The Curation Invasion

Lance's Line RadioInsight Blog

They had the insight early on to know how important human curation is. That technology by itself wasn’t enough — that it was the marriage of the two that would really be great and produce a feeling in people that we want to produce. – Tim Cook explaining why Apple acquired Beats Music.

Apple Beats Google Play Songza Music Curation RadioApple has purchased Beats and Google is reportedly in talks to acquire Songza with the intent to enhance their music services with curated playlists chosen by programmers as opposed to just their algorithms. Sound familiar? This is the model that radio has used for decades.

Meanwhile our industry is heading into the other direction. Station playlists are increasingly selected out of the corporate office with what the major record labels are pushing with little regard for trying to break new artists or under the radars musicians. How can a programmer take the time to make their stations unique when he has to program a full cluster of stations and oversee a few other markets, while receiving oversight from different levels of programmers and consultants?

With a few exceptions who refuse to stream, every local brand can also be a national brand. Spotlight the unique stations and programs in your cluster and give them national promotion online. You won’t make as much money online nationally as you will locally but that will increase over time as you promote and make the content available. The programmers can be every bit a star as your morning show. So can a weekend specialty show. Why let Apple, Google, and Spotify steal even more of your audience?

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Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

1 Comment


  1. I’m not sure if I really want to trade being a good local station for a quasi national one.

    Case in point: George Strait plays his final show 5 hours away. So you give away a bunch of tickets. You encourage listeners to listen to you on the app as they drive to the show, even after they get out of radio range. You tell them what parking lot to meet you at when they get there where they find you broadcasting live. You’re posting photos and videos all day from the show on social media. In the process you help bring the experience of being at that show to the people back home who couldn’t get a seat. Can you share a communal experience like that listening to Spotify?

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