H 0 M E

 

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

  You

  • Play by the Rule!

  • Listen to the Rule!

  • Do not put any inappropriate material in "rotation".

  • Report any inappropriate material in "rotation".

  • 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 everybody wins.

   Us

  • 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 everyone.

  • 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 messages.

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 http://www.ruleradio.com

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 is great.

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 theruler@ruleradio.com .  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 theruler@ruleradio.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:

Rule Radio
1114 Magnolia Street
Second Floor
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 will answer. 

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 get started.

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 daily basis.

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 see.

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 view.

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.

 

 

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