Here at Slacker Radio, we love what we do–and we also like listening to what our competitors are up to. Recently, we’ve heard Spotify and Pandora talk about music curation and adding a “human touch.” Now we’re hearing the same thing from Apple. This is exciting stuff for us and, we think, for you too.
We’ve been human from day one. In fact, the Slacker team is dominated by folks who cut their teeth in the world of terrestrial radio. Quick backstory…in recent years, we feel that radio lost its way, essentially consolidating into a few mega-giant companies, dumbing down its approach and tightening its playlists. This left a lot of talented curators and DJs looking for a home that wasn’t a mega-giant company. And many of them found one at Slacker.
Just like you (group hug).
Our hosts understand that, while music is your number one passion point, it’s the stuff between the songs that often makes the magic happen…and this “stuff” is generated by thoughtful, creative and sometimes profoundly disturbed human beings who love music, love radio, and love connecting with you. As some of the big guns in our space seek to do the same thing, we’re really interested to see what they come up with–Apple in particular. After all, those guys have some amazing assets at their fingertips. Now we’ll see what they choose to do with them.
For our part, you have taught us that the element of surprise is really important. When we have the pleasure of working with artists that we’re fans of, we don’t just ask them to build playlists. Instead, we create three-dimensional listening experiences by getting them to talk about the artists that they are fans of, with stories that they’ve never told before. We know these artists have lots to say.
For example, on a station that we recently built around Josh Groban, he revealed that he once sang a private duet with Neil Young in a backstage dressing room—and you could literally hear the awe in his voice. Luke Bryan laughingly told us how his son prefers Kenny Chesney to his dad, and Nick Jonas shared his love for Led Zeppelin, while John Legend did the same for the Beatles, and Patrick Carney of The Black Keys admitted that his first crush was Jo from The Facts of Life.
We give our hosts on Team Slacker freedom, because they know how to work with artists in order to deliver this kind of “stuff” to you guys. We also encourage them to come up with their own amazing stations that literally can’t be found anywhere else. Counting down the 66 Songs That Changed Everything?
We’ve done that. An analysis of Classic Hip Hop in alphabetical order? Yes. A review of the Biggest Jerks in Music History? We’ve done that too. We celebrate what we love, and don’t pull punches on things we think are weak, or just plain silly.
We may be a bit different, but that’s because we understand that serious music listeners like you are often regarded as a bit different too. You love music and you want to know that the people picking the music share your love. This is why we’re also very serious about giving you a huge voice in the programming of your favorite stations (or handing you the keys to build your own from scratch). In addition, we’ve got a team of brilliant, self-proclaimed nerds who work tirelessly to offer new technological innovations, launching new apps, features and capabilities that allow you more control.
With all this in mind, we’re really excited to see what happens next. For our part? Slacker likes people who are passionate and authentic…and our aim is to reinvent radio with our listeners, marrying technology and curation to celebrate those with something to say. Voices with a point of view. Radio that stirs emotion and inspires dialogue and debate. That’s what we’re talking about.
Senior Director, Programming