Kudos to bring original radio shows to Spotify

By | Published on Thursday 13 May 2010

Independent music distributor Kudos Records is setting up a new digital platform that will utilise Spotify to enable bedroom presenters to legally webcast their own online radio shows with music without having to worry about PRS and label licences. 

Basically, Kudos will distribute spoken word links on behalf of said presenters in the same way they distribute music tracks, making them available to the Spotify catalogue. Utilising Kudos’ proprietary Playdio system, presenters can then set up playlists that include all the spoken word links that belong on one ‘show’ and the music that is meant to be heard each link. Listeners set the playlist in motion and hear it as if it was a radio show. Which is simple but clever, don’t you think?

And because the presenters links will be distributed via Spotify in the same way as music tracks, the presenters will be due the same albeit nominal royalty that an independently distributed artist gets whenever their content is streamed.

There are, of course, weaknesses with the proposed Playdio system. 

If listeners access a ‘show’ using the free version of Spotify random ads will appear, and while ads on radio shows aren’t out of place per se, it will seem odd if the DJ says “now some Jedward” and then an ad kicks in. The ad might be a blessed release in that example, but in normal circumstances Spotify’s ads might prove to be even more irritating than normal if they break what should be a seamless link. 

Plus even where ads aren’t a factor, there are likely to be moments of silence as spoken word tracks make way for music tracks make way for spoken word tracks. And it’s not clear how quickly new programmes could be entered into the Spotify system going through the traditional distribution route. 

Still, if Spotify could be persuaded to create some way by which a playlist maker could control where ads appear, and if the Spotify player ever gets the sort of cross-fade function available in iTunes, and if they would fast track such spoken word content, all those problems might be overcome. 

And, even with those slight issues, the whole Playdio thing is definitely interesting. Former and current BBC presenters Phill Jupitus, Peter Curran and Mark Webster obviously think so, because they’ll be among the first to make Playdio shows. 

Kudos Records MD Danny Ryan told CMU: “We are always keen to work with service providers to find new and interesting ways to reach the consumer. Adding value to legal services is the key way our industry can successfully compete with file sharing and torrents”.

In other Spotify news, the streaming music service yesterday updated its iPhone app to incorporate some of the social networking functionality recently added to the main PC-based player. The iPhone app only works, of course, for premium users of the streaming music service.