Planet Rock charging for VIP club - what's up?Follow @mediaukdiscuss
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A peculiar story today about Planet Rock charging for membership of its VIP club. (£5 a month, by the way.) You get no commercials and “HD sound” to a small smattering of live programmes – similar to Absolute’s free account, but only for a few hours a day.
Malcolm Bluemel, Planet Rock’s CEO, told RadioToday.co.uk: “The world is changing and Planet Rock has to change with it. We are asking our family of listeners to help us make that change and secure the future of their favourite radio station.”
That’s a funny turn of phrase – “help secure the future” – and an oddly downbeat message. Are we supposed to read from this that Planet Rock are having difficulties? Is this connected to Amazing Radio’s disappearance from DAB?
From a technical standpoint, it would be interesting to know exactly what the ‘HD audio stream’ is. The website only appears to state that it’s of a ‘higher quality’ than DAB.
From a consumer’s standpoint, they’re on a hiding to nothing. Radio anoraks with too much money and time might …. just might ….. pay to listen to a station for music and loads of jingles in between, with the occasional advert and presenter input. The public generally won’t.
Music fans would rather listen to the free service, then, rather than spend £5 a month on a radio service to get very much the same at slightly higher quality for a few hours in the month that they might listen, they’ll just go out and buy another CD or download.
Subscription radio in the UK will not work or at best will get a tiny amount of interest – and most of that tiny amount of interest will be from people that radio stations don’t want/won’t be able to market to.
An update on this… the owner, Malcolm Bluemel, has posted a rather emotional response to continuing discussions over his paid-for VIP club, including:
I’m told that we have a passionate audience who love the station but as soon as I try anything to ease the tremendous losses I get abused by a minority of that said audience. NOBODY HAS TO JOIN THE CLUB, YOU STILL GET PLANET ROCK FREE 24 HOURS A DAY...WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
...“to ease the tremendous losses”... eek.
For 60 notes a year you can buy every decent song they play in better than broadcast quality.
I stopped listening to it years ago when I realised it was a station for folks with the musical memory of a goldfish.
If I were him and had that many issues with it I’d walk then spend more time with my family and less wondering why people don’t want to pay to hear aqualung and hocus pocus everyday.
the owner, Malcolm Bluemel, has posted a rather emotional response
It’s painful reading that. Reads like an irate post on a discussion forum, not the owner of a business organisation. Certainly doesn’t give me a good impression of Planet Rock or make me want to pay for their service.
My first thought when reading that was that he should stop and spend more time with his family.
Radio (and music) is not worth time over the precious amount of time that he ought to spend with them … life is too short and anything (tragic) could happen that would make anyone wish they had done just that.
Instead this fool is squandering his own (hard-earned) wealth on what? Some tunes with jingles and people talking in-between? Is there any kind of social gain to be had out of it to make it worthwhile?
To me, Planet Rock, enjoyable as it may be, is, in the grand scheme of things, little more than a bunch of enthusiasts pleasing other enthusiasts, who, if Planet Rock didn’t exist, would still be able to carry on with their lives and still be able to listen to the music they love by other means.
If it’s causing this much grief for Malcolm, he needs to get his priorities sorted and decide that family comes first … and playing at radio stations ought to be very, very far down the list.
Art Grainger said
Planet Rock, enjoyable as it may be, is, in the grand scheme of things, little more than a bunch of enthusiasts pleasing other enthusiasts
And we’ve already got Radio Caroline who have fulfilled the task admirably for many years
I kind of agree Art Grainger on this one. Life’s too short.