The news that Radionomy was buying Winamp and Shoutcast from AOL was good for many web radio broadcasters including Faisal Sultan of Frisky, an EDM radio station that added a streaming subscription service last year. As an original Shoutcast team member, Sultan had additional reasons to want to see Shoutcast continue but it was also a reminder to Frisky not to depend on one directory. Recently Sultan shared that and other details of life at Frisky.
Faisal Sutton launched Frisky as Frisky Radio back in 2001. In an interview with Brad Hill of RAIN News, Sultan explained that he joined the Shoutcast team at AOL in 1999 and began streaming music for testing purposes. When Shoutcast.com launched, they needed content so he started his station:
"I started seeing the same IP addresses coming in [to listen] every day, tuning in. Pretty soon I started getting contacted by DJs who wanted to air their mixes on the stream. It didn’t have a name yet. My DJ name in college was Frisky, so that was a logical name..."
"Around 2007 I got together with some people who would run it with me. We decided on a show format, as if it were a TV station."
In 2013 Frisky Radio relaunched as Frisky, an EDM subscription streaming service with free ad-supported streaming. For $10 a month listeners get ad-free streams and downloads of the mixes.
You can find out more about the djs and shows and choose between a "Frisky" and a "Chill" theme.
According to Brad Hill, Sultan left AOL back in August to go full-time on Frisky. When he heard AOL was planning to shut down Shoutcast, he realized Frisky had made a mistake sticking to one directory.
Though disaster was averted Sultan says:
"It was a learning experience for us, and we have taken the lesson: Diversify. Go into TuneIn and others, be in as many directories as possible. Get the station out there in as many ways as possible."
Sultan clarified that though they offer a free ad-supported stream their focus is on the new subscription business which now provides over 50% of their revenue. He also feels ads are overly disruptive and that the subscription service offers a much better experience.
At the moment Sultan says Frist is growing with "features and products in the pipeline."
Though we mostly hear about the Spotify's and Pandora's, a lot of the more innovative activity is occurring with smaller services like Drip.fm and Frisky so such companies are a good place to look for fresh ideas.
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Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/Facebook) is relaunching All World Dance. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.