Community radio – that is, local radio funded by a variety of sources, including local government and mostly staffed by volunteers – is often sneered upon by some in the music industry as the poor relation to ‘traditional’ radio.
Radio has weathered the storm brought to it by the internet: for bands, getting radio play is as – or more – important than ever. And these local community stations are now a desirable prospect from the perspective of bands looking for radio play.
Here’s the ‘secret’ according to Terry Mann, GTFM Station Manager, as highlighted in a Media UK article:
So that’s the ‘secret’ – it’s live (for around 18 hours on the average weekday), it’s local – with in-house local news bulletins on the hour all day, traffic and travel, whats ons, community messages (charity free ads) plus short interviews mostly about local issues/groups routinely included in weekday morning programmes, Oh – and it plays a mix of hits from the 60’s to the current chart (like Radio 2) all day, with excellent specialist programmes at night.
So: this is why we support and plug to local community stations. The good ones are connecting very directly to the people – i.e., potential grassroots supporters – and giving them what they want.