I’ve started to notice a trend. Radio doesn’t like the internet. Actually, most of the music industry doesn’t like the internet. The traditional music industry can’t do much about file sharing, loss of their brand, the flattening of recording technology, etc, but they can do something about radio and traditional media. They can use their power in both worlds to ignore nearly every music star the internet has created.
Rebecca Black wasn’t played on the radio. Not because she had a horrible song, no, it was because she was created outside of the system. Other internet music stars like Kina Grannis, Pomplamoose, etc, have more than enough fans for radio play, but because of the tight relations between the Major Labels and Corporate Radio, those internet artists aren’t receiving the attention that they should. They’ve been created without the Majors profiting and therefore they’ve been blacklisted.
Of course we do have the curious case of Justin Bieber. Arguably the biggest star the internet has ever produced. But when you look at the main differences between Bieber and other internet music stars you quickly notice that Justin Bieber signed with the Major Label world very early on. His manager, whom discovered him, was already involved with the Majors and Justin was quickly groomed to be very much a Major Label artist. For all the good his mother did him in his early years of his career, she didn’t want to keep controlling it in a DIY fashion like many of today’s internet music stars want.
The difference between the two types of music stars is quite obvious. When bands sign with Major Labels they are signing to old media. Radio, TV, Newspapers, (other things that your father grandfather talks about) have a long and storied history with Major Labels. The internet is new; it’s brash, bold, and will probably kill most of the old media if it has the chance. Of course radio won’t play an internet artist. It would be tantamount to giving it all up. They still must up hold “standards” even if it kills them.
It seems that, at least today, 2011, you do have to choose between being an Internet Star and a Radio Star. if you reject the Majors and go it your own way, you also reject traditional mainstream radio. For indie bands, psych jam rockers, underground electronic hip hop beatmakers that will probably not be a problem. But if you’re aiming at a bigger audience, the kind that the pop stars of yesteryear had, then you’d better figure out away to do it without mainstream radio, because most likely, you’ll be left out.