Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Spreading the Word

Question: How would you grow an audience for WTJU?

Answer: -- ?

I'm firmly convinced that we have yet to reach our full potential audience. Sure, other stations in are market are playing classical music, but their programming is based on a different aesthetic than ours. A colleague of mine who worked at a public radio station in Las Vegas years ago summed up their classical programming this way:

"Most of our major donors are plastic surgeons. So we've been told to program classical music that would sound nice in a plastic surgeon's waiting room."

And I don't think that's a particularly unusual programming concept. Maximize listenership by keeping the music appealing to the broadest possible audience. Recognize that most people just want classical music for pleasant background music as they go about their day.

Nothing wrong with that -- it's serving the needs (although sometimes I think its the perceived needs) of the audience.

Our classical programming runs a little deeper, pushes past the comfort zone, and basically is music by -- and for -- folks seriously into the genre.

Classical music has always been a niche market. Classical record (now download) sales account for about 7% of the market. So if WTJU's programming is appealing to only a portion of that market, how big can we expect our audience to be?

Well, that depends. Most of our announcers are, I think, invitational in their presentations. Don't know Bach from Offenbach? No problem. Just listen. You might hear something you like. And that's what it's all about. Exposing folks to this amazing body of music -- most of it virtually unheard on other stations.

So how do we get the word out? Well, we twitter, we blog, some of us Facebook. We stream on the web, and do everything we can to make our station as accessible as possible. But folks still have to discover us in some fashion.

And that's where you, gentle reader, come in. Chances are you're a regular listener to WTJU. Have you told your friends about us? Have you blogged about WTJU? Chatted about us on Facebook? Twittered us? Mentioned us in any social network?

Your recommendations have weight. If you believe in what we do, please spread the word. And don't forget to include our links!

audio stream:

- Ralph

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