All quiet on the Western front…

22 Mar

It has been rather quiet on the You Heard It Here First front lately but I thought I’d give you all an insight into what’s been on my mind in the past few months looking ahead to the future.

When I started out the radio show, all I wanted to do was play music that other people didn’t know about. I am obsessed with new music and discovering music is not only a passion of mine but something that I honestly feel that I couldn’t live without. I’ve said many times in the past that I can’t function in silence. I have to have music. I have a desire to search the world for the best new music. I’m in competition with myself.

Yes, I do hype up a lot of acts that are being hyped up elsewhere but I don’t see that as a bad thing. I see that as a positive thing because it shows that I know what I’m talking about and I have a good ear for talent. Sadly, there’s no way of proving this and a lot of people (including a course tutor) see this as jumping on the bandwagon. I don’t agree with that whatsoever. The fact is, if a band are great then everyone in the know is going to rave about them.

The reason for this update is so I can inform you all of my plans for the future. Being in my final year of university has been hugely stressful as I’m sure you can imagine. That’s not to do with the workload but more the financial issues that being a student brings. I have a huge range of ideas and ambitions that just aren’t possible with the income that I make as a student. However, in six weeks or so, I am done. I am free. I shall be out in the real world and with that brings excitement because I will be in a position to invest in my own ambitions.

The internet has had a huge impact on the media industry. Notice how I say “media” industry and not “music/radio/TV/film” etc. The reason for that is because I believe that these industries are no longer individual entities. Each one can survive on their own but I think for any company to survive nowadays it has to open up its arms and embrace other mediums. It’s already happened to some extent but I do think it’s going to increase. 

The internet holds everything together and I personally feel that it’s not enough for record companies to just exist as a record company anymore.  It’s not enough for a radio station to just exist on the airwaves. It’s not enough for a TV station to just exist on a TV. And that isn’t the way things are. Podcasts allow radio stations to exist beyond the airwaves. Radio stations no longer need to rely on passive audiences. Instead, they can create content for podcasts which audiences can search for and listen to as and when they wish. This is why I have taken a step back from what I’m doing lately to re-assess where I’m going.

My radio show streams on a student radio station, which is great. It’s been a great opportunity for me and I have learnt a lot about the radio industry and grown as a presenter in the past few years but I do feel that any radio station that requires people to “tune in” at a specific time for a specific show is just shooting itself in the foot. I don’t know how many people listen to my radio show but I am certain that MORE people would listen to it if was downloadable or available to listen to when people wish to rather than at a specific time. The internet makes it possible for us all to select WHEN we want to be entertained or informed by media. Record companies weren’t prepared for the MP3 revolution and felt that they still held all the cards. It’s not true. People can get music when they want and no longer need to be told or ordered around by the industry. I can’t remember the last time I bought a CD and I am a music obsessive. I just feel that media is becoming like water and that everyone needs to embrace that rather than trying to stick to their guns and carry on as they are.

My ideas for the future? Well, I see record companies and radio stations becoming closer and closer. I see deals being done where podcasts can generate revenue for both artists and the radio station. To be honest, podcasting can be done easily by anyone and there could come a time where independent podcasts and vodcasts become immensely popular. However, I do feel that even though any Tom, Dick or Harry can  be a journalist/radio presenter now (much like me) and that sooner or later people will become so overwhelmed by the Web 2.0 phenomenon that eventually there’ll be no idea about how to trust in terms of discovering new acts. That is why I feel that radio still has power.

Yes, it’s great that people can go online and search through thousands of blogs to try and find the net big thing. I do it. I love doing it but even I don’t have time to spend searching blog after blog hoping to find something amazing. That is why I believe that radio will prevail and people will seek out radio presenters that they trust. Much like John Peel. Sure, I could’ve hunted round record stores for hours on end trying to find something amazing but I could just so easily listen to John Peel to discover new music. I think that this will always be the case.

My plans for You Heard It Here First in the future involve podcasting, download sales from bands that I sign and promoting gigs and festivals of my own. Obviously, to be able to do this, I need money. Which I just don’t have right now.

I will still update this blog with new band tips but I think that I need to start taking more risks. Once I start earning money, I will be in a position to invest in my ideas. The frustrating thing for me is not being able to do that right now but the future looks bright…

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