Grandpa, What’s a ‘Radio Station’?

Traditional Radio: Where's the Virality?

When will traditional radio stop ignoring the internet?  And, everyone under the age of 25?

It’s a question whose answer is obvious.  Why are people tuning out of ‘traditional’ broadcast radio?  Usually the answer involves one or more of the following:

(a) long commercials

(b) lots of repeated songs

(c) long deejay breaks

(d) Spotify

(e) podcasts

(f) mobile phones in general

(g) lameness

(h) Nickelback

Maybe you could add ‘no EDM’ to that list, though somehow DJs went pop enough to get airplay.

But there is one good thing going for old-school radio: it’s easy and cheap.  And, it’s ready to go in the car.  Flick it on, and it’s there, all for free.  But that’s slowly starting to change, especially with mobile-ready radio apps, streaming apps, and podcasts invading the dashboard.

Sure, a lot of people still tune in to local radio and deejays, but there’s never been more competition during drive time.  And fewer younger people are tuning in.

Now, there’s a station wanting to add a little internet into the stodgy old radio station.  And, add even more competition alongside Pandora, Spotify, podcasts, and Sirius XM.  Enter GoViralRadio, an app-based radio concept that wants to bring younger listeners back into the fold.

What this is.

Here’s what these guys are up to.   Basically, GoViralRadio is an app, for Android or iOS.  And all it does is offer a blend of bigger hits and emerging, viral hits.  So, it’s hits you like, plus stuff that’s blowing up on YouTube (and other places like SoundCloud).

Mix it all together, and these guys think they have something more exciting and appealing than anything out there.

GoViralRadio is actually targeted at a younger demo, which makes sense.  Think 12-24 age demographic.  Basically, the people who (a) care about pop hits and (b) care about viral hits.  And, the people that would rather Bluetooth-connect their devices than lean back and listen to 98.7.  “Concerts are selling out, interaction is extreme, kids and parents know the brands, yet radio is not playing,” the founders explained.

In terms of genres, there’s zero adherence to the traditional divisions of rap, country, EDM, whatever.  That stuff is oftentimes made up by the industry and radio, not people.  “Our goal is to promote viral superstar artists from around the world,” said Ray De La Garza, one of the founders of GoViralRadio.  “We are not format-specific, we are what Top 40 was forty years ago.  Think the hottest combination of pop, urban, rap, rock and country.”

Why this might have a shot.

Next question: will these guys be dead in 6 months?  Possibly.  The mortality rate among music startups is about 99% (trust us).  But the founders of this company actually aren’t tech outsiders, pounding their fists in the air while touting theoretical mumbo-jumbo.  De La Garza is actually a seasoned radio executive, who prides himself on plugging formatting holes.

The other founder, DJ Lynnwood, has been programming traditional and online radio stations for 10+ years.  That includes nationally-syndicated radio shows, and even stuff for earlier platforms like MySpace and Beatport.

The last piece.

Here’s the part of the playbook that’s Radio 101.  Target a demographic, then sell the crap out of it.  And the proposition here is that under 25s are being woefully underserved.

So, once they are served, advertisers will want to reach them.  GoViralRadio calls it an ‘obvious and massive demographic’.  Let’s see if they can corner and monetize them.

10 Responses

  1. Remi Swierczek

    There is over 100,000 Radio stations globally!
    They still deliver 20X more than YouTube/Pandora/Streaming ” individual tunes to humans”. Time to convert all of them to discovery based $100B music store(s).

    YouTube pirate boat is not suitable for conversion and is not invited!
    Let’s take away from Google boys music – $1 in direct cash is much better than 5¢ in ads around free.

    Reply
  2. Patrice Lazareff

    Just installed the app (android) and I am very surprised to see the vast amount of authorization it needs… access to everything, contacts, messages, photos and videos, anything. Definitely not privacy-friendly, especially considering it targets the youngest users.

    Reply
  3. Radio Free America

    Terrestrial radio has become boring full of obnoxious jocks and too much politics and as far as music.. you’ll hear 7 hits from the majors
    and some old gold (also from the majors).

    Commercial AM/FM broadcast radio is tedious and annoying..

    The Internet has changed everything and eventually AM/FM will become the space for experimental, private, community and
    narrowcast radio broadcasters..

    Australia leads the way with narrowcasting and open access to the airwaves with segments of the MF/MW AM and VHF FM bands open to individuals and groups for non-commercial broadcasting..

    Reply
  4. Jmanforever

    The reason commercial stations do not play to the under 25 crowd is because they have no money. The advertisers know that, and won’t buy advertising on a “teeny bopper” or “college music” station. The target everyone is trying to hit is the 18-40 year demographic, which is primarily 27-40 – that’s where the bucks are flowing. The next big market is 35-60. Over that age, people are already well-established, have everything they need, and are concerned about saving for retirement, so they aren’t spending any money either. That’s why “Oldies” stations play 70s and early 80s music now, very little from the 60s, and you don’t hear 50s anymore at all.

    Reply
  5. Anthonybit

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  6. Jake Adams

    “When will traditional radio stop ignoring the internet? And, everyone under the age of 25?”

    Well, Mr. Resnikoff is either a clickbait expert or yet another brainwashed pseudo-journalist drinking the Tim Westergren elixir of lies.

    Traditional radio — a.k.a. commercial radio broadcasters, of which there are hundreds — can be found on TuneIn. Or iHeartRadio. Or RadioPup. Or … well, you get it.

    As far as the “under 25” comment … Dude, have you looked at the popularity of the Top 40 format? Who listens to these stations?

    Not me so much as my 16-year-old niece.

    You mention “GoViralRadio” — and???

    Here in Miami we have an Italian broadcaster who recent expanded Revolution Radio 93.5, and that’s … um … an EDM station.

    Perhaps it is not commercially viable in all markets, because, after all, radio is a business. And if it doesn’t play in Peoria, or Poughkeepsie, or Phoenix, why lose money so 24 lovers of Diplo can get their fix of a local station when they can just go online?

    Radio is a healthy and growing business. Why then would Entercom and CBS Radio engage in a $1.4 billion tax-free deal?

    You want to learn about radio? Go to RBR.com or RadioInk.com or AllAccess.com.

    Then you will have at least the basics for writing for “the leading authority for music industry professionals worldwide” in whatever co-working space on Second Street you are likely based out of, since a table at Fresh Brothers isn’t professional.

    Reply
  7. Versus

    Radio lost me when it consolidated and removed all the DJ’s freedom in selecting the music. Once upon a time a DJ (on rock stations at least) could be a real selector, even playing unknown local bands mixed in with the obvious stars, playing non-single album tracks, etc. Then came Clear Channelization…and I got rid of my radio.

    College radio in certain markets may still be worthwhile, and some programs on NPR and such. So I hear.

    Reply
  8. Rohan Chabaud

    This article is as out of date and touch as the writer suggests radio is.

    Reply
  9. Ervin Kosch

    I don’t have to pay for a data plan with my radio. Also its ‘local’ radio. I get local news, events, and commentary. You can;t get that from these online radio stations.

    Reply

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