There are YouTube stars who make millions, there are Viners who have a ridiculous amount of subscribers and now there can be online radio stars.
Music streaming site Guvera introduced its new piece of technology called Fradio at South by Southwest in the States a few weeks ago. The company wants to delve into the radio market and muddle things up a bit, show that it’s not all going to stay digital. It wants to disrupt the radio market.
When Damien King, chief technology officer, first joined Guvera Claes Loberg, founder and director of innovation, bounded straight up to him with the idea.
“He wanted to disrupt the radio industry in the same way that YouTube and many of the other digital services have disrupted the traditional media,” explains King, “and he wanted to have to the ability to create a radio station from their mobile phone.”
Those who used to create their own radio shows on cassette a few decades ago, holding down the play and record button at the same time to tape a song from the radio, rejoice! You can relive that dream through this app.
The new offering allows users of the app to become their own radio stars, broadcasting out their show to anyone who wants to listen. The next Kyle and Jackie O could come from Fradio.
“We’d love that to be the case,” says King, however admits it may take some time. “With any sort of disruptive service, it takes a fair bit of time to gain traction. But we think there’s definitely an opportunity for people to start building a profile about themselves and getting a following.”
Radio is less intrusive than video, says King, as an artist trying to get fans to watch a long video of them perform is a big ask, but requesting them to listen on the radio is more relaxed.
At the moment, Fradio is concentrating on giving exposure to up and coming artists.
“What Fradio has become and where it’s going are still unknown at this stage,” says King. “But one initiative that we have is to help the exposure of grass-root artists.”
The app is running a campaign called 80 Artists in 80 Days which, shockingly, features 80 different artists broadcasting their songs through different shows over 80 days.
Since launch Guvera has seen more uptake in people becoming DJs than listening to the broadcasts, but King says it’s early days yet. “It’s great, but it’s also something we need to try and convince listeners about why they want to come over.”
There’s a number of goals King says they want to achieve with Fradio over the next few years, such as the ability to broadcast private shows and have the app used in different communities.
“It could be an alternative to community radio that can be quite expensive to run,” says King. “We’ve been thinking about how we can massage these marketing communities and try and create a number of communities where people are using the application in a whole bunch of different ways.
“It’s exciting with a new application though, as you never know where it will take you.”