I love vertical-markets companies and recently learned of one. Airspun, Inc. offers commercial radio airtime to bands and songwriters for the purpose of showcasing their music to genre-targeted radio listeners around the world.
Here’s how it works: Bands browse sixty-second airtime slots on radio stations by genre and city. After booking their slot (at prices ranging from $12 to $200), they download sixty-second audio templates to create “Artist Showcase” spots that are downloaded by the radio stations for broadcast airplay.
Bands also get an online referral page linking to wherever their music is sold online. Each spot features a brief announcement of the song and band name, followed by about forty-five seconds of the showcased song, and an Airspun end-tag asking listeners to visit the Airspun.com site to find the featured artist and vote or provide feedback on the music.
FYI, these are some stats on radio station spots: Approximately 10,000 commercial stations in the U.S. X
10 spots/hour X 24 hours = 2.4 million ad spots per day X
365 days/year = 876 million spots/year in the U.S. Also, there are approximately 40,000 radio stations in the rest of the world.
I doubt the number of 40 million radio stations, unless you count microwave ovens. 40 million would mean about 1 station for every 150 humans. If every station needed just three moderators, 1 in fifty humans would be a radio moderator.
Good point. I’ll check the number. This would be too many radio moderators! :-)
If the market size is really there, this sounds like a winner to me. There are small roadblocks (screening ads for unacceptable content, how to make it efficient to process and “distribute” a large number of ads, etc.) but small roadblocks are actually a very good thing because they increase the barriers to entry when it takes off.
How are they going to find all these bands (or vice versa)?
How will bands track the success of their ads?
Will the ads really work create value – ie: will it last?
The great thing about bands is that they already know how to make an audio ad. The templates shouldn’t be too opressive (templates would be more useful for industries that don’t have a clue where to start making an audio ad).
Here is another vertical-market company for you. ;-) See if you can spot their membership level.
So if they get 1% market share…
This sounds good.
I’d even be interested in listening/subscribing to a radio station (satellite channel) that played the top feedback bands from the previous day.
The stats you push come off a little…off. I doubt there’ll be much interest in overnight spots on radio stations that play golden oldies. I suspect the bands looking to promote themselves wouldn’t be selling to the blue hair crowd.
If you don’t mind my asking. How many views does your blog get per day? I come and check almost everyday, but I’m just wondering. Though if that’s private information (for what reason I don’t know) there’s no need to answer. Thanks, just curious.
BTW – you should really replace the “Digg This!” and “Add to del.icio.us” links. They don’t stick out enough; you’re not getting enough Diggs. Trying placing a visual button that people can see easier.
-Harry J. Chong
I get about 10,000 page views per day unless I’m on the front page of Digg. :-) I have about 23,000 RSS subscribers. I’ll look into implementing your suggestion.
I don’t understand why I don’t get Dugg more often!
One big problem all,
I, like most people I know, are really pissed off when only PART of a song is played on the radio. Even the snippit that iTunes gives me is not enough for me to get into a track; I need to know the track FIRST before I’d use this sort of message as a reminder prompt to promote a sale. Then we have the old chicken and egg situation. So, if the number of slots proposed had 45 seconds of tracks that I couldn’t get a handle on, constantly, I’d actually switch stations!
Apple/iTunes have been immensely successful with their 20-30 second clips of a song. My gosh, they’ve sold over 1 billion songs in a short period of time with that model and put Tower Records out of business. That’s how music is sold nowadays… So kudos to the Airspun folks for getting 45 seconds. I liked the examples on their site.
Need Radio Airplay? Try This…
Guy Kawasaki turned me on to a service called Airspun, which you might find on interest. Bands browse sixty-second airtime slots on radio stations by genre and city. After booking a slot (at prices ranging from $12 to $200), they
Eww. Airspun’s idea feels all wrong. It sounds like micro-payola radio for naive artists desperate to push themselves to they know not whom. Like the old vanity press. Mediocre authors paid a publisher to publish their book and make them feel like a real author. They hoped a real publish somewhere would see them and pick them up.
Sure, there’s no harm making money off a sucker. But I can’t help wondering whether Airspun will make unsigned talent any more successful than playing live and building up a following on MySpace.
Would you feel confident in a media company with (a derivative of) the word ‘spin’?
Artists need markets like this in a world where it is brutal to get any attention. I am curious how many of these commenters are actually musicians trying to break through? Airspun’s model may not be right yet, but geez, we need channels. [I too do not like 45 sec snippets].
Guy, it’s great to see your support for a market that has choked innovation. Grass roots marketing tools are exactly what we need. Thx — J
The bottom line is this. Airspun gives unsigned bands a chance to connect with a huge/new audience BY PLAYING THEIR MUSIC! It is increasingly harder for talented and original bands to get the attention they deserve. I don’t want to read or be told about how good a band is…I want to HEAR THEM! Airspun breaks down the corporate barriers so that all musicians have a chance to be heard on the radio. The people at Airspun have made it very easy for bands to sign up, choose a station and time slot, and really get their music out there! The days of profit driven record companies dictating what consumers will hear on the radio has become very predictable and boring. Bring on the new revolution…Airspun.com!
Na, too “old media” to make a dent. Podcasts and podplay are the independent artist’s friends.
This service is devious in that it preys on the hopes of dreams of independent musicians but is a complete waste of money. I blogged about it here: