Play MPE Brings Comprehensive Radio Monitoring to the US With MTR, Reshuffling the Stateside Promotional Game for Artists and Labels

Play MPE's MTR dashboard (Photo Credit: Play MPE)
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Play MPE's MTR dashboard (Photo Credit: Play MPE)
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Play MPE’s MTR dashboard (Photo Credit: Play MPE)

Given the endless industry coverage of all things streaming and UGC — thanks, DMN — you’d be forgiven for forgetting that broadcast radio remains a powerful platform.

But despite the meteoric surge of streaming platforms and social media, good ol’ radio remains a critical component of music marketing plans — with the power to blow up artists lucky enough to get airtime.

As will.i.am noted during Digital Music News’ recent Pro event, radio is “one of the most important conduits for the world of music” and serves as “America’s stage,” especially for artists in their breakout phase. Beyond that, the format offers a unique connection to communities that streaming services can’t replicate, particularly for stations that complement music with morning shows, celebrity DJs, and local concerts and events.

With that in mind, Vancouver-based music tech company Play MPE is launching MTR, a comprehensive radio tracking tool, in the US. Initially beta-trialed in Canada, MTR now monitors over 5,000 radio stations across North America. For Play MPE, the launch marks a significant expansion designed to complement a suite of tools serving artists and music industry professionals. Just recently, Play MPE partnered with DMN to broaden awareness of the launch.

Play MPE execs exclusively shared a number of components powering MTR with Digital Music News. 

Beyond the 5,000+ station spread, Play MPE emphasized a user-friendly interface, detailed analytics and reporting, and overall affordability. Let’s break down some of these components.

At its core, MTR provides real-time data on when and where songs are getting airplay. That’s the simple, core functionality. Complementing that is an interface stuffed with data, including a top-level song performance overview detailing spins by radio stations, cities, and dayparts. Artists and labels can also easily compare tracking periods by day, week, or month.

On the reporting side, data reports can be sliced by several metrics, including timeframes and geographic regions. Importantly, artists and labels can pinpoint exactly where a song is gaining traction and monitor broader reactions in real-time. This ability to track plays and engagement as they happen can be invaluable for optimizing promotional strategies and release rollouts.

This isn’t the first radio-monitoring platform to hit America, though Play MPE stressed that MTR offers accessible pricing plans that cater to a wide range of artists and labels. Pricing is affordable for most budgets (see current pricing tiers here), and Play MPE is planning to seriously undercut competitive platforms and dramatically expand accessibility as a result.  The company also noted that new stations are constantly being added, which will also impact the pricing tiers and options ahead.

Play MPE is a global promotional and tastemaker with capabilities that go far beyond radio monitoring.

The company operates in over 100 countries and oversees a massive promotional network worldwide. In that context, the company aims to integrate MTR as part of a critical promotional package for major record labels, promoters, and artists, with radio programmers and professional curators across six continents on the receiving end of this platform.

Distilling down the company’s expanded business model, Play MPE now revolves around three primary offerings:

  • Caster: For music promotion distribution.
  • Player: For music discovery.
  • MTR: For radio tracking.

According to the company, thousands of independent artists, promoters, and record labels use Caster to distribute releases to radio, media outlets, music supervisors, and curators. Releases sent through Caster appear in Player, a secure music library employed by radio programmers for its comprehensive collection of broadcast-ready music files and essential metadata.

Play MPE told DMN that their platform is what professionals use when they grow out of using platforms like Dropbox or SoundCloud. The company’s major label-level asset vetting, delivery pipeline, and metadata management ensure that even indie artists can compete on the same level as top-tier acts. Basically, this is what professional programmers and radio stations use instead of links or random emails.

In that light, the combination of MTR and Caster provides a full spectrum of data and insights, from initial promotional engagement to real-time radio play monitoring. According to Play MPE, this enables artists and labels to target interested tastemakers effectively and adjust their strategies based on concrete data.

“At Play MPE, we are committed to empowering artists and industry professionals with the tools they need to succeed,” said Rocio Fernandez, Director of Product Development at Play MPE. “With MTR, we’re breaking down barriers and increasing access to crucial airplay data, enabling our clients to make informed decisions and maximize their impact in the market.”

In terms of clientele, Play MPE is going wide and pushing a serious democratization of the music industry.

The company said its platform is designed to be accessible to everyone, from major labels to independent artists and everything in between. You can feel that energy when speaking with this team. The democratization of professional-grade promotional and tracking tools is a big part of Play MPE’s mission to open as many music industry doors as possible.