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2012 Predictions: Nine Things That will Change in the Music and Radio Industry, What...

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Radio Facts: Originally posted Feb 24, 2012. With 500,000 people tuning in to Babyface and Teddy Riley battle. I was on point! We are literally witnessing the birth of a new industry and older artists are finding ways to get more appeal and make more money. Look at the originals post here. Patting himself on the back (Kevin)

The music industry is constantly changing, not just changing but making massive overhauls. Within the next 24 months, there will be more changes we predict from our experience. Here are those changes. The Record Labels will Stop Depending on Radio as the King of Exposure for music

As you read this, the labels still think, for the most part, that radio is the best way to get exposure to music. Radio is still taking advantage of this relationship in the most arrogant way failing to realize there is trouble in the marriage and the labels are being lured by a new bitch called technology. The relationship is established but it will soon end in a nasty divorce. Radio's tight playlist and predictable programming will soon reach the frustrated listener who is getting more and more tired of hearing the same songs over and over and they will leave commercial radio in droves. Radio will be left with nothing in the divorce settlement.

Radio's remaining appeal will take a massive hit

Companies like Arbitron which measures ratings with their limited PPM surveys along with antiquated chart services that tally the hits are quite likely to become obsolete without a MAJOR overhaul and youth infused participation instead of stiff, typical corporate old bald white guy execs making the decisions and all the money. Arbitron, which, in our opinion, is a staunch corporation built on a supreme lack of diversity and youth-oriented ideas (just like corporate radio) will take a massive hit and not know where to turn. This will greatly affect radio which will not have the resources to provide to advertising agencies who are always open to technology and new ways to move product including online strategies to reach consumers.

Radio announcers will become a dying breed

Voice tracking, celebrities who are out of work because of reality shows and the slow-moving comedy circuit will prove to be more entertaining and cheaper to produce shows. Announcers are already frustrated (especially Black/black announcers) because the radio corporations are tying their hands and over-controlling them to make sure they don't become stars and many will finally get tired of being slaves and head to other industries where they can shine. We repeatedly suggest to our radio reader that youth is wasted on the young, so you might as well take advantage before radio makes you old.

Program Directors will become bored and frustrated and seek more enlightening opportunities away from Radio

As the economy shifts and President Obama will win another term, radio programmers will have more outside opportunities to work in other corporations in the media arena. Jobs for corporate media reps will explode as the online and social networking community continues to grow and they will need someone to bolster their online presence for their image and growth. Radio program directors, those who are savvy with social networking, promotion and technology, will be first in line to take these great paying positions. However, programmers who are sitting on the sidelines waiting to see what radio does next, instead of aggressively training for the future, will be left unemployed and broke. Unfortunately, that describes many black programmers in the industry.

The car industry will hurt commercial radio

A majority of radio listeners are "drive time" listeners, that is going to and coming from work. Syndicated morning shows are horrific and predictable and nowhere near as entertaining as satellite, talk or online radio. Five minutes of Howard Stern or Jamie Foxx on satellite radio is more entertaining than a month of Tom Joyner. There are still many listeners who are not aware of the technological advances and they are not being lured enough by the concept but that will soon change as these companies create more aggressive ad campaigns and more minorities get into the talk field. In addition, as the economy gets better and there is greater consumer confidence, more car deals and sales will take place with systems already installed. Word of mouth will spread about new radio options this way.

Independent labels will explode online

This is self-explanatory. The promotion of independent music online is limitless. An entire world at the independent labels access completely or almost completely free of charge and the ability to sell directly to the consumer? The major labels will still be a well oiled and lucrative machine but independent artists will not only be totally promoted online, they will sell products and be booked for concerts based on appeal in various markets. There are already several sites on their way to holding premiere positions as online independent music labels.

Cell phones will become more greatly involved in the music industry

This is self-explanatory and already taking place. Cell phones will replace many of the antiquated research techniques that radio currently uses.

Older artist will resurface and focus their attention to online for exposure and sales

Older artists are almost always ignored by today's radio. There will be services that will open up a huge opportunity for them to reach their fans.

More artists will become business and brand savvy and make the most money from self-promotion

The labels will get out of the way and allow the artists to take advantage of marketing themselves and the hip hop music community will realize street credibility is more impressive when a rapper can go from the living in the projects to funding and profiting from multiple projects. Jay Z, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, Ludacris, Kanye West, Snoop, and many other rappers have proven there is a LOT of money to be made from a name and a concept and other rappers will follow the trend.

Radio, Record Stores and Record Labels: A Marriage Divorced by Technology

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This past weekend, I went and purchased a bunch of Vinyl records and I was reminded of "The record store experience" that I once cherished.

A Quick Look Back

Originally posted May 30, 2011

Radio Facts - One of the fondest memories I have as a kid growing up in Buffalo, N.Y., ended up being my career choice as an adult. As of this writing, for more than 20 years now. My parents both knew how much I LOVED going to the record store. My father, I could tell, was not impressed with the experience but he got a kick of the fact that I got such a kick out of it but my mother was/is a music lover too so it was more of an adventure with her.

Record Labels, Radio Stations and Retail worked together hand in hand as a great well-oiled music machine to lure the public to love music and the experience of buying it. Blacks were very dependent on "Black" (now called "Urban") radio stations for music and a whole lot more ... and black radio came through.

RECORD STORES

Audrey's and Dells was THE record store in Buffalo, NY and Doris Records was another popular store. The first thing I remember was the various weekly colored lists from WBLK or WUFO on the glass desk at the record store. WBLK had a chosen single that they called the BLK Pick (Blick Pick) of the week and that was usually a huge hit.

The Record Store was my "candy store" and I was blown away by the huge plethora of new 45s behind the counter on the wall in alphabetical order by the artist. We ALWAYS had to use those Top 40 sheets for reference for records we could not remember the names of. Of course, this was a time when the big Rs worked in unison (Retail, Record Labels and Radio Stations). Record stores were my first experience with incense.

They always had it burning when you walked in. The whole record store experience was the closest I could get to the music industry at the time and I loved it. I also knew I would eventually make a connection with it one day. I distinctly remember Motown almost always released several singles at the same time and they were always hits.

It was nothing for me to use up my Buy 5, Get 1 Free by getting The Jackson 5, Temptations, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Supremes, The Four Tops and/or Marvin Gaye. I was always fascinated, like everyone else with Motown artists. Detroit was right up the river and it was always the best music.

RADIO STATIONS

In those days, even though the local stations had a Top 40 list, the music selections on the station were still ENDLESS, unless a record was a huge hit but it would still take a couple of hours before you heard it again, the DJs were beyond entertaining, very personable, passionate and they were hustlers and huge local stars. Being on the air was just a mere platform for them but an important one as they worked their own outside deals and they made MONEY. It was the very reason I wanted to get into radio.

When a concert came to town it was always a popular DJ hosting the show (back then DJs were able to negotiate their own deals, program directors were not taken as seriously as they are today (if there was even one at appointed at the station) EVERYBODY in the neighborhood would play the radio on their stereos while they chilled around the house, had company over or were on the porch sitting in a lawn chair with a beer in their hands after dinner.

There were also conscience community-oriented talk shows on many Black stations like WBLK's Express Yourself (instead of the Quiet Storm) which gave the community an opportunity to talk about important issues.

It has truly been YEARS since I have seen or heard anyone playing a radio station in their home or apartment (sans Sirius and XM which I do play myself). While the advent of technology plays a large part in that, I have to admit, I am surprised that so many commercial stations continue to do so well in this current radio climate.

RECORD PLAYERS:

For as long as I can remember, I have also been fascinated with the mechanics of a record player and for a while, I was a collector of record players as an adult. I still can't resist going to Goodwill every now and then to buy one that someone gave to them especially one from the 60s. The absolute BEST period for home stereos. At present, I don't have a record player because I sold the one I had before I moved from Atlanta but I plan to buy one soon.

Thank God there still a HUGE record store in Hollywood (Amoeba Music) that I can go to for a TON of vintage albums for 99 cents each.. a lot of them NEVER PLAYED. Sometimes I go with several adult friends and we can spend hours cracking up while looking at various album covers and reminiscing. Who can deny the great experience of flipping through albums in a bin to look at all the creative artwork and to flip it over to see what cuts are on the album and the credits?

As time went on the 8 track died (which I never liked anyway) then the cassette (which I also never liked) then vinyl (what the hell is wrong with the labels, I thought) CDs have never done it for me. There was a time while working in the industry, I had over 10,000 full-length CDs but they took something away from the music experience for me. Now that CDs are phasing out the mp3 is, without question, making and saving the labels a ton of money but now music can only be heard not seen, touched or held.

There is speculation that a whole new generation of young music lovers are developing a fascination with vinyl. This is literally, no pun intended, music to my ears.

As the internet continues to make us less and less one-on-one in our daily experiences and more isolated in our homes and apartments, certain outlets have to remain intact in order for us to have a reason to leave the house at all.

Today, record labels complain about Black radio's 30 song playlists with little or no room for the introduction of new artists and retail is virtually gone. While I am still not totally familiar with the Pandora experience, they appear to be making quite a splash.

Radio seems less than concerned about internet technology and many stations don't even bother to update their websites. Could this all change in an instant if someone comes up with a stellar idea for internet radio? We'll know by next year when Internet radio will have an opportunity to gain mobile audiences when they are placed in more and more cars.

In the meantime, whatever technology has to offer in the near future, I would love for the younger generation or Black radio Radio DJs to experience what it's like to run their own show and market themselves.

I don't hear the passion and the energy I once heard and I know the reason is the overall homogenization of Black radio. Finally, I would love for the new generation of record buyers to have an opportunity to have more visual and public record store experience a few times.

I don't expect the industry to ever go back to being what it was in the 60s and 70s but I am concerned that today's radio is resting too hard on its laurels and it may be taken by an unpleasant and possibly unrecoverable surprise.

SoundExchange to Provide Monthly Payments to Artists and Labels

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Radio Facts: moneyIf you are a songwriter, producer, or publisher this sort of news is music to your ears. Beginning this month, SoundExchange will provide monthly royalties to artists, labels and rights owners signed up to receive electronic payments. Previously, SoundExchange sent royalty payments quarterly to its registrants, and is now the first sound recording performance rights organization in the world to offer monthly distributions. Most sound recording performance organizations in other countries pay only annually."While SoundExchange was already a market-leader with quarterly distributions, moving to monthly payments takes our service to the next level," said SoundExchange President and CEO Michael Huppe. "By making performance royalties available sooner, we are making it easier for recording artists and record labels to focus on creating the music we all enjoy." Initially, monthly royalty payments will be sent to those that are signed up to receive electronic payments, and have royalties due of at least $250. Artists and labels that do not meet this minimum threshold will continue to be paid on a regular, quarterly schedule under the organization's existing guidelines. After the initial roll out period, SoundExchange will re-evaluate eligibility qualifications for its monthly payment program. SoundExchange, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, represents recording artists, rights owners and record labels from every type of musical genre. Since inception, SoundExchange has put nearly $2 billion into music creators' pockets. SoundExchange administers the statutory license for more than 2,000 digital music services that rely on it for the use of sound recordings.

SoundExchange Hires Music Industry Veteran Barry LeVine as VP of Industry Relations

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Radio Facts: Radio Facts: SoundExchange today announced the hire of Barry LeVine as vice president of Industry Relations. In this role, he will lead...

Kevin Mills

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Radio Facts: Kevin Mills, also known as DJ Kevin Crocker, is a classic soul/funk music DJ, MC and producer from Washington, D.C. ...

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