**I’ve edited some of this where my choice of words were a bit harsh and unfair. It didn’t really reflect my intentions properly.
For a lot of artists being heard is a major priority. There’s plenty of places to present our music and a profile for friends, groups, and acquaintances to see and hear on demand. Like Sound Cloud for example. Excellent options abound all over the internet, but to me there is something very special about radio still. These days most radio shows are fed to us via the Internet, which is also a great convenience, but I think its extremely important since radio shows are often played all around the world to people who dont want to sign up just to listen to music, and thus who may not use sites like Sound Cloud (or the likes). Unlike those useful sites radio is heard without any need for the listener to set up an account, search around for music they may or may not ever play. People tune in (so to speak) to radio expecting a show to play music that to them may be undiscovered. That’s priceless for the artists. Not just an individual playing you, but people listening.
On Sound Cloud we depend on people finding our page with our music, to follow, favorite and play. It’s a great community service, but with limitations of its reach.
All too often it ends up being a “I’ll pat your back, if you pat mine” system of favors and expectations. A very insincere environment sometimes. Not always, but plenty of times.
Ill admit I enjoy the interactions, but I don’t really put much stock into the stats. I don’t believe they have any real meaning on their own. Yet, many people think their play totals, comments and whatnot are somehow legitimate indicators of how their music is appreciated. Some even think they have bragging rights when they hit some arbitrary “Play” number.
I do not think Sound Cloud is completely one way or another. Its very useful, and beneficial. I just think too much value is placed on the stats that can be as diluted as they are legitimate.
Radio play still has that special feeling to me of really being heard. No followers, no stats, no “Hey! great track, check out my stuff” comments with self serving motivation. Just an honest, and anonymous audience from around the world simply hearing your music. No strings attached. It’s not like you’ll never hear from radio listeners. Some do take the time to find you and offer positive comments.
Of course I want 10,000 or 20,000 plays on Sound Cloud, but I don’t think of that as anything to brag about as the single most important indication of anyones artistic worth. Appreciated yes! Worthy of a snapshot to share with all my friends not really since its mostly them doing the playing anyway. It’s still nice though.
So that all said, I feel radio is still very important for artists to maximize options to really be heard. I believe we should be more supportive of radio shows like host Bruce Galls, ARfm U.K. Sunday Synth (see screen shot of his blogs playlist below for example) and his One World Music, “Atmospheres”
I always feel incredibly grateful when I see my name and music on any radio shows playlist, but Bruce is special. He sincerely appreciates the artists, and plays music that might not ever be heard anywhere else, as well as music that is.
All mixed together, and no matter how it was made.
There are a lot of great electronic music radio shows around like one of my other favorites from KXLU Los Angeles “Alien Air” hosted by Pat Murphy since 1984.
There’s Radio Happy in the Netherlands, and many more.
What’s your favorite radio show that supports artists who aren’t signed by some mega label?
I’d love to see comments sharing links to radio shows from around the world for us to all enjoy hearing and maybe even that other readers of my blog could send their music to.
Remember, Sound Cloud stats are nice but don’t get caught up in thinking they are the end all be all. They are not bragging rights, nor are they complete qualifiers of anyone’s quality of music or any artists talent. They are just numbers and sadly can be very easily padded.
Its about maximizing being heard as much as possible. New fans are out there and many are unwilling to create an account on a social media site to find music. Radio has potential of one play being heard by hundreds or thousands of more people. So why not give it a shot? You never know who could be listening.