2021 will be the year that musicians finally understand that radio is a business. Be it community, national broadcaster or commercial radio, radio is a business. The notion that radio must do things for free is absolutely comical. Airtime is the product; airtime is the commodity – airtime is what keeps the lights on; airtime is what pays salaries – airtime is how radio survives.
2021 will be the year that musicians understand that a radio station that grants you a free interview is actually a mo*rse favour! Businesses and organisations pay thousands of dollars for a 30-second advert; here you are getting a whole three minutes of airtime and still have the audacity to complain that it’s too short. No one – absolutely no one will convince me that musicians deserve free interviews.
No logic – absolutely no logic will convince me that radio should do free things for musicians. History tells us that those who walked down that path are either struggling today or non-existent today. Where are all the community radio stations that gave free interviews and never charged for anything today? It’s either they are struggling financially to keep the mic on or they are non-existent today.
The World Bank classifying us as an upper-middle-income country is f**ked sh*t up for community projects. Donor funds dried up; donor money was the bloodline for a majority of community radio stations. Investor and donor money is non-existent vandag. How do you expect a community radio station that now needs to maximise its airtime in the absence of donors to be able to keep the lights on to still kama give you a free interview? Why can’t musicians get this through their thick skulls?
If a commercial or national broadcaster grants you a free interview – honestly, you need to understand the favour that’s being handed to you, especially a commercial radio station. Radio does not have to and should not grant free interviews. Period!
So, the next time you get a free interview from any radio station, respect the damn medium. Show up on time; show up ready to engage and converse. Respect the platform that is being availed to you. It’s a very precious platform; it’s a platform that grants you access to an audience that you do not have at your disposal on a daily basis.
You might have 100 000s of followers on social media but radio triples that per second! Businesses and organisations know and understand that; hence, they are prepared to pay thousands for a 30-second advert.
The reality is this: music needs radio more as opposed to the other way around. This reality will never change. Harsh much? Sometimes we just need to stomach the reality and get on with life. All in all...I really hope that 2021 will be the year this stupid “Radio vs Musicians” will come to an end. Because it is stupid. It is stupid for one very obvious reasons...that musicians refuse to understand the business of radio. Simple!
Until the next Loop, we say #GMTM
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