Netil Radio Weekly - End of the Year pt. 2
Hello & welcome back,
The second and final part of our 2022 roundup is dedicated to the power of community and the role of independent internet radio in the upcoming new era.
I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a very hot day in June 2019 and at the weekly radio meeting I got the dreaded question again - “Why do you use the word ‘community’ to define Netil Radio? It’s too trendy!”. I knew the word was overused by marketing departments and losing its meaning. But, I also knew that Netil Radio was evolving into a real community platform so it felt important to protect the value and meaning of this simple word as well as re-establish its functionality.
So, how can the concept of community radio be designed on profit-focused business models, but not to fall into the spiral of infinite growth misery, where there are never enough followers, likes, or comments? The answer lies somewhere around the idea that there is a need for public broadcasting. The purpose of public or community radio is to use resources to create content and lead the community, while its commercial and corporate equivalent is using the content to create resources and profit. Both are fair models, the problem comes when you mix and match the wrong way.
The last three years of global pandemic and war in Europe exposed many issues in the music industry pilling up over the years. The disappearance of venues owned by real people, with the opening boom of venues owned by large organisations and run by their marketing teams, is the key in understanding the customer’s safety issues and the lack of creative vision. Let’s be honest, how many owners spend nights and weekends inside venues, actually running their clubs in London? Two, five? Compared to how many venues are owned by nameless investors hiding their identity behind the army of companies…
When it comes to radio, do you remember all those pictures of DJs in the studios before the pandemic? Those beautiful moments of people sharing their ideas, expression, skills and emotions has been replaced with sets recorded in the loneliness of our homes. The excitement of being someone’s guest and coming down to the studio faded out, the monotonous boredom of guest mixes faded in. Stations based on the pay-to-play model are struggling to offer the essence of radio - the studio experience - as they shut them down when the pandemic started. Those depending on brand partnerships are realising that they aren’t able to simultaneously enjoy big (and temporary) budgets while creating sustainable models for the moment when the stream of free cash dries out. And that leads to weird decisions.
The moments of crisis are moments of opportunities, not just misery. The solution comes when you have to be creative, improvise and make unpopular decisions. When the pandemic started, we didn’t close our studio, we designed a new studio risk assessment instead, asking DJs to wear masks while in the booth, avoid public spaces before the show, or not to throw parties in lockdown. We’re still sanitising equipment a few times a day and we will continue to do so. This approach didn’t just provide safe space for presenters to work, but also shaped their perspective on the situation, guiding them through the hard and confusing times.
Our relationship with the brand supporting our operation is based on understanding the importance of an independent community platform, its creative freedom and social value. After nearly six years of learning, we believe we understand our role and purpose. In 2023, we will focus on content and its quality, guiding our presenters and DJs through their artistic journey of creation.
We would love to thank all of you, creators and listeners for your dedication, openness and willingness to discover. You are the inspiration for everything we do. Together, we are the Netil Radio community.
Thank you for reading, merry Christmas and stay connected in new year (and every year)
Our weekly love letter is taking a small break until the end of the year, but your inbox will not stay empty next week. The first issue of Netil Radio Stories, a new long read format of our newsletter, will bring you the perspective on creative process, mental health battles and the role of community platform in the life of an artist, written and experienced by one of our favourite creators - Ben Kelly aka Aboutface.
Our resident’s most loved music of 2022
Beta K - 1st Friday of the month 5-7pm
Fizzy Disc / Mulching - 4th Friday of the month 9-11pm
Josh Corbett / Eyes Have Babes - 1st Friday of the month - 1-3pm
TSUNIMAN / PLASMA - every 1st Sunday of the month 10pm til late
Miro sundayMusiq / Morning Transition - every Sunday 9am-12pm
✧ Various Artists - Less Popular Than Cats - Verdant recordings ✧ ¥ØU$UK€ ¥UK1MAT$U w/ friends - Midnight is comin’ - Midnight Shift ✧ Aboutface - The Water That Glows Like Dancing Glass Cuts Crimson ✧
Last week’s best shows according to our residents
✧ Aurhya11 & sunni rounding up the year of Solar Rocks ✧ Fredie Hudson back in mothership with PAIJATA ✧ spooky new show with Postmen DJs ✧ Dan Nicholls live ✧ Faery b3b Amphybian & Night Garden ✧ shellac records specialist Ramjac Corporation ✧ Marlie joined Maybe Laura for a morning chill session ✧ Moontalk’s Quantum Botanics is back in London and finally in the studio ✧ Martin Kohlstedt on guest duties for Ceylan Göksel ✧ Luce Bee’s tribute to Terry Hall ✧
That’s all for this week, stay tuned