Public radio stations are often the first stop for Indie artists and cutting-edge performers. Given that fact, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting announced a $750K grant for a collaboration between five public FM stations to build a new, national, online music video showcase featuring exclusive live performances of new and emerging bands.
“Music X Project” plans to launch by the end of 2014. The five founding stations include AAA and Indie stations KCRW Los Angeles, KTBG Kansas City, KUTX Austin, WFUV New York and WXPN Philadelphia. Music X is dubbed as a consortium of public media organizations from across the country that film emerging and established artists playing live sets of music in studio and on location.
“The number of stations participating will grow over time,” said Erik Langner, managing director of Public Media Company, the organization that is leading the strategic collaboration of Music X. “Together, partner stations will be submitting new videos on a weekly basis, helping music lovers and other stations discover local artists while attracting new and younger audiences to public media programming.”
“As the arts and cultural voice of their communities, public media stations have always been discovery channels for emerging talent,” said Kansas City Public Television and KTBG CEO Kliff Kuehl, who is the fiscal agent of the CPB grant and a founding partner station of the Music X Project. “By showcasing our local artists on Music X, we can create a continual and curated source of never-before-seen music performances for national audiences.”
The live performance music videos – featuring local, national and international artists – will be aggregated on a national website and mobile app. The member stations will also have their own locally branded and curated video channel, which can be shared with audiences over web, mobile and social media platforms, with some content broadcast on local public TV stations.
Members upload their in-studio performance videos into the Music X archive and then download from this exclusive database to populate their station’s video channel. The national website will be a curated site showcasing the best videos from around the country.
The Wyncote and MacArthur Foundations have funded the content management system (CMS) powering the video platform, Channel X.
Mike Henry, CEO of Paragon Media Strategies, is senior creative advisor and leading efforts to design the Music X audience experience. The name of the new music discovery service, along with station partnership details, will be announced when the site officially launches later this year. To find out more, see www.themusicxproject.com.
RBR-TVBR observation: KCRW’s “Morning Becomes Eclectic,” for example, has live bands perform almost on a daily basis in the studio. They’ve done it for years. These stations together represent some of the most respected full-market public radio signals in the country and already probably have a lot of video from AAA and Indie bands coming through. This content—created basically free–has value, is marketable and the cross-promotion will only help ratings. Commercial stations should take note, as it appears public radio is capitalizing more than ever on new music discovery.