For those of you who don’t live in the Twin Cities, Minnesota Public Radio recently purchased 89.3 WCAL, an independent classical music station, and converted its format to a highly eclectic mix of indie music, country, lounge, and local music. While I wasn’t a big fan of losing WCAL, the new station has its pluses.
As a public radio station, they don’t run ads of course, and this week they did their first fund drive which seemed much more low key than they usually do on their other stations. If they really want to take advantage of their format, they should become an iTunes affiliate and try to push music sales through their website.
Their format is uniquely set up to do this. Most radio stations just play the same crap over and over and over, and what they do play is easy to find in stores. 89.3 is very contrarian in their playlist, and as a result introduce people to a lot of stuff they haven’t heard before. I’ve personally purchased 2 songs off iTunes based on what I heard listening in the car. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has purchased music based what I’ve heard.
If they are going to be eclectic, then they should go whole hog and make it a business model. Introduce people to new music, then show them where they can buy it. It could be Amazon, or iTunes or whatever. They get their 5-15% cut and its that much less they have to beg for money.
MPR likes to say they work for tips. There’s my tip.