I received a newsletter from NAB announcing the “world’s first interactive radio station”. I have to admit, this got my attention, given that I can name a good handful of Internet radio stations that have been streaming for some time now, while offering lots of interactive options to listeners.
Turns out this announcement was ignoring Internet radio stations that are interactive, and was referring to a station in the UK which is now available on the UK’s DAB Digital Audio Network. DAB is known as HD Radio here in the US. Since the word “interactive” usually refers to Internet based platforms, this is a weird way to describe a DAB station.
Nonetheless, Amazing Radio is kind of cool in several respects. All of the music on Amazing Radio is by unsigned artists who have uploaded their music to the site. What gets played when is decided by the listeners, who can create playlists and indicate their favorite songs by clicking on cute heart and broken heart icons. One article I read called this “democratic radio”.
Amazing Radio is also an Internet radio station. Several new stations are focused on providing unsigned and independant artists with the opportunity to get played on the radio. Jango and Grooveshark are two stations that allow independant artists to purchase some number of song plays. Listeners can indicate their preferences on the new songs, and that feedback influences the future frequency of play for the artist.
As a matter of fact, this is a great concept for geographically targeted stations, such as streaming broadcasters. A streaming or HD channel could feature regional musicians and provide information on the local music scene, feature interviews with local musicians, and more. In addition to attracting local ears, it would be a great way to score local ad dollars.