FM Radio – Sponsored by Astroid Blue’s Space Station Casino

by Pixeleen Mistral on 29/10/06 at 4:47 pm

Hot country fried SL ads and no static at all

by Pixeleen Mistral, National Affairs desk

SL radio honcho Darryl Daniel

Rhett Akins is singing “Driving My Life Away” on SLKY – a Second Life-oriented “hot country hits” audio stream that promises the surreal combination of unrequited love songs and ads for SL businesses such as Astroid Blue’s Space Station & Casino and KCC motors – featuring a reverb enhanced voice offering a “KCC Vortex for only 350 Lindens”. If hot country is not your style, 9 other music formats with SL ads are on their way from Crystal Clear Communications.

I haven’t been to Astroid Blue’s space station yet, but the 30 second spot promising slot machines, easy access to a Ginko ATM machine, poker and a money ‘sploder is enticing. If you get a little misty eyed listening to Reba singing “If You See Him”, the ad for latex laced panties fromBaby Dolls in Dongjeong might help cheer you up. I know SL retail therapy sometimes works for me – I just got a a great new redhead skin from Joannah Cramer that turned my whole attitude around. I’m always amazed at how a new skin can do that. Playing on this sort of emotional connection seems to be what the SL retail experience is about when it is at its best – but outlets for mass media ads have been limited to date.

Darryl Daniel, CEO of Crystal Clear Communications, wants to change this by combining a number of FM radio music formats with SL company ads, news, weather, and bantering radio personalities. If RL broadcast radio has become formulaic, why not at least hear ads and news from your favorite game? But can this be a viable business with ad rates around L$200 – L$500 per spot? I recently interviewed Mr. Daniel to explore these questions.

Pixeleen Mistral: you are planning to do both in-world and outside listeners?
Darryl Daniel: That’s correct…were actually trying to get people to listen when they can’t be in SL
Pixeleen Mistral: that makes a lot of sense
Darryl Daniel: When they are at work…getting ready for work…or not at home…they can still listen..and keep updated on SL
Pixeleen Mistral: and you are going to fund this by selling ads?
Darryl Daniel: Yes..that’s correct..we will be selling advertising to both SL and RL businesses
Pixeleen Mistral: the ad rates looked business friendly for in-world businesses
Darryl Daniel: Well..being SL residents ourselves and having owned SL businesses we know how much it can cost to open a business..we try to be fair about our rates
Pixeleen Mistral: but you’ll also take RL ads?
Darryl Daniel: Yes…from companies that are in or coming into Second Life
Darryl Daniel: We haven’t decided yet if we are going to offer advertising to businesses that aren’t established in Second Life.
Pixeleen Mistral: will you be able to cover your server and bandwidth costs with Linden micro payments? Linden’s aren’t worth that much in RL
Darryl Daniel: Yes…we will..we have our own server and bandwidth facilities so that brings cost down a little..
Pixeleen Mistral: so this is a sideline to some other RL business?
Darryl Daniel: Not exactly..there are three owners of this company. Two of us do this full time and the other has some RL companies. That is where the bandwidth and server capabilities I was talking about come from
Pixeleen Mistral: that would help lower your expenses then
Darryl Daniel: Yes..luckily it does because as you pointed out..we aren’t charging that much for our radio advertising.
Pixeleen Mistral: is there any issue with paying ASCAP and BMI for the rights to stream songs?
Darryl Daniel: We have either been licensed or are in the process of being licensed by Ascap, BMI, and Sesac
Pixeleen Mistral: I guess you have to if you are going to be high visibility
Darryl Daniel: Sometimes the process takes a while..
Darryl Daniel: lol

Mr. Daniel hates what clear channel is doing in RL

Pixeleen Mistral: are you worried about competition from other radio stations?
Darryl Daniel: Well…let me tell you this..
Darryl Daniel: Were the first radio stations in second life that I know of..that are set up as close to actual FM stations as possible.. We have professional radio announcers 18 hours a day that are also second life residents..we receive singles from the record companies the same time that other FM stations do
Darryl Daniel: We offer SL News, The Grid Status Forecast, Traffic (lag) report, and The Community Calendar..
Darryl Daniel: Plus we can support up to 50,000 listeners per station…so no..I don’t worry about competition…but I would actually love to see the view that I would love to see more quality products, even one I’m offering come to SL
Pixeleen Mistral: sound like you are well funded
Darryl Daniel: Well… this time we are..but even if we weren’t it takes money to make money. if no one knows about us how could we expect them to tune in and try us out
Pixeleen Mistral: yes, the old chicken and egg problem, we all have it
Darryl Daniel: Were hoping that..when all of our stations are up..(we have ten) we get at least 60 percent of the second life population to be listening to one of our stations..
Darryl Daniel: we’d like it closer to 90
Pixeleen Mistral: sounds like you want to be the clear channel of SL
Darryl Daniel: Well..I’ve worked in radio all my life..and as any broadcaster will tell you..I hate what clear channel is doing..buying up all the little stations and putting them out of business so no..we don’t want to be the clear channel..
Darryl Daniel: but..
Darryl Daniel: right now..there aren’t very many quality radio broadcasts in SL that are specifically created for SL residents..
Darryl Daniel: So having said that..I stand by my “we hope to have 60 to 90 percent” statement :)
Pixeleen Mistral: in some ways you would be like the community radio stations… the little FM rations that serve smaller populations
Darryl Daniel: I would welcome other stations with quality programming..I’ve heard that SLPR does pretty well..
Darryl Daniel: Yes..we would like to be the “FM Radio stations” of Second Life…
Pixeleen Mistral: what are the next music formats you are going to run?
Darryl Daniel: Always on..always with live announcers..always with the latest music..always free to listen to
Darryl Daniel: In November we hope to release and oldies format station, a classic rock station, and a top 40 station…
Darryl Daniel: SLFY, SLCR, and SLMX respectively
Darryl Daniel: we have our country station on the air right now.
Pixeleen Mistral: are these formats based on studies of the demographics of SL avatars?
Pixeleen Mistral: how did you decide?
Darryl Daniel: They are yes…
Pixeleen Mistral: I would not have expected country to be so big
Darryl Daniel: I neither…
Darryl Daniel: and the later poll we did..just a few weeks ago showed country as way behind the rest
Darryl Daniel: but.. we released it anyway because we had been preparing for it
Pixeleen Mistral: anything else you want to have Herald readers know?
Darryl Daniel: Give us a chance..and we’ll entertain you :) That’s all were asking.. When we release your favorite type of music listen a couple of days and see if we impress you :)
Pixeleen Mistral: who did this build by the way?
Darryl Daniel: One of our co owners..wesley brewster
Darryl Daniel: Yes..he did an awesome job.
Pixeleen Mistral: I liked the names over the office doors
Darryl Daniel: Yea..they need to be updated lol
Pixeleen Mistral: still, a lot of attention to detail
Darryl Daniel: I haven’t had time to do that yet..all my staff keep asking me to do it..but its hard to find time for everything
Darryl Daniel: Well..we plan on impressing clients and listeners with our place here..we will have 24 hour security..receptionists during business hours..and many of our ppl work here 8 or more hours a day so they are in the office a lot
Pixeleen Mistral: yeah if you have live people , they might as well have their avs here
Darryl Daniel: exactly.
Darryl Daniel: what happened is…
Darryl Daniel: I have worked in radio for quite a while..and when I came into SL and listened to the radio here..I noticed that no one had created a station that sounded just like an Fm station..but there seemed to be a need for it..also I noticed many many streams in stereos being sold in world were no longer active
Pixeleen Mistral: yeah
Darryl Daniel: So we decided to go ahead and do it..I gave up a Rl marketing firm to do this..and my other partner just retired from the marines..
Darryl Daniel: Our other partner as I said owns some RL companies..

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