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Radio Disney Country review. Superb, just superb!

Bilbord did a great review of the new Radio Disney Country branding.

I’ll post this review here, then add some words of my own.

From Bilbord. This reviewer is from Fairbanks, Alaska and listens to RDC on Wild 94-3.

Radio Disney Country was one of those radio station ideas that instantly made sense from the moment it was announced to Billboard in June. Let mainstream country stations dither on whether country’s youth movement is desirable or sustainable, or whether Taylor Swift was ever good for the format. A month later, Kelsea Ballerini’s “Love Me Like You Mean It” went to No. 1, making it clear that even if Swift was no longer country’s youth ambassador that, there is still a need for the position.

Radio Disney Country launched Nov. 4, timed to arrive with the CMA Awards. Unlike its “family top 40” namesake, Radio Disney Country exists online and on local country radio stations for now, and if there’s a station made for online radio’s infinite dial, it’s this one, but so far this is a test of what a true pureplay can accomplish. It is, at least, starting out with Radio Disney’s cume and publicity unmatched by any Internet radio station besides Beats 1.

In an opening day interview, Radio Disney GM Phil Guerini told the Washington Post that Radio Disney Country will go beyond country’s traditional walls. It would be easy now to do an “acoustic pop for younger listeners” format that goes from Ballerini into Vance Joy. Radio Disney Country isn’t that, but in the first 24 hours it was possible to hear EDM artist Audien’s current pop hit with Lady Antebellum on lead vocals, or pop-era Taylor.

As with Radio Disney itself these days, there are long stretches where its new country sibling doesn’t sound so much like “the other.” Unlike the early ‘00s, Radio Disney doesn’t have to manufacture that much of its own pop music now. There is a presence of young artists from outside radio’s walls here, but not a preponderance. Both stations also have a number of songs that aren’t particularly youthful in focus, but aren’t inappropriate for a family radio station either. So you’ll still hear Darius Rucker’s “It Won’t Be Like This For Long,” one of those acceptance-of-adulthood songs that very much marks mainstream country at its most, well, mainstream.

You also won’t hear that much Swift; it took me two-hour stretches of listening before she made her first appearance. In fact, until I heard Danielle Bradbury’s “Friend Zone” — one of the Radio Disney Country songs that you won’t hear on mainstream country — that I finally heard a song that takes high school as its theme, which Swift brought to the format for the first time nearly a decade ago.

One of the best, most notable aspects of Radio Disney Country is its strong concentration of female artists (and yes, consecutive female artists). Ballerini’s No. 1 hit was, in part, an industry make-good for the dearth of female acts, and an attempt to put the great Nashville nightmare of “saladgate” behind them. On Radio Disney Country, Maddie & Tae play next to Jana Kramer.

It’s also worth noting that, across two listening sessions roughly twelve hours apart, I heard a vastly different station. The opening night broadcast featured Betsy Spina and artist interview audio to tie in with the CMAs. There was a lot of Radio Disney Country-specific imaging including a custom song intro from Hunter Hayes. The next morning, Radio Disney Country was jockless and the imaging was actually all from Radio Disney itself.

These are station launch hiccups — as was the song I heard twice in the course of a half-hour on the first day — but if there’s anybody whose side channel shouldn’t and doesn’t have to sound like an Internet side channel, it’s a Disney property. Like Sirius XM’s The Highway, there is significant “national superstation” potential here, if properly taken advantage of.

Here’s Radio Disney Country on Nov. 4 at 8 p.m. ET:

Lindsay Ell, “By The Way”

Darius Rucker, “It Won’t Be Like This For Long”

Rae Lynn, “Better Do It”

Big & Rich, “Run Away With You”

Luke Bryan, “Play It Again”

Sam Hunt, “Break Up In A Small Town”

Dan + Shay, “Nothin’ Like You”

Maddie & Tae, “Shut Up And Fish”

Big & Rich, “Run Away With You”

Rae Lynn, “God Made Girls”

The Band Perry, “Live Forever”

Audien f/Lady Antebellum, “Something Better”

Lucy Hale, “You Sound Good To Me”

April Kry, “Fireflies”

Hunter Hayes, “Still Fallin'”

… and here’s the channel on Nov. 5 at 6:20 a.m. ET:

Hunter Hayes, “Still Fallin'”

Thomas Rhett, “Crash And Burn”

Rae Lynn, “Better Do It”

Tim McGraw, “Top Of The World”

Brothers Osborne, “Stay A Little Longer”

Hunter Hayes, “21”

Danielle Bradbury, “Friend Zone”

Rascal Flatts, “Rewind”

Maddie & Tae, “Fly”

Jana Kramer, “I Got The Boy”

Kenny Chesney, “Save It For A Rainy Day”

Lindsay Ell, “By The Way”

Taylor Swift, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”

My thoughts. These songs are the same songs when I heard the new sound of south jersey’s WPER Cat Country 107.3. However, WPER uses a localized playlist, it’s live most of the time, and the imaging and jingles from 360 Country from TM Studios fit the new branding perfectly. WPER airs Tast Of Country Nights, but that doesn’t concern me one bit as that program is syndicated and uses the same imaging and jingles used during local programming.

All in all this was well worth the wait and launch, and I’m really excited that over 3,000 specific Country stations got on board. In 2 words, superb job one and all!

There are Country stations everywhere airing RDC with different names, imaging and jingles, as well as having a localized playlist and community presence. Chances are you can listen to RDC anywhere you go!

The internet radio station itself uses 360 Country, Jingles and all. If your station needs new imaging and jingles, consider using 360 as your next imaging service, just like RDC and over 400 Country stations nation wide!

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Radio Disney Country launches tonight with live CMA awards broadcast

Imagine a country music station not tied down to any of the regular country radio procedures: It can play traditional country; pop-country; album cuts; new artists; old artists. Even Taylor Swift

Therein lies the secret weapon for Radio Disney Country, a Radio Disney spin-off that launches tonight coinciding with ABC’s Country Music Association Awards. (Both properties share Disney as a parent company.) The station, aimed at a general family audience and also teens and millennials, plans to launch into the competitive country radio arena by simply playing everything

Specifically, the station will have a 60-40 split of music. Sixty percent will be popular artists such as Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan and Hunter Hayes. The rest will spotlight up-and-coming young artists, from Maddie & Tae to RaeLynn and Dan + Shay, plus singers that teens might be familiar with from TV, like Cassadee Pope from “The Voice” and Scotty McCreery of “American Idol.” At the same time, the station will play Taylor Swift’s music, even if it’s from years ago when she was still a country artist. Plus, it won’t shy away from songs like “Something Better” by electro-dance producer Audien…because the track features Lady Antebellum, a country group

[For Kelsea Ballerini, Taylor Swift comparisons used to be a liability. Not anymore

Phil Guerini, Radio Disney’s vice president of marketing, says that’s exactly how executives hope to define Radio Disney Country: Lack of definition of genres. While that idea may upset purists, Guerini says that will be a major benefit for the listeners who are already accustomed to different genres

“Even country music fans don’t purely listen to country music,” Guerini said. He noted that as the country format has embraced to have a more pop and rock-leaning sound, some of the audience (particularly the younger set) won’t seem that surprised to hear songs from a pop artist on a country station

Radio Disney Country, which like Radio Disney is available to local radio stations nation wide and on digital apps, is a natural evolution for the parent company, given that ABC is the home to programming such as the CMA Awards and primetime drama “Nashville.”The Disney Music Group even used to own Nashville-based Lyric Street Records (which has since shuttered). So the idea for a Disney country-themed station, which has been in the works for about two years, is on-brand

Radio Disney Country stations across the United States and Canada will be able to keep their playlist, programming, station name and imaging, including all jingle packages and services pryer to the local brand announcement this summer

Be prepared to air music that’s even younger than ever

Over 3500 radio stations will be launching the hole branding at once. WBCT Grand Rapids is the flagship station

If you need any imaging package ideas incase you need to change your imaging after the launch, I would recommend these services I’ll just list them here, no links as you can find them in the Country, Imaging and jingles tags on this blog

Country Splat! Dave Meffert voices this service You can use him as your signature voice or use your own voice talent. Honestly, I would stick with Dave Meffert as he’s a good fit

360 Country Jingle and branding service from TM Studios

IMGR Country even though the demo isn’t on the main IMGR site yet, the new jingle and imaging service itself has finally launched and is now available. The service is already customizable with your own voice talent. Plus the jingles are 100% in line with today’s country programmers

Short Bus Radio they have a country imaging library. Just because Dave Meffert no longer creates stuff for short bus radio doesn’t mean that they stopped updating the library

Reelworld One and Production Vault are 2 more good choices

If I had to pick something, My top 3 would be Country Splat! IMGR and 360. All other libraries will fit the station as well, but not as flexible as the top 3

As noted, Reelworld, TM Studios and Wise Buddah are providing the jingles and imaging for the new venture. Even Zone Radio Imaging is apart of it!

My thoughts on the new Radio Disney Country branding

With the new Radio Disney Country branding launching this fall, I have some thoughts I would like to share.

First, this has been a long time since we have seen a country radio brand pop up. With this new brand, Country stations are in complete controle with the overall imaging, music selection, and where the format is going as a whole. Country stations will be able to play the same music as there network counterpart.

I love this concept. Mediabace recognizes Radio Disney’s CHR playlist as the place to go for stations to shape the overall sound of the CHR format. It’ll be interesting to hear how this is going to turn out. The radio industry has taken noticed and is started to heviely promote this new concept. Country radio will never be the same.

The overall music, jingles and imaging will change how the Country radio format will be. From what I’m hearing, I’m going to expect that Country and CHR will be cousins.

More information will be relieced regarding this new branding. Keep checking this blog, I’ll be posting more when new information becomes available! I can tell you that the radio industry has taken noticed and has started to promote this new brand heviely.

Radio Disney Country launches this fall

From Radio Insight

Radio Disney will launch Radio Disney Country, a modern, multi-platform country music-focused network for families, this fall. It was announced today at CMA Fest by Phil Guerini, Vice President, Programming and General Manager, Radio Disney, who was accompanied by country music’s youngest rising stars Hunter Hayes, Maddie & Tae and Kelsea Ballerini. The 24/7 network will feature chart-bound young artists and today’s biggest country hits, including Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes, Maddie & Tae, The Band Perry, Kelsea Ballerini, Thomas Rhett and RaeLynn.

Country music continues to grow in popularity among tweens and teens. As a trusted name in family entertainment, Radio Disney is delighted to introduce a new music outlet dedicated to country music and expand upon the engaging content we successfully deliver through Radio Disney’s multi-platform network,” said Guerini.

The channel launch will coincide with the 2015 Country Music Association Awards in November and will live on the Radio Disney App, as well as on third party digital platforms. Multi-platform offerings will include music videos, in-studio interviews and performances.

“I am so excited about Radio Disney launching a country channel,” said Ballerini. “It’s so cool to get a new generation and a new group of ears on my music…and all of the awesome music coming out of Nashville. I think it will be great for the format, it’s been great for me, and I’m hopeful to do more with them in the future.”

Radio Disney Country is produced by Radio Disney, a multi-platform music brand known for introducing new artists and playing the music of many of today’s most popular young artists, including, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift and Shawn Mendes. It is widely recognized by the music industry as an influencer to drive music awareness and is among a select group of mainstream radio stations tracked by Billboard and Mediabase music panels. Radio Disney’s Top 40 playlist is driven by listener requests and represents major label recording artists, including One Direction, Katy Perry, 5 Seconds of Summer, Fifth Harmony and Demi Lovato. Billboard magazine has also twice cited Radio Disney in its “Maximum Exposure” list, which names the Top 100 ways to get music noticed. Radio Disney reaches millions of listeners each week across its national feed originating from Los Angeles, RadioDisney.com, Sirius XM satellite radio on channel 79, HD Radio, ShowMobile, Aha Radio, Slacker, TuneIn, iTunes Radio, and the Radio Disney iOS and Android Apps.

Radio Disney Country will be more than just a 24-7 radio network. It will be a radio brand. When Radio Disney Country launches this fall it will be on over 500 radio stations across the United States. The flagship station that will launch the new Radio Disney Country branding will be WBCT Grand Rapids. Radio stations under the Radio Disney Country brand can use any name they want Wolf, B, Hawk, Cat Country etc as well as just use frequency and call letters to brand their station.

Imaging wise, the Radio Disney Country network itself will use Imagio and | Audio Architecture for sweepers and promos, and a masivv custom jingle package produced by Zone Radio Imaging, just like it’s CHR counterpart which airs on over 3500 radio stations as a brand rather than a network. As part of the new Radio Disney Country branding, radio stations can use any jingle package and imaging library they want.

The new Radio Disney Country branding is flexable. Every Country station’s music selection will be different. Most of the radio stations that will launch Radio Disney Country will be CHR intencive, playing music that’s younger and sound like today’s music, and using jingles and imaging libraries that are used on both CHR and Country stations. Others will be Hot AC intencive, meaning that the jingles and imaging won’t be hard hitting like the Country radio stations with a CHR presentation. The music Hot AC Country stations play sound like today’s music, but not as hevy and younger.

If you want to air the new Radio Disney Country branding, just follow the mediabace Country music charts and decide whether the imaging on your station will be CHR intencive or Hot AC intencive. That’s about it.

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