Why not join our club
Increasingly, radio presenters are using social media to collect and involve listeners in their programmes. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter provide a great opportunity for LIVE exchange of thoughts and greetings even though the show is not necessarily live itself. The activity also provides artists with the opportunity to gain real time feedback on their music and maybe a chance to market to a sympathetic audience.
A few of us have now been trying this approach for some time (Almost two years) and that has given an insight into the way the initiative is developing.
Through this approach listeners gain an opportunity to meet and socialize in a virtual world against the backdrop of a common musical interest.
Those with an enthusiasm to hear something new can do so and get the additional info they need directly from the presenter who put the show together and often the artist themselves.
For the presenters having a loyal audience offering feedback on the music played is a major advantage and contributes positively to programme planning activities.
So what is the impact? Well to draw a parallel we must look at regular live music in folk or music clubs, people gathering with similar interests, listening to something new and socializing against the musical backdrop. But, this is different, here the environment is virtual and available in the listeners own home.
It is actually developing a role for the niche music programme where the presenter will play to audience needs that are very clear and focussed.
Although listener numbers may be quite small, their loyalty and feedback provide invaluable guidance.
It is also developing the role of internet and community radio where individual or small collections of shows can become the focus for bringing artist and audience together in an interactive virtual world. In itself quite small, but with a very wide international reach.
I look forward to further development with interest and in the meantime thank all who are helping us gain more from our musical interests in this way.