As some of you may know from perusing the news or being rabid anglophiles, there is a DAB Station in the UK that has been running a 24-hour loop of recorded birds for close to a year now. The stated reason was that they needed to keep the transmitters active.
As of the beginning of June, the bird songs are gone, replaced with the sound of unsigned bands. Now, as of last Thursday, that audio loop is being upgraded to a very interesting, socially-based approach. It’s similar in some ways to the launch of Jelli on the radio here in the US that I wrote about recently.
“It’s interactive and user-generated radio,” founder Paul Campbell, a musician and former BBC producer, told Reuters.
The musical selection is sourced by algorithms drawing from MP3 uploads on Amazing Radio’s sister platform — the Amazing Tunes website.
Amazingtunes.com, launched in 2006, contains about 15,000 tracks uploaded by musicians who get 70 percent of sales revenues. The site has 35 million users, according to Campbell.
As we watch the RIAA pushing for performance fees which they will keep half of, it is refreshing to see efforts like this. Right on the front page of their website you see three pieces of text immediately: Ethical For The Artists, Controlled By Fans, and On Air And Online. A 70% cut of the revenue going to the artists is amazing, and I believe fits well with the way that cyberculture is influencing the business model.
Still, it is the “user controlled” aspect of this that I find interesting. Crowdsourcing a playlist is a very innovative approach to programming, they question of effectiveness and profitability have yet to be answered though.