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Amazing Radio explains DAB disappearance

Amazing Radio has ceased broadcasting on the national Digital One multiplex this week, and has written an open letter to the radio industry to explain why.

It states transmissions ceased because they were unable to secure acceptable terms for a contract extension.

See the letter in full below:

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE RADIO AND INDIE MUSIC INDUSTRIES

Amazing Radio ceased broadcasting nationally on Digital 1 at midnight on Monday. This letter explains what happened, and why we think it is important for all of us who love radio and care about music.

Let’s be honest. Some of you will have said ‘Amazing Who?’ Others will go ‘serves them right, their model was crazy’. Others will be sad to see something new disappear from the airwaves, but assume it was never viable as a concept.

The truth is more complicated. Amazing Radio did not go off the air because our model failed. We have been growing very rapidly for two years and broke even in January. We have very supportive shareholders who understand that we have a long term, very audacious plan to reinvent the music industry. We are about to raise $30m in Silicon Valley to expand internationally and in the UK. Transmissions ceased because we were unable to secure acceptable terms for an extension of our contract.

We could not close a US funding round with uncertainty about our UK broadcasting licence. We remain grateful to Digital 1 for taking a risk with us when we launched in 2009, and we hope to resolve the dispute and get back on the air.

Certainly the astonishing reaction from listeners and musicians, erupting spontaneously within an hour of our announcement, confirms that people want us back on DAB.

Why should you care about this? Several reasons: –

The music industry is broken. The old model doesn’t work any more. Major labels have withdrawn from A&R. The industry needs help finding the new talent. That’s what we do.

Musicians need an outlet. The UK has an incredible live music scene, and technology allows bands to record to a higher standard and lower cost than at any time. But there’s no point having an MP3 nobody hears. We have given thousands of bands their first radio play and first revenues.

DAB has to work. It’s important for the whole radio ecosystem and the Government needs the cash from analogue switch-off. The incredible reaction to our departure shows people want to use DAB to find new things. (Not just simulcasts of FM).

It’s good for GDP. Creative industries are the fastest-growing part of the UK economy. The industry needs to work together to find the next Adele, the next Radiohead. We are (now) an important player at the start of that process. And our expansion will create even more jobs.

It’s good for young people. Music provides a creative outlet and focus for anyone. It’s democratic and (because of digital technology) accessible – if there’s a route map for talent to develop.

It’s good for radio. We don’t compete for your audiences – we only ever expect to be a niche, and we’ll never take advertising. But we will find the music you’ll be playing next year.

We hope you see merit in these arguments and will wish us well, as we continue to expand.

When we get back on the air, we hope you’ll find some new music you love. (Thousands have).

Paul Campbell
CEO & Founder

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