If Pandora and Spotify Had a Baby…

Radical.fm LogoIt would be totally rad. I guess that’s why Thomas McAlevey created Radical.FM. This newborn personal online radio service came to town in early June and has already proven it’s something to talk about. The name of the game here is genre blending. This is the standout feature that makes Radical.FM different from its predecessors. The listener can create a station around an artist or a genre (just like Pandora).

After you’ve created the station, you have the option to add or remove genres and then assign a value relative to the other genres on your station. Make sense? The design is basically a miniature switchboard. It seems easy enough. But will this genre-based feature be enough to attract Pandora’s loyal listeners? Only time will tell.

One of the features I’m really excited about has a bit more of the Spotify gene. For the paid premium tier (price not yet listed), Radical.FM offers a ‘play on demand’ function that allows you to create personal playlists from a library of about 13 million songs. After you create said playlist, it automatically becomes available as a radio station allowing you to have complete control over your music.  Radical.FM is literally Pandora and Spotify rolled into one. I can’t get enough.

Another category that hasn’t been touched by music streaming sources is independent music. Radical.FM’s younger sibling, RadicalIndie is now rounding up ‘indie’ bands to create an online station just for independent artists. This service is free of charge and will also offer the ‘play on demand’ function. This will open up an outlet for artists that aren’t signed by major labels and that you likely wouldn’t find on mainstream sources such as Radical.FM and Pandora. Exciting!

Of course Radical.FM has to keep up with the cool kids, so they too are asking you to get connected with RadCast. This feature allows friends to listen to one another’s music in real time. They are also working on a ‘DJ’ button, similar to Turntable.fm. This feature will allow listeners to speak to their audiences about music and/or conduct interviews. This new guy has plenty to offer, but it could be too much for the Pandora fan that wants to simply turn on the radio and go or the Spotify user who wants to type in a song, create a playlist and upload it to Facebook.

Now, what does Radical.FM have to do with advertising you ask? As of right now Radical.FM is in the start-up phase so they are ad-free. However, in the very near future they will offer a wide variety of advertising options from audio ads to banners and links.  The kind of listeners attracted to Radical.FM will be very engaged with the platform.  Engaged listeners are the listeners that advertisers want to reach.

Mallorie McRea is Traffic Manager at The Radio Agency. Please follow The Radio Agency’s Blog “Sounding Board” by subscribing to the RSS link above. Visit our website TheRadioAgency.com

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