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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Music Stations Standing Strong Amidst Internet Radio

FM Music Stations like KEXP were supposed to go down with the rise of internet radio, but apparently someone forget to tell them so. KEXP is the little station that helped in jumpstarting the careers of some big music stars like Ryan Lewis, Macklemore and Lumineers. Last week, the morning D.J. at KEXP, John Richards walked through the gleaming new headquarters of the station, which aren’t very far from Space Needle. This is a project worth $15 million aimed at enhancing the evolution of the station into a music programmer for the modern age. The building will boast a record store, a café and a public performance space.

The booth from where the D.J.s will begin their broadcasting has been equipped with the latest microphones, electronic consoles and computer displays and an aquarium-like view of the booth can be seen from a soundproof window. This is a time when music fans can listen to almost any track they wish on the internet with the aid of services like Pandora, Spotify and various others. Some other options for listening to old music and discovering new sounds can be found through commercial and satellite radio. Despite this availability of music, there are some not-for-profit music stations such as KEXP that are doing quite well.

As a matter of fact, these music stations are reaping the benefits of the internet for reaching a global audience by enhancing their video programming and trying to become the top destination for music fans. The most important fact to note is that these stations are attempting to stand out through their music programming. Instead of using software, D.Js select the genre hopping mixes. The demand for human tour guides of the music world has increased because of the abundance of music and also the numerous methods of distribution.

This approach has proven to be effective as even Apple Inc. has incorporated it in its Apple Music Service via Beats 1. This is an internet-only live radio station headed by Zane Lowe, a former DJ at BBC radio. Another public radio station in South California called KCRW is becoming a tastemaker. The radio stations use their YouTube channel for expanding their audience by posting videos of sessions with musicians at music festivals and its studios. While the size of the audience of these stations isn’t as big as their digital rivals, they still have a lot of influential fans. 

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