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DeliRadio Raises $9.35 Million In Funding, CEO Wayne Skeen Shares The Big Picture

Belly-up-radio-deliradioToday web radio service DeliRadio announced that they've raised $9.35 million in funding from investors. This impressive achievement will allow DeliRadio to start hiring more engineers and grow their technical staff. However they're not waiting for new hires to release a public API for a wide range of potential partners or to develop a web marketing tool called BandScanner to help sites link to the music of participating bands. After speaking with CEO Wayne Skeen about developments to date and future plans, it became clear that DeliRadio offers a marketing and D2F opportunity that DIY and indie musicians should seriously consider.

DeliRadio began with a focus on streaming music by bands that were playing at venues in one's area. Musicians license their music to DeliRadio for free and DeliRadio then streams it to listeners for free. Over time they've developed such options as stations for venues and festivals as well as "community radio" but at the core of the service are indie bands with upcoming shows.

DeliRadio's Value Proposition for Musicians

Once musicians submit music, the rest of the process is handled by DeliRadio. Since one's music is played based on touring appearances, DeliRadio is designed to support your live performances, including play on venue-based radio stations, as a form of marketing with links for more concert info and ticket purchasing.

DeliRadio also offers musicians the opportunity to sell music directly to fans. Artists get 100% of money received for sales. You also have the option to link to iTunes and other outlets for your music.

I spoke with CEO and co-founder Wayne Skeen yesterday and he said they want to continue to improve tools for artist and recently introduced new Artist Dashboards with a variety of analytics. Artists can also see which DeliRadio stations are or could be playing their music.

DeliRadio will also be releasing a promo button called BandScanner. Websites and blogs can add a bit of code and have a button appear by the names of acts with music on DeliRadio. That can be limited to a single page or added to a whole site. It's a simple but potentially powerful marketing tool that one can see in action on The Deli Magazine (fyi, the name's not a reference to DeliRadio).

The Future of DeliRadio

Future plans include growing the DeliRadio Concert Network featuring venue-based stations that are initially presented to the user based on their geolocation. The potential for expanding location-based stations is large and, though we didn't discuss it, a more global reach is possible in the future especially given DeliRadio's direct licensing approach.

DeliRadio is soon releasing a public API. This will allow a variety of services to add streaming music and related content extending the reach of both DeliRadio and musicians.

DeliRadio is also coming to autos via a deal with Aha by HARMAN. This deal opens up important territory and adds a major opportunity to benefit from geolocation beyond mobile devices and the desktop.

Skeen revealed that monetization is on the way for DeliRadio with the introduction of "brand voices" on channels such as festival radio stations. However these will be limited to something like 7 second spots played every 10 to 15 minutes. Obviously getting a big chunk of funding helps make this gradual transition possible.

DeliRadio and the Future of Music

As we discussed the future of DeliRadio, Wayne Skeen had some strong things to say about major streaming services that he feels don't really support musicians. He pointed out that they're owned by other forces and designed to benefits those owners.

He hopes indie musicians will see the value of DeliRadio and the difference between low per-stream payments and supporting one's live shows while building one's audience. Obviously you could do both but Skeen felt strongly that musicians will benefit from embracing services that best support building an independent career.

Though we didn't discuss Spotify's new Spotlight feature, Skeen seemed to be referencing it when he pointed out that 99.5% of musicians will never produce the music that major streaming services like Spotify will want to promote. Furthermore he maintains they will ultimately attempt to steal your fans and direct them to the flavor of the month which you will most likely never be.

Beyond those strong words, Skeen also revealed that DeliRadio is focused on a philosophy and business strategy intended to intersect with that place in the future where artists have taken full control of their careers. Seen in that light, DeliRadio is less a bet on streaming music and more a commitment to helping create whatever comes next.

I previously discussed alternatives to simply being swept up by streaming music services that may not have musician's best interests at heart. In that regard I think DeliRadio is one of the alternative services that up-and-coming musicians should consider for its marketing and D2F benefits.

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Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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