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> American Movie Classics, what happened????
LadyNostalgiaBuf...
post Nov 16 2004, 03:34 AM
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Anybody remember when AMC (American Movie Classics) used to show silent films from the '20s and all the good stuff from the '30s through the '60s? And they had all those neat old-timey intermissions and newsreels? Is it just me, or has AMC taken a turn for the worse? I mean, once in awhile, they'll show a good (classic) flick, but that is very rare anymore.

Who here feels that AMC has seen better days??
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fpulsipher
post Dec 8 2004, 05:59 PM
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AMC was the best source for classic movies. It has definitely changed. I have not watched it for two years or so. Ted Turners station is the closet I have found to replace it.
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hollynoelle
post Dec 18 2004, 11:09 PM
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AMC has changed and it is very sad. I don't even bother watching anymore. sad.gif
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Jeff Stallard
post Jan 24 2005, 01:50 PM
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Sadly, Turner Classic Movies is headed the same way. They're still a great channel, but I see more and more newer movies on there, and the prime-time hours usually always have newer (60s, 70s...even 80s) movies.

Yeah, they show great oldies, but they're at midnight (like Silent Movie Sundays) or 9am or some weird time when no one is watching.

There's a local deal here where they show old movies on the big screen (a REALLY nice old theatre) for a few months each summer. They're going the same route: showing newer and newer movies. I knew someone who worked in that organization, and she said that yes, they understand what they're doing, but old movies don't sell tickets like the newer ones do. Their schedule used to be ~75% B&W oldies, but now it's more like 15%.
sad.gif


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dismuke
post Jan 24 2005, 05:14 PM
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QUOTE(Jeff Stallard @ Jan 24 2005, 07:50 AM)
I knew someone who worked in that organization, and she said that yes, they understand what they're doing, but old movies don't sell tickets like the newer ones do.  Their schedule used to be ~75% B&W oldies, but now it's more like 15%.
sad.gif

I suspect what this shows is that the nostalgia market is significantly larger than is the market of those who appreciate the films and pop culture of the 1920s and 1930s on their own merit. The same is true on radio in markets that have a "nostalgia" format station - except that there the situation is even worse. You will end up sitting through song after song of dreadful '70s pop of the Barbra Streisand variety as well as easy listening stuff from the late '40s and early '50s - and then, maybe, if you manage to endure it long enough, you might hear them play "In The Mood" or perhaps Artie Shaw's "Begin The Beguine." Good luck on ever hearing anything recorded prior to about 1937.

The problem is that even the newer stuff is starting to become old. Look at it this way - someone born in 1945 is going to turn 60 this year. That means they most likely graduated from high school in 1963 and, if they went to college, they most likely graduated in 1967. By way of contrast, someone who was only 15 at the start of the swing era would have been born in 1920 and will turn 85 this year. To have enjoyed the sort of music I play on the station - let's say they were 15 in 1930 - well, that person would turn 90 this year and people who were young adults during the Roaring '20s are now around age 100. Compare the number of 60 year olds to the number of 85, 90 and 100 year olds and you can see what is starting to happen.

Youngsters back in the '60s and '70s tended to be just as sheep-like when it came to the blind, uncritical acceptance of the popular culture of the time as today's youngsters often are - perhaps even more so. When they want to experience a nostalgia trip from their adolescence, obviously that is the era they will turn to in terms of music and movies.

I do get email from listeners in their 80s - but not a lot of it. Much of what I get is either from people in their 50s and 60s who remember their parents or grandparents playing the music on old records or people under 30 who have somehow stumbled across the music and dislike the kind of stuff that is being put out today.

1920s and 1930s fans can no longer count on the nostalgia market to support the kind of music and movies they want to see. That market is way too small now. What has to happen is the music and movies must stand on their own merits. What has to happen from this point forward is a brand new market for it must be created and expanded amoungst each new generation. I think such a market can be created - especially with regard to popular music which has yet to emerge from the sewer it sank into in the 1960s. The problem is cutting through the all of noise and making people aware that there is an alternative - and doing so with enough people to make it worthwhile for businesses to serve that market. Thankfully, we have the Internet which makes that task much more possible and, for that reason, I think things are starting to look up. At least today, with Internet stations such as Radio Dismuke, there now exists an easy way to expose potentially receptive people to the music. Before the Internet, unless one was lucky enough to live in a handful of cities that had a local radio program that feature such music, the only way to do so was to either play or record to cassette tape music from one's own personal collection. And even if the person enjoyed what you played/recorded for them, that is hardly enough exposure to get most people "hooked" on a new musical genre - and you certainly cannot expose very many people that way either.

The bottom line is that the future of those aspects we love about the pop culture of the 1920s and 1930s is now in the hands of those of us younger people who never saw that era but have been fortunate enough to have discovered it and who regard it as a value. It is up to us to spread the word about it.
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Jeff Stallard
post Jan 25 2005, 06:21 PM
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Excellent point about nostalgia. It's a shame, but I guess it's natural to prefer only the film or music of your youth. Everyone I know says I'm like an old man because I like all of this old stuff. I think it's kind of cool that I can have a conversation with my grandfather about music he grew up with.

Do you ever look at the statistics for your station? How many listeners do you have?


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dismuke
post Jan 26 2005, 07:46 AM
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QUOTE(Jeff Stallard @ Jan 25 2005, 12:21 PM)
Everyone I know says I'm like an old man because I like all of this old stuff.

People have always said that about me as well - even when I was a kid. Sometimes it was meant not as a compliment but as something derogatory - but since young people often act rather goofy and because I considered many of the cultural things that people my age were into to be either shallow or depraved, I always took that remark as a badge of honor.

QUOTE
I think it's kind of cool that I can have a conversation with my grandfather about music he grew up with.


Grandparents are neat that way. My grandfather was not so much into music - in fact, the very first record player that he and my grandmother ever owned was a wind-up phonograph that he picked up in a sale for me when I was in high school because he knew I would like it and because he thought it was neat that I was into old stuff like that. It is a beautiful piece of furniture and I treasure it. It was always interesting to listen to him talk about what things were like when he was young. I really miss hearing him talk about it.

QUOTE
Do you ever look at the statistics for your station? How many listeners do you have?


Sure. As of today, the cumulative total listening hours for Radio Dismuke over the past 30 days is 18,648 hours. Between January 1 and January 24, 11,071 streams have been launched with an average listening time of 83 minutes 19 seconds. As of today, Radio Dismuke is ranked at 188 out of the approximately 5,000 stations on Live 365 - which puts the station in the top 4% of Live 365 stations. On most days, somewhere between 450 and 525 streams are launched - some days a little more, some days a little less. Listenership tends to drop off quite a bit during the summer months and for a brief period around the Christmas holidays.

On balance, I am pleased with the numbers considering that 1920s and 1930s music is a VERY obscure format, that I have a VERY limited advertising budget and that the vast majority of people who listen to Internet radio end up tuning in to more or less the same sort of music that they can already pick up on their FM radios. In the grand scheme of things, Internet radio is in its infancy and the listenership of even the highest rated station on Live 365 is nothing compared with that of a typical AM or FM station. As of today, Live 365's top rated station had 193,960 cumulative listening hours over the last 30 days - which works out to an average of 270 listeners at any given time. A medium sized AM/FM station in a medium sized media market is going to have more listeners that that. So Internet radio in general still has a long ways to go.

As to Radio Dismuke and a 1920s & 1930s format - I think the current numbers are only the tip of the iceberg of what it could potentially be if enough people knew about it. I regularly get emails from people who have discovered the station and music for the first time and have fallen in love with it. For every such person who does stumble across the station, there are probably hundreds more out there who would feel the same way if they ever discovered the station but never do. The big question is how to make such people aware of the music and the station - especially when one does not have tons of money to devote to advertising. I have done a small amount of advertising - but most of the growth to date has come from word of mouth and from favorable mentions in places such as PC Magazine and Yahoo Pick of the Week. How to take the station's visibility to the next level is actually something I have been giving quite a bit of thought to lately.
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bob
post Jan 26 2005, 08:52 PM
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Hey Dismuke

Here's an idea of how to spread the word on your 365 radio station. Put us members to work. Make up an add with what you want to say with some artwork. Post it on the board so we can copy and paste it into an email that we can send to all are contacts with the message for them to pass it on. Get the snowball effect going. Also you might insert a Sound sample in the add.

Bob


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bob
post Jan 26 2005, 08:57 PM
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I need spelling lessons. Yes I know ad is not spelled add.

Bob


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Jeff Stallard
post Jan 28 2005, 06:38 PM
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Iinteresting idea, but I don't have any friends who might like this stuff, so who would I send it to?
sad.gif

Also, I wonder if that would be considered spam.

Have you advertised on the Turner Classic Movies forum? I haven't been on there in many months, but I remember seeing a few references to your station on there.


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Vladimir Berkov
post Jan 30 2005, 03:43 AM
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If I ever become Bill Gates rich, with more money than sense, one of the things I would do is start my own AM radio station with a 20's and 30's format much like Radio Dismuke. That way, not only would it get the music more in the mainstream, I could listen to it on my period tube radios!

By the way, does anyone know if clicking the "thumbs up/thumbs down" buttons on Live365 does anything? Do broadcasters get statistics on how many people clicked what for each song?
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dismuke
post Jan 30 2005, 08:23 PM
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QUOTE(bob @ Jan 26 2005, 02:52 PM)
Hey Dismuke

Here's an idea of how to spread the word on your 365 radio station.  Put us members to work.  Make up an add with what you want to say with some artwork.  Post it on the board so we can copy and paste it into an email that we can send to all are contacts with the message for them to pass it on.  Get the snowball effect going.  Also you might insert a Sound sample in the add.

Bob

Bob -

There is a German 1920s - 1940s themed website that has exactly what you are suggesting. They have a "postoffice" where people can electronically send vintage greeting cards - some of which have audio files attached. It is VERY well done and I have for a while thought about doing something like that with my own websites. You can see this "post office" at: http://www.return2style.de/duesenberg/post...amt/amipost.htm

For me, it is simply a matter of finding the time to put the graphics together and figure out how to put it together. Some while back I tried to put up a test example and ran into a few glitches - and I all I really need to do is take the time to work them out. I have a rather large collection of vintage postcards - mostly of major New York City skyscrapers, old hotels, old buildings in Fort Worth where I live and in nearby Dallas and Mineral Wells, Texas. Some I suspect could be used for that purpose - and I can always keep an eye out for others.

By the way, that German website is definitely worth paying a visit. There used to be a link to it on the Radio Dismuke homepage as they used to own one of the web rings it belongs to - but the owners of the site got into a dispute with the Web Ring people and pulled out. Here is a link to their top page: http://www.return2style.de Once you get to the second page, there is a link to the site's English language version.
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dismuke
post Jan 30 2005, 08:28 PM
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QUOTE(Jeff Stallard @ Jan 28 2005, 12:38 PM)
Have you advertised on the Turner Classic Movies forum?  I haven't been on there in many months, but I remember seeing a few references to your station on there.

That's very interesting , Jeff. Do you by chance still have the URL for that forum? If so, let me know and I will see if it accepts advertising and see if it is within the realistic realm of my very limited budget for such things. Of course, if people are talking about it there, that is far, far, better and more effective than any advertising can be.
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dismuke
post Jan 30 2005, 10:02 PM
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QUOTE(Vladimir Berkov @ Jan 29 2005, 09:43 PM)
By the way, does anyone know if clicking the "thumbs up/thumbs down" buttons on Live365 does anything?  Do broadcasters get statistics on how many people clicked what for each song?

Vladimir, what Live 365 does is provide that information in the form of a per track rating system. As a broadcaster, I can log in and it will show by each track in my playlist a certain number of stars indicating how listeners have rated it. Five stars is considered excellent and one star is considered rotten. The stars, however are determined by other factors in a addition to the number of thumbs up or thumbs down a track receives.

For example, if someone adds a track to their "wishlist" (by the way, the "wishlist" feature that Live 365 has is a great way to keep track of and remember songs one enjoys and might want to look for copies of in the future) it boosts that tracks ratings. If someone clicks on the "buy" button it increases the rating even more. On the other hand, whenever someone turns off the station, it is considered a "drop" for whatever track happens to be playing and if enough people drop out while a track is playing it counts against its rating - the theory being that if a track is considered horrible people will tune away some other station.

I almost never look at my track ratings and consider the information that they provide to be of very little use. First off, Live 365 does not provide any information whatsoever on how many thumbs up or thumbs down a track has received. And even if they did, I am not sure how useful that would be. My guess is that only a small percentage of listeners regularly use that feature and I suspect that most who do probably only vote on those tracks that they REALLY like or REALLY dislike.

I also consider the number of "drops" to not be as relevant for a station such as mine. If mine were a rock station, there are dozens and dozens of other rock stations people could switch to if they happen to hear a bad track. In my station's case, there are only a very small handful of other stations that are at all similar and most people probably realize that ANY station is going to feature some tracks they like less than others. Plus, Live 365 makes "channel surfing" a bit inconvenient for free listeners as every time one switches a station, they are subjected usually immediately subjected to a commercial. What I have noticed is that the station usually experiences a slight drop in listenership shortly before the top and bottom of most hours of the day. My guess is this is due to the fact that people tend to do things such as leave work, go to lunch, tune into television programs they want to catch, etc. at those times. If a song happens to be playing in the rotation shortly before the top or bottom of a peak listening hour, it is likely to get a pretty big ding on its "drops" ranking despite the fact that whether or not people like the song probably has very little to do with people tuning out.

But even if Live 365's track ranking system was set up better, I still don't think I would pay much attention to it. To be rather blunt, I pretty much ignore what people tell me in terms of the kinds of selections they DON'T like to hear on the station. I have had more than one person suggest, for example, that I get rid of all my Ted Lewis tracks. But I am sure that there are many out there besides myself who are Ted Lewis fans. I sometimes get emails from people asking me to get rid of the vintage radio commercials on account of the fact that they are still commercials and, therefore annoying. But, at the same time, I have received just as many comments from people who really enjoy them and think they add a bit of atmosphere to the station. (I do however, need to add some new ones as the current batch has been running for a while. I just need to find the time to edit some more out of my vintage radio show collection) Believe it or not, on occasion I even get HATE mail - which always amazes me. If one does not like the station, don't listen - why waste precious moments of one's life ranting to me about it?

On the other hand, I very much value feedback about the things that people DO like about the station. I am nearing the point where it will no longer make sense to keep buying more and more storage space for the station's track library. The playlist is already up to about 80 hours of material - which means that a given track only gets played just over twice each week. My current storage quota will be maxed out when I get up to about 90 hours. At that time, what I think I will do is keep it at that level and simply rotate certain tracks out whenever I update the station. There are certain recordings, however, that I consider to be so classic and representative of the format that they will always be in the playlist. Knowing which tracks lots of listeners really enjoy will be helpful when it comes time for me to decide which ones to retire for a while in order to make room for new material.

One of the big problems that I and a lot of other people have with the modern AM/FM radio industry is the fact that everything is so focus group driven. The basic premise is that the key to a station's success is to ask listeners what they want to hear and go out and create such a station. That's fine. There are a lot of successful business built on such a premise. But on the other hand, customers don't always know what they would want if they were suddenly presented with new alternatives they were not previously aware of. For example, imagine if had Henry Ford decided to conduct a focus group in order to determine whether or not there could be a mass market for automobiles. If he had done so, I am sure the overwhelming majority of those surveyed would have told him that they were perfectly happy with their horses and buggies. Innovators don't do focus group nor do they worry about current public opinion - they create demand for their ideas and change public opinion accordingly. But when you have strong radio signals in major markets selling for tens of millions of dollars, investors don't always have the deep pockets and patience for innovation which always carries a higher risk for failure. Instead, they play it safe and try to go for a sure thing - and it shows. That's why I say thank goodness for Internet radio.


Currently, Radio Dismuke is ranked number 2 in listenership of Live 365 station that have selected "swing" as their primary genre (it was the closest fitting genre they have available for my station) The number one ranked swing genre station focuses heavily on 1940s big band recordings. I suppose if I added some '40s big band to Radio Dismuke, I might pick up some additional listeners. But then it wouldn't be Radio Dismuke. If that other station were not there, I might very well have widened my station's format a bit because I do enjoy some of that music. I would definitely widen it to include the big band era if I ever turned the station into a commercial venture. But I figured that, since fans of that sort of music are already well served on Live 365, I would just specialize in the music that I enjoy most and which is so difficult to find. Live 365 has a station that specializes in easy listening stuff from the late '40s, '50s and '60s. That station is currently ranked 69 in total listenership and has over double the number of listening hours my station has. I occasionally even get requests to play that sort of music. I have no doubt that I could pick up lots of additional listening hours by widening my format to include that kind of music. But then I wouldn't be able to stomach listening to my own radio station. So, really, my goal is not to have a station with lots and lots of listeners. My goal is to have a 1920s and 1930s station with lots and lots of listeners. For that reason, on those occasions when people tell me that they don't like the sort of music that I play, my attitude is that is their problem, not mine.
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Vladimir Berkov
post Jan 30 2005, 10:26 PM
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I had to learn a bit about commercial radio in one of my marketing classes. Music radio stations in mass markets are so unbelievably competitive for market share and advertising dollars that they are very risk-averse. They have done studies that radio listeners will continue listening even if they hear the same song over and over again, or if they are ambivilant about the songs being played, but if they hear one song they dislike they will often tune to a rival station immediately. When you factor the pressure to promote songs which are being pushed by the record companies, you often get very bland radio stations. For instance, on "oldies" stations (one of the few types of music stations I listen to if I have no other alteratives) you find basically the same playlist no matter what city you are in, and the number of songs are very limited and are almost exclusivly well-known "classics." This is because the stations know that even though it may be the sixth time today that they have played Aretha Franklin's "Respect" it is better that people just get mildly bored than have the station take a risk and have the listeners tune to something else.
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