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Is Radio Still a Relevant Format for Up-and-Coming Performance Artists.

Andy Robertson

The growth in digital streaming and other platforms has likely contributed to a steady decline in radio audiences over the years. Should up-and-coming artists and musicians still include radio in their marketing and distribution mix and what are the benefits of getting airtime on a radio station in 2024.

Radio stations playing the latest music exploded in the 1960s and was considered the most important channel for up-and-coming artists wishing to increase their exposure. By the 1990s this was joined by television with channels like MTV where the music video became increasingly important. Audiences were no longer satisfied with just the sound they wanted the visual impact too and a shift in technology over the last 20 years has seen the rise of ‘on demand’ services. 

A Declining Platform? 
Driven by the rise in digital streaming platforms and changes in consumer behaviour radio has experienced a decline. Digital platforms provide a high level of convenience and access to large libraries of music often on an on-demand basis. The penetration of smartphones, tablets and smart TVs and speakers has increased the availability of streaming platforms to audiences where they can curate their own playlists. Demographics are partly driving this change as older generations are the only ones tuning in to traditional radio broadcasts, the younger generation is growing up in an environment dominated by on-demand digital content. 

When and Where Audiences Listen to Radio. 
Radio is still a popular channel for people on the move, particularly when driving as it is a media that does not distract. Listeners like the mix of music, news and traffic updates and there are so many radio channels available through modern car entertainment systems using DAB so listeners can choose their preferred music genre. In the home radio stations are now consumed via devices like Alexa and Siri, alternatively consumers can download radio station Apps onto their mobile devices. 

Benefits of Radio Broadcast for Artists. 
Radio broadcasters fight for audience numbers by adapting to new technology and improving their understanding of how music is consumed. Despite the decline in audience numbers getting featured or played on a radio station can still get significant exposure with a wide range of listeners. Credibility can be earned by getting an endorsement from a respected DJ and building relationships with hosts and programmers can also enhance future collaboration opportunities. These connections can be valuable for up-and-coming artists looking to establish themselves on the industry. 

Collaboration with Live Music Events. 
Attending a music festival and covering live events can provide key content for radio stations and is quite common in Europe and the United States. If the radio DJs and hosts already have a relationship with an artist performing at a festival, they are more likely to seek out interviews increasing the artist’s coverage. Radio stations often have partnerships and deals with music festivals where they drive joint promotions for ticket offers and sponsors products. 

If handled correctly radio can still be an important channel for up-and-coming artists but the most important factor to remember is to use all available channels for overall maximum impact. Radio is just part of the mix and no longer dominates importance as it did in years gone by.

For festival organisers planning their events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Image by benjaminhartwich via Pixabay

Andy Robertson
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