The Value of Internet Radio to the independent artist by DJLAB
I was introduced to internet radio 3 years ago, when my friends invited me to be a guest DJ on their show. At the time, I didn’t know anything about internet radio or that it existed. The hardest problem for me, was understanding the format, and realizing what music could and couldn’t be played. I was thinking since this was called radio, that we had the permissions, to play any songs we wanted. But, was I surely mistaken. I didn’t realize that, because, of the copyright laws and record labels obsessions with squeezing every dime out of their artists new or old, that we were not allowed to play any current or copyrighted music. So, I quickly learned that, that’s why the format for internet radio was adapted to assist the independent artists. Now, you may say, that internet radio was adapted to the indie artist, because, most indie artist do not have the money or the information needed to copyright their music. And, that’s why internet radio switched formats to independent artist. And, to be truthful, I thought the same things. But, the reality of the situation is that, the independent artist brings value to the internet radio station, but the internet radio station also brings value to the indie artists. We all know that FM and AM channels are listed to more on a daily basis, because of its ease of availability. But, most artist don’t know that internet radio is listened to on military bases, colleges, and in rural areas all over the world that may not have FM or AM radio capabilities, but have internet access. So, your song may not be heard locally, but it is heard worldwide in some areas that you may not have heard about. We all know that FM and AM stations have a strict format they have to follow, that is dictated by their corporate sponsors. And, since the format is dictated by the sponsors, they have to play what is generally called secular music or popular music. Which means, if you are not popping you are not played on FM/AM stations! Period! There is no amount of begging that you can do that will get your song in rotation, if it’s not already popping! But, Internet Radio, does not have such restrictions, as most of our sponsors are small business owners, they do not dictate the format of our shows or the type of artists we are allowed to play. We can play whom we like and what we like in it’s entirety and still keep our sponsorship dollars, that may or may not exist. So, let’s say, you come do an interview with us and only have the raw version of the song, because, you may not have been able to afford to get the edited version cut yet. That’s no problem for us at Misfits Radio, we will still be able to play said songs raw version, because we dictate what’s played on our station. FM/AM will not be able to do so, no matter how much you paid, cried, or argued with them, your song still will not be played! Internet radio also adds other values to the indie artist’s career, by giving the indie artist the opportunity to practice interviewing, which is a part of artist development. Most indie artist don’t realize the power of a good interview, a interview is your calling card to the world, it introduces you to your current and future fans. If you have never interviewed and don’t really know how, where better to get practice then on internet radio. An interview can make or break a career. Most fans decide if they want to get behind your movement, based on how they feel about you as a person. No one wants to support anything, they don’t have a connection too. And, the right interview can make and break those connections with your fans. The more interviews you give, the better at interviewing you will be. We have interviewed several indie artist on Misfits Radio, that did not know what to say, or do during the interview and that leaves a bad impression on the hosts and the people listening. Your music maybe the best ever heard, but if you as an artist don’t make any connections with potential fans, your music will never be good beyond your neighborhood. This is where internet radio comes in, getting you used to the microphone, answering questions and interactions with people other than the people you interact with on a daily basis. If done correctly internet radio could be used by indie artist as the foundation to propel their career further than local. The value of internet radio to the indie artist, is really priceless in my opinion. We just need the indie artists to see it that way, as well.