How did Rule Radio start?
Rule Radio was started out of
frustration of corporate radio's need for talk and
commercials. I had been wondering (as many of you have)
of ways to find new and different music since traditional
radio is not an option anymore. Also I wanted it without
going to clubs and having to stay up till 2 in the morning
to hear it (sorry aging has its pluses and minuses) or
spend hours searching for it on the net. I wanted it to
have a radio component as well as the ability to purchase
the music so that I could passively listen and when I
heard something I liked, I could buy it. It also needed
to be artist friendly so they would make their music
available, because no artist, no music. So here it is; my
perception of the best promotion and distribution system
on the internet.
What are you up to?
It’s pretty simple actually; we are
trying to RULE the music world by giving the consumer what
they want and the artist the ability to give it to you.
For the listener, we are
continuously working on adding to the best collection of
music available with the best interface. We are
constantly working with unsigned artists and independent
record labels to offer the best music available.
For the artist we are working
on creating a larger reach for your music. We also have
relationships that offer you discounts for other products
or services that you may need.
General Rules to live by
Play by the Rule!
Listen to the Rule!
Do not put any inappropriate material
Report any inappropriate material in
Mark any explicit songs accordingly
(again do not put them in rotation or you will be pulled
with no warning).
Do not upload any graphic images,
viruses, computer code blah blah blah.
Let us know of some cool ideas you
have to make the site better.
Don't make us have to censor the site
by violating any of the rules. Follow the rules and
We won’t sell or abuse any
confidential information you give us.
We won't censor any music so long as
it abides by the Rules.
We will keep advertisements to a bare
minimum (advertisements subsidize everyone's costs).
We will make updates available as
frequently as possible, so make suggestions.
We are a small company of folks
looking to make a difference.
We pay each artist for every song
that is purchased by our users. So your purchase helps
Help the artist sell more music.
Help you in anyway that we can. Need
help, let us know and we'll see if we can figure it out.
May I use the music on your site for personal use?
Uh yes. Just click on the buy now
buttons and you can download any song in our database for
a buck (well 99 cents). We use high quality MP3 files and
don’t use DRM software (Digital Rights Management is used
to make you angry when you have exceeded your ability to
transfer it to another computer or device) so you can burn
it or play it on pretty much anything. If you don’t know
what an MP3 is, just click on the artist’s web site link
and buy the CD from them. Now remember that personal use
means that don’t infringe on other peoples rights by
giving copies to your friends or family or worse yet, sell
them to someone else or include them in any commercial
Can I link to your site or my stuff?
If you are an artist you will find a
link generator in your artist management screen. Copy and
paste this in your site to deep link to your material. If
you are consumer, please link to the main page at
About the name Rule Radio
It’s Rule Radio not rural radio. I’m
from the south so it may sound like rural when I say it
but its not. Now back to how it came about. I had a list
of 20 or so domain names that were available. I asked a
group of fine fellows about their opinions and the one
that surfaced to the top was Rule Radio. Partly because
everyone can identify with the word “rule” and everyone
has a different interpretation of what it means and that
How my name “The Ruler” come about and what do you
like to be called?
Everyone who has subscribed to our
fine site is considered a Ruler. So if you signed up, you
are one of the many fortunate Rulers out there. There can
be only one “The Ruler” and that’s me and it came about as
a joke one day. We were sitting around the office
discussing the site and the topic of email addresses came
up. One of the wittier folks in the bunch said how about
firstname.lastname@example.org . Well, me being the
anti-corporate type thought it was great and it stuck. My
name is Sam and many of my friends refuse to use my
“theruler” email address and send everything to my
personal email account. Those corporate types!
How do we contact Rule Radio?
Email works best. Send one to
email@example.com and I will read it and send it
to the best person to handle the question. If that’s me,
you’ll get a personalized response. If a phone call is
the way you like to communicate, call 336-274-5430. Ask
for Sam, the Ruler or anything related to music and they
will find me.
If you are mailing something, then
send it too:
1114 Magnolia Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
I wrote you an email three days ago and haven’t heard
back. What gives?
That should never happen but please
understand that we get hundreds of emails a day. I do
read every single email that is not obvious spam, and if
you ask me a question that is not in the FAQ section, I
Read every email?
Really I do. It might just take a
couple of days to respond. If you’re a musician and want
to know how to get your music on our station, don’t email
me. Just visit the artist section at
http://www.ruleradio.net where we’ve made it simple to
If I take more than three days to
reply, don’t be afraid to write me again, just to give me
a polite nudge. I don’t mind and I need it some times.
Rule Radio Economics
How do you make money?
Artist’s help us by paying a small
fee and you help us when you buy music because we make a
small (and I mean very small) commission on each song. We
also accept checks from advertisers and friendly people
who are feeling generous and like making donations.
I don’t like ads and I don’t have any
money to buy songs.
We don’t like freeloaders and a song
only costs a buck. Just think of it as your community
support because the artist gets the majority of the money
from song sales.
I realize that I don’t have the right
to make a living out of a hobby; the real question though
is do you understand that you don’t have the right to free
radio and advertising free radio?
Wait I listen to your stations. You
don’t want to lose a listener do you?
A listener as outlined in the
previous statement? Yes we want to lose as many of those
people as possible as they are a drain on our limited
resources that our valued customers are trying to use. I
know this may be hard for you to understand, but I don’t
consider you consuming our bandwidth without purchasing
music a favor. Really! Rule Radio and the artist’s work
very hard to bring you some really different music that
you’ve not heard. If you don’t think there is anything
good enough to buy on our stations then visit your local
store and buy something there or listen to the dribble
that your local station is getting paid to push.
Again, for those of you who support
Rule Radio and the artists’ on our site by purchasing
music, we offer our greatest appreciation.
Is running the site expensive?
Yes, it is very expensive. While
developing the site cost more than my house, our monthly
bandwidth bills exceed my mortgage payment alone. That
doesn’t even consider the servers that we run on, legal or
accounting bills or other moneys people want from me on a
I’ve also heard many times that music
should be cheaper through digital distribution because
there is no cost to manufacture or distribute the music.
If you think this is true, then I guess living pay check
to pay check is not that bad either. The fact is that it
costs a lot of money to operate a digital distribution
site like Rule Radio. Not only is there upfront and
ongoing development costs (yes we know that we could add
some features but its expensive) but there are monthly
costs to keep the lights on, bandwidth costs for
distribution, my lovely attorney who keeps us out of court
or worse, out of jail among other things that you don’t
How many people work on Rule Radio?
There are six people who help keep
Rule Radio together and operating. That doesn’t include
the handful of friends and advisors who help us.
I hate PayPal is there another way I can pay you.
Yes, you are more than welcome to
send checks to our address above and once they clear, we
will credit your account the exact amount that we receive
from you. Please give us enough information to identify
your account. I know that it may be hard to believe but
we do have more customers than just you.
I’m a musician. Will I get rich soon after putting
my music in rotation?
The short answer is no. The long
answer is no. Statistics are heavily against you as an
independent artist to ever making a living with your
music. I’ll quote some of the statistics that Nielson/Soundscan
reports. In 2004 there were 44,476 new albums released.
The top 100 titles accounted for almost 50% of total album
sales. 80% of album sales came from the top 700 titles.
To make it worse, 58% of all new titles sold less than 100
albums and a whopping 81% sold fewer than 1,000 titles.
Also Digital Distribution (selling
downloads of your music) is not the panacea of the music
business. All reports indicate that digital distribution
only accounts for 3% to 6% of music industry sales. So if
you sold 1,000 units of your last album, you could expect
to see 30 album downloads across all digital
distributors. So the key here is to make sure you put
your web site in the field provided so people who like
what they hear on our station can go to your site and buy
the physical CD if they want to. We don’t ask for any
part of this sale but if you love that we helped you sell
a CD and want to send us a stack of checks, please feel
free to do so.
Think of Rule Radio as another piece
of your promotion strategy. You will still have to get
out there and promote your music to other audiences. Even
signing with a major label doesn’t mean your work is done
and the checks will start flowing.
Now for the good news. Nielson/Soundscan
is a stodgy old company whose customers are the major
labels who pay them a lot of money to give them the best
statistics for their releases. They also collect data
from the major retail chains (which are not likely to sell
your music) and not the local independent record store
that is likely to carry and sell your album. Also most
independent artists don’t register sales with them
especially albums sold at shows and the like.
Digital distribution is expected to
grow to 30% of the total music market in the next few
years. As people lose their fear of downloading music,
everybody wins. One of the benefits of digital
distribution is the resurgence of singles again. With
folks like Rule Radio around, you are able to make your
songs available as you record them instead of waiting
until you have a full CD of material ready. Once you have
12 great songs, put a compilation together.
Another good bit of news from the NPD
Group. Their research shows that more people are turning
to internet radio to find new music to buy. People tuning
into internet radio to find new music to purchase
increased by 15% over last year. The great news for you?
Our radio stations have the ability to purchase your music
right there. They don’t have to write down the
information and then go somewhere else to buy it.
Clicking the buy now button throws it right into their
shopping cart so they can help you recoup the money you
have spent getting the song made.
Let’s look at the numbers from the artist point of
Most consumers have no idea what it
actually costs to make a CD. They only look at the piece
of plastic that some how plays music through their
speakers and think this can’t cost more than $2 to make,
why do I have to pay $10 to $20 for it. They don’t think
of the $10,000 thousand or more dollars that you spent in
studio and mastering costs to get it ready for the
public. They also don’t give you credit for the 8 months
that it may take to write an albums worth of music not all
the other costs like design work, equipment costs etc. So
get out there and hustle. If you work as hard promoting
and selling your music as you did in the studio creating
it, you will beat the statistics.