As corporate radio stations continue to tighten playlists, Club DJs have created their own industry independent of commercial radio which continues to grow more powerful each year. Artists and Labels are also seeing the benefit. Radio corporations, programmers, research and the usual industry red tape is not needed just an ear to the streets and HEARING the hits play the most important role. KUDOS to urban DJs all over the country for opening up the opportunities for artists and labels to get exposure and create hits without commercial radio. There needs to be more avenues for music to get played to allow artists to get exposure. Look for the programming concept for various music sites to become more popular online as well. The question becomes what will happen to radio when there re other routes for labels to take to get music exposed to the public? With many corporations struggling financially, it will certainly be interesting to see. It will also be interesting to see how well iTunes radio does when it premieres this month.
The Wall Street Journal writes…. On a recent Monday evening, 12 of the most powerful figures in this city’s music industry gathered over Buffalo wings and Sprite in a cramped recording studio, making decisions that could propel a handful of aspiring musicians to prominence in some of the most important venues in town: strip clubs. Atlanta‘s strip clubs are a proving ground for rap and hip-hop songs aiming for mainstream recognition. The DJs who provide the soundtrack at such clubs have formed an alliance that picks potential hits and—for a fee—promotes them via regular, coordinated play at a dozen clubs throughout the city. Each member of Coalition DJs, as the group calls itself, is responsible for spinning five new songs two to three times a night over an eight-week period, working them in between better-known hits. Artists, who pay several thousand dollars per song for the service, get a customized printout of data verifying where and when their song was played. The result is similar to what happens when radio programmers across the country add a record to their limited rotations: The sheer repetition turns many of the songs into instant hits—in this case, on the streets of Atlanta, hip-hop’s unofficial capital city. That, in turn, can lead to record deals, radio airplay and national exposure. Many Southern rap stars, from Outkast to Lil Wayne, got their first exposure in Atlanta‘s strip clubs, said Yvette Davila, a promotion executive at Def Jam Recordings, a division of Vivendi’s Universal Music Group. Read the whole story in the Wall Street Journal