital competition. Perhaps they were more satisfied by their favorite radio station than fans of other formats. Perhaps they were not as tech savvy. Either way, broadcasters were inclined to view it as good news if it kept listeners close to home.

But when Edison Research surveyed smartphone users for its Country Radio Seminar 2017 presentation, unveiled Feb. 23 in Nashville, an interesting dichotomy emerged.

Among smartphone owners, fans of Country music, those who say they “frequently” listen to Country, actually index higher than smartphone owners overall for many digital behaviors, including many types of streaming audio. It is Country Radio Listeners who are sometimes (but not always) less digitally inclined.

When asked how often they listen to audio from Internet Radio or online streaming services:

51% of all smartphone owners listen daily or several times per day, compared to:
68% of those smartphone owners who are Country music listeners;
46% of those smartphone owners who are Country radio listeners

When asked if they have ever streamed online audio in their car, Country music listeners are more likely than the average smartphone owner to have done so (70% to 63%). But Country radio listeners slightly exceed the average as well (64%).

Country music listeners are more likely to have listened to an online streaming service’s curated playlist, such as Spotify’s Discovery Weekly, 55% to 53%. Only 44% of Country radio listeners have done so.

Country music listeners are more likely than average to say they use Pandora on their smartphone (51% to 44%). They are more likely to use iHeart Radio (27% to 24%) with its mix of broadcast stations and other offerings, but they are also more likely to use Amazon Music (27% to 25%) and YouTube Music (27% to 26%). Only Spotify currently indexes low (25% to 28%–although that’s still a quarter of all Country radio listeners).

Country music listeners, asked about navigation apps, indexed higher for all the top three usages—getting directions, finding nearby businesses or landmarks, and, significantly for broadcast radio, avoiding traffic. The gap in usage of navigation apps between Country Music Listeners (94%) and Country Radio Listeners (90%) is slight.

Ownership of a smartphone implies a certain greater level of implied tech savvy, but inside that community, Country music fans are more digitally engaged than others. (Country was #5 among types of music listened to frequently by smartphone owners, and practically tied with the #3 and #4 styles.)

And now, as Country broadcasters ponder the tapering off of the hot streak that most agree has taken place over the last 12-18 months, we must factor in a significant number of Country music fans who are not getting that music from Country radio. 78% of Country music fans who are also smartphone owners say they listen to AM/FM radio daily. But that means 22% do not.

In the past, there has been a tendency to dismiss Country fans living outside radio’s gates as those with a taste for music too old or esoteric for our hit-driven, mainstream stations to acknowledge. But 22% is an awfully big number to include only those in search of exotica.

And for that reason, the tapering off of this Country radio explosion may be different than those in the past. Even as younger listeners flowed in to the format 3-4 years ago, Country PDs were girding up for the day they became fickle. But less usage of Country radio by younger listeners, who always index higher for digital behaviors, no longer necessarily means their interest in Country music has faded away.

Country radio typically responds to a doldrums by slowing down the development of new songs (without ever addressing the separate but confounding issue of the rotating door at #1). That might not be the move this time. We didn’t ask if that 22% of Country fans who aren’t listening to AM/FM radio are more active users of new music, but we do know that YouTube, Pandora, and Spotify have become significant sources of music discovery for all listeners. Further slowing the charts is only likely to drive more of a wedge between broadcast listeners and those that radio needs to repatriate.

Listener behaviors outside country radio’s walls are easier than ever to track, but broadcasters aren’t always inclined to do so. In his CRS presentation, Jeff Green’s Stone Door Media Lab found that radio’s top three reasons for adding a single were artist stature, gut, and playlist fit. Streaming data and airplay at Sirius XM were near or at the bottom. Broadcasters have often persisted in trying to position satellite radio as an irrelevant other; able to play anything it wants without the accountability of ratings. But songs streamed are songs actively chosen by listeners. If the industry is in any way sincere about not wanting to spend 40 weeks developing a passive record, streaming could be immensely useful.

Broadcast’s fastest growing competitor, Spotify, has expanded its utility from music-on-demand to discovery—especially its “Discover Weekly” playlists, thirty songs you might like waiting for you every Monday. While online radio’s earliest unique selling point—the skip button–has been hard for radio to replicate, finding and recommending songs is radio’s area of expertise. Playlisting and music recommendation is an area where all broadcasters could and should engage immediately. And with Country music fans still indexing a little lower for Spotify usage, there’s a little more of an opportunity.

At the very least, Country music listeners’ enthusiasm for most digital behaviors should encourage broadcasters, especially the ones who sell Country radio. There is no area of qualitative data in which broadcasters have ever wanted Country fans to underperform except, for reasons of self-interest, this one. But indexing high for digital behaviors is a success story for Country music, and, if broadcasters engage, could be one for radio as well.

Mar
1
Airchecker
Radioplayer Fulfills Its Promise To Launch In Canada
ARTICLES, Net News 0

RAIN – by Brad Hill
Radioplayer Canada is in the market as of today, after a September promise to bring national station aggregation to that country.

“RADIOPLAYER CANADA APP LAUNCHES CANADIAN RADIO INTO THE FUTURE” — that’s the headline in Canadian publication My Northbay Now, reflecting optimism that stream listening nationwide will be easier and more aligned with digital lifestyles.

The Radioplayer app is available in the Google and Apple mobile systems, and offers 400 station streams. There is an intelligence layer in the app, which furnishes station recommendations based on past listening, location of the listener, and crowdsourced trending.

The original Radioplayer is a U.K. app, run by Managing Director Michael Hill, a repeat speaker at RAIN Summit Europe.

Feb
27
Airchecker
Is Radio Dead? Frank Ocean And Jay
Net News 0

Is radio dead? Data show it isn’t as a whole—yet as a music platform, it’s a whole different story.

In a candid interview between Frank Ocean and Jay Z that aired on Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio station Feb. 24, the latter spent a good portion mourning the golden days of radio, where he got his own start in the 1990s as a hip-hop artist. Said Jay, about modern radio:

It’s pretty much an advertisement model. You take these pop stations, they’re reaching 18-34 young, white females. So they’re playing music based on those tastes. And then they’re taking those numbers and they’re going to advertising agencies and people are paying numbers based on the audience that they have. So these places are not even based on music. Their playlist isn’t based on music…

A person like Bob Marley right now probably wouldn’t play on a pop station. Which is crazy. It’s not even about the DJ discovering what music is best. You know, music is music. The line’s just been separated so much that we’re lost at this point in time.

His attacks don’t come unbiased. Jay Z is the owner of Tidal, a music

Read On.

Feb
26
Airchecker
Canadian Radio News Via Twitter @Airchecker
Net News 0

LAST REMAINING SHORTWAVE STATION IN B.C. SIGNS OFF FOR GOOD

. The shortwave station had operated as a rebroadcaster for Radio One CBU 690 in Vancouver.

The CBC stated that the transmitter was in a state of disrepair with no replacement parts available due to the age of the equipment. Purchasing a new transmitter would be too cost prohibitive due to the minimal amount of listeners who tune into the facility..
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Feb
26
Airchecker
Denham Jolly Reflects On Canada’s First Black-Owned Radio Station
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Canada’s first black-owned radio station.

Without Denham Jolly, we wouldn’t have had Canada’s first black-owned radio station, an on-air space to showcase hip-hop and R&B and, last but not least, we might not have had rapper Drake.

Jolly is the man behind Flow 93.5, a radio station that kicked off in 2001 and was the first place to play Drake’s music. Beyond that, though, Jolly has had a fascinating life that started in Jamaica, found him taking a turn as a high school teacher and only being able to launch Flow 93.5 after a 12-year battle to get a license for a black-owned station.

All of this and more is detailed in his new memoir, In the Black: My Life, out this March. Today, Jolly joins Tom Power to discuss his long journey and the pivotal musical he’s taken in throughout the years.

— Produced by Ty Callender

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