Photo by Shane Harms
Dutch Hare's singer-songwriter Corey Smith playing at the Tractor Tavern. More and more Seattle based bands are discovering a new streaming source to share music and hopefully increase ticket sales.

New streaming radio gains traction in Seattle; Ballard venues onboard

The concert industry has taken a giant step forward with a new streaming radio station that provides a platform where musicians can share their music.

DeliRadio is a three-year-old startup based in Emeryville, Calif. They went live in September of 2011 and now they have over 13,000 bands from all over the world active in their system.

Local venues like the High Dive, Sunset Tavern, Nectar Lounge and Tractor Tavern have adopted DeliRadio, donning their own streaming stations online.

So how does it work? Participating bands that play at the venue appear in the audio stream. At no charge, musicians submit tracks or entire albums to the station for listeners to hear. Some artists upload entire collections. The stations also post their entire music line up for the month. By starting a free account, listeners can save tracks and musicians they like. Moreover, listeners also get updates for when their favorite musicians are playing at local venues.

“Artists control their presence on the radio and that’s unique compared to other radio sources. They can always go in and delete music or add it as they go. Their whole persona is in their hands,” said CEO of DeliRadio, Wayne Skeen.

DeliRadio aggregates all the local shows happening in the area from all participating venues and musicians, and listeners have a broad overview of the shows scheduled. Listeners can either listen to one artist or expand their
listening experience to encompass all the bands playing in Seattle.

So what the big deal? DeliRadio brings together the tour date information that other sources like JamBase provide, and combine it with the aggregation capacity of Spotify; however it's gears to bands that normally would not be heard.

Furthermore, DeliRadio recently launched an app that provides streaming wherever you are and adds a social media element where avatars appear next to bands friends like.

“Instead of playing music from the past by artists that are dead, we are playing current, mostly unheard music by bands from around the country and even the world. If you want, you can plug into the local scene in London
and hear the bands that play there.”

“It’s really hard for bands to get their music out there and on the other side of the equation, it’s hard for audiences to know what the scene is like or how bands sound. …The radio stations let listeners hear the bands and then they can decide if they want to go to the show.”

Skeen said that this unique step transforms the way people approach going to live shows especially at a local level. More over, he said its tuning people into a niche environment unheard by mainstream sources.

“What’s happening at the Tractor Tavern and other venues is reality. It’s real music made by real bands. Top 40 is a different deal entirely. … There is a lot more niche and local music out there and they have a need for a forum. We give listens a feel for them before they buy tickets to a show.”

Skeen said that through exposing listeners to bands before they buy tickets should increase ticket sales along with overall band exposure. However, he also said its contingent on the way the individual venues promote their radio station.

Any increase in ticket sales is good news for musicians, especially after a survey released in August of 2013 reported it being the primary mode of income for musicians. Right Chord Music partnered with Farida Guitars to
find out the most viable source of income for musicians. They surveyed over 200 musicians from the United Kingdom, Australia and the US. Two thirds of the musicians were unsigned with a label or independent. The results showed that over one-half, 52 percent, reported paid live shows as the primary source of income. Digital download sales at 13 percent and CD sales at12 percent were other leading sources of income.

That's great for bands and venues, but DeliRadio needs to make an income too. Rather than charging venues for embedding and branding their radio players, DeliRadio hopes to sell sponsorship ads for each radio station. Ads will stick to around 7 seconds and be heard every 10 to 15 minutes.

“To us it makes sense that someone should sponsor Tractor Tavern Radio. Rather than having 60 different advertisers we think it makes a lot more sense to have one, which means more listening time and less interruptions.”

Ryan Leyva, Production Coordinator for Tractor Tavern said that they recently signed on with DeliRadio and that it’s too soon to tell if there has been an increase in tickets sales.

“I think its great idea. It’s a new wave radio that auto-populates with local and national bands that would not be heard otherwise, “ said Leyva.

“I think its something people will put on at home or at work. I know I’m one of them. It’s pretty new thing, and it will be interested to see how it grows.”

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