As commercial local radio has been eroded due to consolidation and the centralisation of ‘content’, so local communities lose a common voice that bonds people.
As local broadcasters become little more than repeater stations or a home for voice tracked programmes that feature music selected by a suit in a far off city, something else is lost. The ability for local musicians to get air time for their new music.
Once upon a time local bands could approach local DJs with a CD in hand, or were able to email an MP3 to the local station. It seems those options are falling away every month.
There’s a reason music hasn’t really moved forward or evolved this century, fresh artists with a new sound simply aren’t getting enough airtime or support from major radio broadcasters..
Something magic happens when hundreds or thousands of people hear something at the same time on the radio (as opposed to individually chancing upon a new track via a music on demand service).
When new music catches the attention of listeners some will go to social media to tell friends about it. When an unsigned band gets a gig at a local venue that buzz can translate into ticket sales and perhaps a contract with a record company. But it only happens when lots of people listen at the same time, and that’s the power of radio.
It’s here that DJs and broadcasters can step in to offer emerging artists in their neighbourhood airtime for their new music.
Many great bands are being suffocated due to a lack of air time. But broadcasters like you can play a part in helping to redress the balance.
If you don’t already have a new music programme featuring unsigned artists then perhaps now is the time.
If that’s a step too far for you, then at least share all new music sent to your for airplay with your station’s presenters. One or two of them might feature some new music on their shows.
Sure, playing new music that does not immediately resonate with listeners can risk some of them changing the channel.
But you will pick up additional listeners, the bands, their families, supporters and anyone wanting to listen to fresh music. Many of thee people will hopefully share your station on social media.
New artists need a chance, and too many are not getting it from mainstream broadcasters. It’s time for you to step up, connect with local artists and back fresh talent.
How about it?