There’s a term in the tech world called “not invented here syndrome” which refers to companies that refuse to get on board a new trend or idea simply because they didn’t think of it.
Radio and music television in America are pretty much the same. I wrote a few months ago about how the UK band Arctic Monkeys were filling arenas with eager fans — without even having more than a single — because they did a fantastic job growing an audience. (I wouldn’t give MySpace all the credit, like a recent BusinessWeek article seems to, but the guys did a lot of things that I’m always cajoling my clients to do.)
So, why don’t we see more of the Arctic Monkeys on these shores? Because radio and television had no hand in “making them.”
Program directors have fierce egos. They like to create pocket universes of influence in their offices, if not in their audiences. To acknowledge the presence of an act that they were not “present at the creation of” would imply fallibility, or at least the idea that an audience can make up its own mind about what to listen to.
In my early radio days, I remember how wild it was to start working at a different station where artists I had never heard of were local stars, while big hits from my former employer were dismissed by PD’s as if they never existed.
In the same way, these guys, selling out large venues in Europe, can’t even get the phone answered in North America.
Further evidence: Phish, Widespread Panic, early Blues Traveler, current Blues Traveler.
Does this lack of radio support in the U.S. mean the Arctic Monkeys have no future? Ask Widespread Panic’s accountants.
Takeaway: instead of spending your money on a radio campaign (unless you’re targeting a niche market with someone like Liz), hire a blogger or buy some blog ads.
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