Whither music radio?
I have a music radio show. It’s a weekly, one-hour broadcast on CFUR Radio and then podcast. I’ve been doing it inconsistently since 2010.
The premise is pretty simple: I play music that I’ve been listening to lately, and then I tell people what the songs are. That’s really it. Over the course of the first 39 episodes, these have been the changes:
- my delivery has started to suck a lot less then it did (it still kind of sucks, though)
- I abandoned the premise of “songs that should be big” and replaced it with “songs I like”
In the two most recent episodes (40 and 41) the other shift I made was rather than stopping the music to talk, I choose longer instrumental portions to give a quick update. The result is I interject even less than I used to, so it’s basically straight music.
What I don’t know is whether this is the sort of thing that gets people to listen to a music radio show. I’m a pretty minimal presence. I don’t talk about news, the week, my life, and only rarely even mention upcoming concerts or album releases. I figure that would a) eat into time to listen to good music and b) date episodes and reduce their replay value.
But I also wonder if this eliminates any value-added to having a radio show, rather than just a mixtape. Do people prefer a “how about that weather?” “Here’s what I’ve been up to?” Do you want guests? Or is a mixtape enough, provided it’s actually curated by a person as opposed to an algorithm?
Some music radio shows that I listen to and a quick note on why I enjoy them:
- CBC Radio 3 podcasts (mostly the main one and R3-30) – what’s new and good in Canadian indie
- Story Records - interesting dives into back catalogues of artists established and obscure
- Bad Not Cheap - good music mixed with personal story/confessions of the DJs life
I’d like to know your thoughts on this one. What music radio shows do you listen to? What works and what doesn’t? I’m starting a discussion on Branch and you can Tweet me to join, or just leave a comment below.