Slacker Radio Favors Human DJs Over Algorithms
In the last few months, digital radio service Slacker has added a premium channel, partnered with AOL and helped launch the new Facebook. But they've also been a successful example of music programming by expert humans, aka djs, as opposed to more algorithmically inclined solutions.
"As director of music programming at…Slacker Inc., [Scott] Riggs oversees about 70 DJs who select most of the songs played on the company's 150 stations, including genres as varied as trance, hip-hop, gospel and swing…"
"Although Slacker has struggled over the years to find the right business model, it has not deviated from its DJ-centric approach, believing that the way to people's ears — and wallets — is to offer music curated by experts in dozens of genres and sub-genres. Riggs is at the heart of Slacker's efforts, overseeing a group of contract DJs who build their stations' playlists from scratch and continually fine-tune them."
Slacker's willingness to fund a staff of djs is a strong differentiator from other streaming music services at a time when competition is intense. I'd like to think that human curation can be a strong selling point but I wonder how much expertise is discounted in an environment in which music suggestions seem to emanate from all directions.
Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith is a freelance writer and blogger. He blogs about web business models at Flux Research and the world of dance at All World Dance. To suggest music services and related topics for review at Hypebot, please contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.