On the B-side. Making music rather than digital marketing.

Greg Southcombe

July 12, 2023

Of no particular relevance

Radio Paradise

On the B-side. Making music rather than digital marketing.

Updated on July 21, 2023 by Greg Southcombe

Digital marketing is dry as hell and if I was destined to write about it and only it I’d probably just churn out ChatGPT-generated wisdom and leave it at that. That’s why this post is about music. In particular, how I listen to it when I work (and any other time) and the rather quirky source of it – Radio Paradise.

I don’t think I would have ever come across Tito & Tarantula and their excellent (to my ears anyway) track – ‘Sweet Cycle’ if it hadn’t been for Radio Paradise. Or Elbow (that’s the band) and their beautiful song ‘The Only Road’.

The name Radio Paradise sounds kind of religious which, being a devout atheist I feel honour bound to point out, it is most definitely not. Radio Paradise is named after the town in which it was founded – Paradise, California.

The story of Radio Paradise is a good one. Founded in 1999 (going strong for 24 years now) it’s a free internet radio station with no ads. Yep – no ads and free. I’ll explain how in a moment but that’s not even the best bit. The best bit is that it’s a lovingly and highly curated eclectic mix of music streamed across the internet at extraordinarily high audio quality. You can listen at their website or on their iOS or Android apps. What’s more, that loving curation I mention is not done by an algorithm it’s done by William and his daughter Alanna.

I have the website open in a tab on my laptop, pop my headphones on and get to work on digital marketing stuff. More than a few times a day I am drawn away from the work stuff because the track being played is so damn good and often new to my ears. When I’m at my desk, I prefer the website over the apps because I can jump into the tab and see who’s singing, read the band’s story, and read the lyrics, I can peruse comments from other listeners about the song, and I can rate it to keep it in my favourites. I’ve explored many a rabbit hole thanks to all that content.

My mate Murray told me about Radio Paradise years ago and over time it became the only way we listen to music – anywhere. We stopped paying Spotify, we happily said goodbye (and good riddance) to commercial radio stations and their vapid dribble and we removed ads from our earshot.

The interesting thing is, and this could be my tenuous attempt to make this post relevant to digital marketing right here, that it wasn’t long before we wanted to help. We actually wanted to send them money and we felt they really truly deserved it. You see Radio Paradise is free and there are no ads because it is listener-supported. People like us send them money – in our case, we do it every month and it feels good. It feels kind of like kōha. How’s that for a business model?

Oh – I love this one. I’m turning it up (Pearl Jam – Yellow Ledbetter) and then I’ll get back to work.

I should also add – you’ll often hear Kiwi musicians on RP. Nadia Read quite often, Aldous Harding from time to time, and Neil Finn of course a lot.

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