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    Will Content Marketers Fall For Anchor's New Take On Radio?

    Back in the 1960s, pirate radio stations began sprouting up across the US and UK. Voices that previously went unheard suddenly had an outlet, and the crackling AM waves became a haven of opinion, debate and inevitably, marketing.

    As the internet picked up speed at the turn of the 21st century, marketers moved away from radio waves and decided content marketing was best delivered in written form.

    But now, in an almost nostalgic twist, Anchor is making audio content marketing modern once more.
    What Is Anchor?

    Anchor lets you launch your very own radio station from your smartphone. With it, you can record five minute audio segments that remain available on your station for 24 hours. To spruce up your station, you can patch in audio from Apple Music and Spotify, use built-in sound effects and interludes and take call-ins from listeners.

    Initially launched in 2016, Anchor attracted users from over 200 countries, before receiving an additional boost in the form of a $2.8 million funding round led by Accel Partners. Following that cash injection, Anchor gave itself a facelift and a batch of new features.

    The Anchor team has already seen their platform flourish in that time. In a recent blog post, they marvelled at the conversations being hosted by Anchor:

    “Some of our favorite exchanges [have been] between people from all walks of life who never would have spoken to one another before Anchor.

    “We saw creators going to extreme lengths to inject boundless creativity into their recordings, pulling in external audio clips and interviewing fascinating people  — everyone from A-list Hollywood directors, to people on the sidelines of war in Syria.”

    On top of reinventing radio, Anchor is also reinventing social media engagement. Instead of “liking” the segment you’re hearing, you can applaud it using the applause emoji button. If your phone is locked and in your pocket, you can applaud by knocking on the back of your phone.

    It’s reminiscent of tapping the like button on live video feeds on Facebook and Periscope, but Anchor’s audible engagement process puts a unique twist on things.

    Anchor content can also survive outside the app. It converts all recorded audio into colorful videos that play seamlessly on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and other platforms that support video.

    Plus, thanks to Anchor’s use of IBM Watson technology, recordings can be transcribed into text, so your listeners can listen in without actually listening at all. This all means Anchor isn’t just an audio content marketing tool in and of itself, it’s also a content creation tool for all other social networks, too.

    Anchor segments can be played through a wide range of devices, including iOS and Android devices, Amazon Alexa, Google Home and via in-car bluetooth.

    The Radio, Reinvented

    Large publications like Lifehacker, Gizmodo and IGN have already bought into Anchor’s reinvented radio concept, topping up their stations with new content daily. So I downloaded the app myself to see if all the hype was warranted.

    My journey began with the aid of Anchor’s narrated walkthrough, which greets you when you first fire up the app.

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    Discussions at the Reggae Open University on Thursday night reached intense levels as tempers flared in a debate about radio and its viability in today’s music industry.

    As panellists discussed the issue of gatekeepers and the role they play in establishing the careers of entertainers, one of the panellists, promoter Paul ‘DJ Stamma’ Watson, said…[Read more]

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    Spotify Is Now More Popular Than Listening To The Radio, According To A New Study

    Spotify’s free version has the largest reach of any digital music service in the UK, even outstripping many commercial radio stations, new research claims.

    A study by global market research firm TNS says that the free version of the music streaming service now reaches 16.8% of the UK listening audience, the majority of which are under the age of 35.

    However, the study also suggested an increase in the number of older users who appear to have become more “tech-savvy”. According to the research, only 5% fewer 45 to 54-year-olds use Spotify’s free service than listen to the radio.

    If Spotify’s free service were a commercial radio station it would be the third largest in the UK based on weekly reach – behind only Heart and Capital.

    The research also revealed that the most popular time to use Spotify was when users were surfing the web or relaxing, with working or studying third.

    The research is welcome news to the streaming service, which has come under increased pressure from rival platforms – most notably Apple Music – in the last year.

    In June, Spotify announced that it had surpassed 100 million users for the first time – making it the largest streaming service around, with the majority using the firm’s ad-supported free version.

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    Richard Wagoner: The Irony In Trying To Charge Radio Stasions Rights Fees To Record Companies

    Claiming that radio stations are getting a “free ride,” Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., has proposed legislation that would force stations to pay fees for performance rights to record companies, which would then compensate artists for the songs they play.

    His argument: Webcasters such as Pandora pay such royalties, so making broadcast radio do the same is only fair.

    Besides, he writes in a letter supporting his legislation, “the shortlist of countries that don’t (pay royalties) includes Iran, North Korea and the United States. … It is a disgrace that needs to be remedied, and it is well past time that we align ourselves with the rest of the free world.”

    Interestingly, the reason radio has traditionally been exempt from such performance royalty payments centers on the exposure given to new music, which in turn introduces new music to the public and thus helps increase sales of records.

    Indeed, the National Association of Broadcasters told record industry magazine Billboard: “Local radio airplay has launched and sustained the careers of countless artists, while scores of artists have sued record labels for nonpayment of royalties. It’s disappointing that Rep. Nadler wants to punish the No. 1 promotional vehicle for the music industry — free and local radio.”

    Which would be right … if this were 1965. Or even 1986.

    Radio in general stopped playing new music long ago, and it is actually the Internet and the Pandoras of the world that expose many of the new songs. With rare exceptions, primarily stations playing country music, radio hasn’t launched a career or helped sell records in 20 years.

    So I find it somewhat odd that webcasters are paying royalties when radio does not.

    Regardless, the fee structure would be tiered. Smaller stations would pay as little as $500 per year; public and community stations only $100 and religious broadcasters nothing.

    THE STATE OF RADIO

    Talk podcaster Tom Leykis (www.blowmeuptom.com) sent out a link last weekend referencing a story on philly.com regarding radio listening habits in the United States, focusing on millennials.

    “In its latest ‘Share of Ear’ study, Edison Research discovered that one-third of today’s millennials don’t even own an old-school radio,” staff writer Jonathan Takiff explains. “And across the board, 21 percent of the U.S. population now gets by without one. That’s up from 4 percent in 2008.”

    Unlike when baby boomers were young and radio was the go-to entertainment medium, today’s young men and women tune into online stations, on-demand streaming services, or even satellite radio.

    I personally love radio, and the potential it has is unlimited. Thus, I find it hard to believe that radio is doomed. But turning things around with today’s ownership model in which the dollar is king will be exceedingly difficult. In fact, it probably won’t happen until today’s major group owners — Cumulus Media, iHeartRadio and CBS — are forced to sell the vast majority of stations and align to a forced limit of stations (my recommendation: no more than 20 nationwide). Those companies and their massive size created cookie-cutter stations and are THE reason listeners can basically do without radio.

    The solution?

    Give listeners what they want to hear. Make radio compelling. Play new music. Break new artists. Bring personality and entertainment back to radio. Limit the number of commercials so listeners don’t tune out. Actually compete against your competition instead of accepting mediocre ratings. Superserve your local audience rather than programming as if your station was an iPod or worse, a nationwide affiliate network.

    Do what the alternatives cannot do: Become a mass-appeal, locally based medium that unites listeners with creative content for which radio was once known.

    It’s really not that hard. Programmers such as Ron Jacobs, John Rook and others showed everyone how to do it, and recordings are still available to hear exactly how it was done. Let’s turn the tide and, as the Nike slogan says, “just do it.”

    Radio could be great again, if good programmers were allowed free rein to do their jobs and personalities were allowed to show their true talents. Or radio executives can just keep their heads in the sand and watch their stations wither and die.

    Richard Wagoner is a San Pedro freelance columnist covering radio in Southern California. Send him email at rwagoner@cox.net.

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    CRTC Hearings Begin On New Ethnic Stations In Vancouver

    The CRTC has commenced hearings to consider applications to operate new ethnic commercial AM and FM radio stations in the Greater Vancouver market, including the City of Surrey.

    In addition, the Commission will study an application by the South Asian Broadcasting Corporation to amend the licence of the ethnic commercial radio station CKYE-FM Vancouver to add a transmitter to rebroadcast its programming in Surrey.

    Some of these applicants have proposed the use of the same frequencies as well as alternative frequencies, which will also be under consideration.

    These applications will be examined in light of the objectives for the broadcasting system set out in the Broadcasting Act, as well as the Commission’s policies and regulations flowing from it.

    In the second phase of the hearing, the Commission will be addressing three entities that appear to be operating radio stations in Canada without a licence or pursuant to an exemption in contravention of the Broadcasting Act. These entities have been called to appear before the Commission pursuant to section 12 of theBroadcasting Act.

    Two of these entities, Surrey Myfm Inc. and 89.3 Surrey City FM Limited, operate stations in the Surrey market. They claim to be operating low-power tourist information stations further to Broadcasting Order 2014-447 (the Tourist Exemption Order). The third entity, Sur Sagar Radio Inc., claims to be operating a low-power house of worship station further to Broadcasting Order 2013-621 (the House of Worship Exemption Order).

    In these orders, the Commission exempted low-power stations from the requirement to hold a broadcasting licence given that their niche programming and limited appeal would not have an undue impact on other stations in the market. However, in order to operate without a licence and further to an exemption order, an undertaking must fully comply at all times with the terms of the exemption order.

    Further to a Commission investigation, it appears that the entities called to this hearing are not operating their stations in compliance with the terms of the exemption orders pursuant to which they purport to operate. In particular, their programming appears to be inconsistent with the terms of the exemption order. As well, it appears that the two tourist information stations have not taken the necessary steps to implement the emergency alerting system.

    Moreover, it appears that Surrey Myfm Inc. and Sur Sagar Radio Inc. may be broadcasting at a higher power than authorized by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (formerly Industry Canada), and that 89.3 Surrey City FM Limited may be operating without the necessary authority from this department.

    The panel expects Surrey Myfm Inc., 89.3 Surrey City FM Limited, and Sur Sagar Radio to demonstrate why the Commission should not issue mandatory orders requiring them to cease and desist from operating a radio station unless they are in compliance with the Act.

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    Fraser Institute News Release: Emergence of New, Low-Cost Technologies Requires Further Deregulation

    VANCOUVER, BC–(Marketwired – May 25, 2016) – The emergence of low-cost methods of creating and distributing broadcasting content means that the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) traditional policies to protect and subsidize Canadian content are increasingly unsustainable, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

    “The proliferation of digital producers and distributors of low-cost, online programing is seriously challenging the ongoing viability of the CRTC’s ability to regulate. Simply put, the CRTC cannot impose the same antiquated regulations used for traditional broadcast to online programming without seriously restricting access to internet programs,” said Steven Globerman, Fraser Institute senior fellow, Kaiser Professor of International Business at Western Washington University, and author of Technological Change and Its Implications for Regulating Canada Television Broadcasting Sector.

    The taxpayer-funded CRTC regulates all Canadian broadcasting and telecommunications activities. Conventional broadcasters (TV stations, for example) must adhere to CRTC rules, which include Canadian content quotas and mandatory funding of homegrown content.

    The study notes that the emergence of online content providers, such as YouTube and Netflix, which are not subject to the CRTC’s regulations, has created an unlevel playing field in the broadcasting industry.

    “While traditional broadcasters have Canadian content quotas and funding taxes imposed on them, online broadcasters enjoy a much more flexible regulatory environment,” Globerman said.

    According to the study, the solution is not for the CRTC to impose new restrictions and regulations on producing and broadcasting online content, but rather to further deregulate Canada’s traditional broadcasting industry so it can compete with Internet broadcasters on a level playing field.

    “With the explosion of online content, Canadians have a plethora of choices and options now available to them. Canadians will benefit from further deregulation of the traditional broadcast sector,” Globerman said.

    The Fraser Institute is an independent Canadian public policy research and educational organization with offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and ties to a global network of think-tanks in 87 countries. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for Canadians, their families and future generations by studying, measuring and broadly communicating the effects of government policies, entrepreneurship and choice on their well-being. To protect the Institute’s independence, it does not accept grants from governments or contracts for research. Visit www.fraserinstitute.org

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    Edmonton: HOT 107’s HOT Factor Program 2015

    HOT 107’s HOT Factor Program 2015
    #HOTFactor2015

    January 5, 2015 –

    HOT 107’s HOT Factor 2015 is designed to develop the careers of Edmonton’s emerging artists. HOT 107 wants to help local hard-working and talented Artists, Groups and Bands in Edmonton and surrounding area, take their careers to the next level of success with exposure, funding and support.

    The goal of The HOT Factor is to find five deserving candidates and set them up for success! The Top 10 will be chosen by The HOT Factor Committee based on a scale that judges items such as talent, musicality & production, social media presence and public voting made via HOT on Demand at hot107.ca and on our HOT App for iOS and Android users!

    The Top 5 selected contestants will each receive the following award:

    · $10,000 to be spent developing their careers (ie: touring, recording, promotion and marketing, etc)

    · Promotion on HOT 107 and online at hot107.ca

    · Opportunity to perform at the annual HOT 107 HOT Factor event.

    Submission Process:

    Application submission for The HOT Factor Program opens January 5, 2015 and continues through March 29, 2015. Applicants are to submit required materials online through HOT On Demand at hot107.ca

    For more information, please contact:

    Lacey Kapler
    Promotions & Marketing Director and
    Assistant Program Director
    HOT 107 – Edmonton’s Hottest Music
    Direct: 780-391-3858
    lkapler@harvardbroadcasting.com

    Troy Scott
    Program Director
    HOT 107 – Edmonton’s Hottest Music
    Direct: 780-435-3023
    tscott@harvardbroadcasting.com

    About Harvard Broadcasting: Headquartered in Regina, Harvard is a privately owned broadcaster with a western focus, operating radio stations in Saskatchewan and Alberta. For additional information on Harvard Broadcasting Inc. and our stations please visit harvardbroadcasting.com

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    When Why Should You Invest in Radio Promotion?

    By Rob Wilcox, Senior Manager of Alt. Radio Promotion at The Syndicate. This article originally appeared on TheDailyRind.com

    So you’re in a band, or perhaps you’re a manager of an up-and-coming artist — or perhaps you run a record label and have a release you want to create additional exposure for. What do you do to create awareness for a piece of art that needs to be heard? Where do you go? How do you bridge the gap between a local fan base and a national audience? As we’ve all learned, cream does not always rise, and it takes more than just a message in a bottle to make sure you’re being received in an ocean of new and/or already established artists.

    Studies have shown that radio is still the number one source for new music discovery — and it’s as simple as flipping a switch or clicking a mouse. As a radio publicist, I too can attest to this, and feel that in any field of marketing, knowledge is power in taking full advantage of these tools. Much like a conversation you’d share with the knowledgeable clerk at your local mom and pop record store, radio promotion serves the purpose of cultivating positive dialogue about your music between the promoter and the programmer of a radio station — focused on turning them onto new ideas and sounds across various genres.

    If you find that there’s been an organic build in awareness for you or your artist preceding a new release — independent or through a label — or you’re planning to go on tour in support of that release, you should consider radio promotion. This is especially important when your release has national distribution, either physically or digitally, as radio support can help influence immediate sales. In doing so, there are several arenas in which you can enlist a radio publicist to promote your record:College and “Non-Comm” Radio, Specialty Radio, and Commercial Radio.

    For decades now, the College Radio format has existed as a source of new music discovery, regardless of genre. College Radio can also be a great launching pad for artists looking to test the waters of their commercial viability. Many artists, especially in the Indie genre, have seen their rise to notoriety through college radio. The Adult Album Alternative (or Triple A) radio format is representative of Indie and Singer/Songwriter “tastemakers” like WXPN in Philadelphia, KCMP in Minneapolis, WFUV in New York City, KCRW in Los Angeles, and KEXP in Seattle — all of whom happen to be Non-Commercial radio stations, either listener supported or university affiliated. Equally well known, the AAA format also includes commercial stations like WRLT in Nashville and WCNR in Charlottesville. These stations tend to play music that skews towards independent and heritage artists, and encompass a wide array of genres.

    It’s not uncommon to also see artists from this side of the dial “cross over” into the world of Commercial Alternative Rock radio, where some recent examples includeVampire Weekend, Arcade Fire, and Mumford & Sons. But before these artists were in regular Rock rotation alongside bands like The Foo Fighters or M83, they were getting their first debut spins on commercial alternative New Music Shows — better referred to as the Alternative Specialty format. Alternative Specialty is a radio format designed to act as the testing ground for slightly more “underground” acts who are nudging their way into the mainstream. Well-respected stations like KROQ in Los Angeles, WRFF in Philadelphia, and WEQX in Albany all carry weekly specialty programs designed to feature new music from artists both old and new.

    Regardless of the format, a good promoter will be there to help navigate and decide upon the appropriate avenues for your music. Not all music is meant for the radio (and that’s perfectly okay), but if you have a desire to be heard, choose a publicist that shares the same burning desire. The secret code to all of this is that when the right song hits the right ears, it can lead to wonderful results — whether you’re a radio programmer who’s inspired by a promoter to fall in love with a track, or a casual listener looking to purchase “something new” for their music collection.

    — Robert Wilcox, The Syndicate

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