The way that music fans discover new music is still radio. This has been reveiled during the WORLDWIDE RADIO SUMMIT 2012, where evaluated data from music experts and entertainment analysts showed that Radio is still the world’s number one avenue to reach the biggest audience on the planet in order to break new acts. This applys to all genres of music, including the new mainstream wave of dance music. A long list of hip-hop and indie artists already transitioned into dance and electro (Nicki Minaj, Pitbull, Sia, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Lil Wayne among them). Making radio the No.1 platform to develop fans for artists and influence the sale of music to consumers it goes to show that comercial radio stations today are still the big gorilla in the room when it comes to deciding the future of an artist's single. It's no surprise that internationally syndicated radio shows such as "Al Walser's Weekly Top 20" (http://www.alwalser.com), which broadcasts the 20 biggest dance hits to an international weekly audience of millions of people in over 50 countries, has become one of a few boutique go to places for A&R's worldwide to try to get their music placed."It's quiet natural", assistant producer of the show John Carragan says, "given the fact that we reach such a tremendous audience on major radio stations worldwide, terrestrial, digital,mobile, via satelite and of course via the internet, that the " Al Walser's Weekly Top 20 " really has become a major tastemaker in today's industry and a great way to not only introduce tomorrow's hit , but litterly break a single and create instant global digital download activity. "Some of our affiliate stations even repeat the show", Carragan goes on to say. The show's motto is " We Are One " , and you can hear it as soon as Al takes the mic and greets the world. The show prides itself to mostly play the hits' club remix versions partly delivered by Starfleet Music Pool and Digiwaxx.
As illustrated in a recent Billboard magazine article by Richard Smirke, the global transition from dance to mainstream music led by artists such as David Guetta, Avicii or Afrojack, has become the focus point of major labels such as EMI or Universal as well, making Dance music a key priority for them in the years to come. Smirke's article further reveiled: "EMI Music is looking to capitalize on the electronic dance music explosion by launching its own international A&R and marketing network solely dedicated to dance artists and records. The EMI Dance Network brings together a number of EDM specialists and experts from around the world to find, develop and market dance and electronic artists, this according to a press release from EMI. The company claims that the globally-focused initiative makes EMI the first major to set up a global organization specializing exclusively in electronic dance music."
But even Universal Germany led by Tom Bohne is jumping on the Dance/Electro music train by revitalizing their old " Zeitgeist " label and revamping it to a new promising dance label. In an interview with Germany's music industry journal " Musik Woche " , German Label-Head Universal music domestic Jochen Schuster and consultant Tom Keil stated: "We were very pleased with the resurrection of Zeitgeist, as we were able to land a worldwide hit with Avicii's song " Levels " .
So is social media overhyped ?
It's definitely something a musician wants to keep in his toolbox, but it's better to look at it as custom relation than praying on it to break an act. Analyst experts such as NPD's Russ Crupnick say it certainly plays a minor role relative to traditional media and syndicated radio shows.
At the Leadership Music Digital Summit in Nashville Crupnick even went so far to say that it's "a little bit hyped," and then showed a slide that shows that traditional AM/FM radio accounts for most music discovery of 40% of the most-engaged music fans. Word of mouth, TV shows, awards shows and video sites all combined came in around 10%. At the bottom of the list was social media at around 1%.