Thursday, November 03, 2011

Is Triple A Music Becoming the Soundtrack of Our Lives?

Triple A isn’t just for Starbucks anymore.

  • Coldplay can be found in your grocer’s freezer section
  • Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers pump it out at the cardiologist's office
  • The locksmith grooves to The Black Keys while waiting on customers
  • White Stripes are what’s hot in the home decorating department
  • My Morning Jacket now available for all sizes at the Gap
  • Train tracks play in Grand Central Station
You hear it in your local grocery store, almost any neighborhood bar without a jukebox and at your chain restaurants. From TGI Friday’s to Chili’s to Outback Steakhouse the speakers bleed Triple A .

It makes us wonder. Public radio news stations thrive by offering a valuable public service that isn’t available anywhere else.With Triple A turning up everywhere, is it making it more difficult to raise money around this music?

Where were you surprised to hear Triple A? Let us know.

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Blogger Steve said...

John asks a good question. AAA music is the soundtrack to many of our lives. It's used in all the places John mentions.

But it's absent from commercial radio just the same way jazz and classical are no long viable commercial radio formats.

Why? AAA music programming done right is expensive. AAA music is grounded in the sensibility that unknown artists deserve exposure and that local musicians must have a voice on our airwaves.

Public Radio AAA is willing to accept the thinner margins associated with the costs of in-studio performances, lower over all ratings and producing events that serve our community but may not show up in a ratings book.

Public Radio AAA stations are not only musical jukeboxes with a side bar of intelligence, we're brands in our market that represent the values of our listeners and our communities. We're optimistic, and in many cases program our air and off-air events to highlight something in our community that needs attention. We go beyond commercial radio heavily-corporate-sponsored community service events to encompass real public service.

Our listeners support us not just for the music we play and the way we present it--they support us because we engage our communities.

Now for those of you who haven't googled mapped WTMD's signal and John's office, you should know that John lives and works somewhere around our 70dbu line. So I am kind of surprised he didn't mention Adele in his list of music.

Adele, who as you know is not typical prepackaged slick sexy svelte polished act that Ga Ga, Katy, Beyonce and even Jennifer Hudson are, got her start in America on Public Radio AAA.

And now she is selling records so damn fast and getting commercial radio in such abundance that she is outselling all of those slicksters!

On a recent drive from Westchester County, NY to Baltimore I scanned by no less than 20 spins on various format--we counted and made it a game! Good For Her. And Good For Public Radio AAA for helping make this happen for her and the American Public.

Lastly, we have a saying in AAA--there's always another band. Sooner or later Coldplay will freeze up, Jack White will retire early, Tom Petty will announce he's done, My Morning Jacket will ride off into the sunset and Adele will release "65-The Pensioner's Sessions".

But Public Radio AAA will bring the next generation of talented, authentic, passionate musicians to the American public. It's our mission to ensure quality music remains in everyone's ears.

Sure, it's tough sometimes to convince the casual listener why AAA is worthy of financial support, but our core audience--or brand loyalists--are standing next to us as strongly as they have before.

It's a different game in our format--and it's a hell of a lot of fun. Now if only our national organizations would help us refine, enhance and grow our music and community service as they do for the other formats.

Start writing that CPB grant application for AAA fundraising research John! There's Consulting Money in Them There Tunes!

Steve Yasko
GM, WTMD Baltimore
Radio for Music People

Oh--And go listen to Boy and Bear's first American release, "Moonfire." WTMD's been on this band since seeing them at SXSW--they'll be breaking big in the steps the Avett Brothers and Mumford and Sons....check out our interview with them on our web site -That's right baby-- ABP --Always Be Promoting!

4:03 PM  

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