Media

People-powered radio: YouTube launches crowdsourced music program with SiriusXM

Image Credit: SiriusXM
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A new radio show on SiriusXM, programmed by YouTube fans, starts today.

Current Analysis analyst Brad Shimmin told VentureBeat that this kind of crowd-based programming “represents both the peril and promise of analytics-driven content.”

He noted that, even as the Google-owned YouTube “is exploring some monetization models more aggressively,” too much of this kind of democratic program selection could jeopardize the “expert-curated content” that historically has found many of the new directions in music.

The hour-long weekly show, called “YouTube 15,” will air on SiriusXM’s Hits 1 channel. It will showcase 15 of YouTube’s most popular musical artists, starting with its premiere at 6pm Eastern today. The show will be repeated three times each week, and available on-demand. The venture was announced at the end of June.

The selections will feature the established artists who have the largest YouTube view counts in recent weeks, as well as the new musicians with the largest percentage growth in views.

Popular YouTube star Jenna Marbles (with 13 million subscribers to her channel) will host the show. If you’re not a subscriber to SiriusXM, you’ll still be able to listen to the selected songs via playlists on SiriusXM’s YouTube channel.

This “is a natural evolution of music discovery,” analyst Brett Sappington told us, given that “people often discover music from radio, word-of-mouth” and other kinds of social interaction.

He suggested that the model will eventually have to evolve again if it is to avoid the peril that Shimmin mentions, becoming just another kind of Top 40 program – or Top 15 in this case.

For its part, Google spokesperson Matt McLernon told us that this program does not represent a new direction for YouTube:

“SiriusXM is the latest addition to the many ways YouTube helps creators succeed beyond our platform, like integrating music data into the Billboard Hot 100, bringing YouTube channels to Virgin America and other airlines, and supporting an independent feature film called Life in a Day. SiriusXM is also one of many members of the radio community who are turning to YouTube to further connect with their own fans and a global audience, including BBC Radio 1, Hot 97, Power 106, KEXP and many more.”

“Sirius’ interest in using a YouTube channel really speaks to the growing influence of the channelization of Internet video,” Sappington noted.

“As brands like Sirius increasingly [stimulate] professional quality content [getting into] YouTube channels, the audience will continue to grow. Ultimately, these channels can either promote premium video options or serve as a rival to paid services.”

More information:

YouTube, Inc. is a consumer media company for people to watch and share original videos through a Web experience. It allows people to upload, tag, and share personal video clips; browse original videos uploaded by community members; fi... read more »

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