One of the interesting industry questions in 2019 concerns the outlook for niche music-streaming services: for example those focused on specific categories like classical, jazz or metal, which are often seen as being under-served by the big global streaming services. Now add ambient/electronic music to the list.
There’s a new service called 9128, which is the work of label A Strangely Isolated Place. It’s a ’24-7 online radio’ station rather than an on-demand service, which the label says it started as an alternative to using existing platforms like SoundCloud and Mixcloud to present ASIP’s own releases, but also as a reaction to the other global platforms.
“I don’t want adverts, paywalls (if you don’t want adverts), playlists curated by anonymous ‘editors’, fake artists, and the desire to keep things updated all the time. And again, there’s still the choice of what playlist to choose and when,” explained ASIP’s introductory blog post. “It turns out it’s the characteristics of radio that I’ve been longing for as a listener…”
9128 will play music by the label’s own catalogue as well as friendly labels and artists, with plans for “dedicated shows, album premieres, themed slots, artist and label showcases and more… Programming will be fluid, often random, and curated to ensure a new listening experience with every visit”. The music is played with permission of the labels and artists; the station will encourage listeners to buy the stuff they like from Bandcamp; and it will be available from its website, as well as via smartphone apps and an Alexa skill.