Wednesday, July 17, 2019

DittyTV Steps Up To Major Radio Markets & Beyond

Posted By on Wed, Jul 17, 2019 at 5:48 PM

click to enlarge COURTESY DITTYTV
  • Courtesy DittyTV
Local heroes DittyTV, who have steadily grown their online music television streaming presence since 2014, made a major leap forward this week when they announced a new partnership with the New York-based Krantz Media Group/KMG Networks (KMG), which specializes in marketing audio-only content, chiefly in what is still broadly called "radio."

“DittyTV is the most robust video channel in the world dedicated to the diverse and growing Americana and Roots music categories,” said Gary Krantz, CEO of KMG. “Americana continues to grow exponentially and is the passionate choice for 18-34 and 25-54-year-old adults that are under-served by mainstream media, yet highly desired by brands and advertisers. KMG is very excited to build success with several projects in the works for all forms of radio and podcasts”. And while DittyTV already features a 24/7 Ditty TV audio channel, at www.dittytvradio.com, plans are now being made for daily and weekly podcasts, event and awards show coverage, and more.

I spoke with DittyTV CEO Ronnie Wright to see just what this meant for the company, and what new ways we could expect to hear its content in the future.

Memphis Flyer: So how did this partnership come about?

Ronnie Wright: Gary was pretty persistent, so we double checked with some mentors that we have before we decided to pursue it. It turns out this guy's been in radio his whole career. It's all about radio and audio. He reached out to us independently, and a couple people we know actually went to college with him. So they go way back. That gave us a level of comfort. He's identified this Americana movement and this under-served market. He knows how to monetize audio-specific assets.

What specifically does that mean, in terms of how people will hear your stuff?

There's a couple things he's gonna help us with, which is getting a radio, or audio-only version of DittyTV on something like Sirius XM or iHeart Radio. It would be its own channel where you could listen to Ditty on some other platforms, other than our own. And then there'll be a revenue split on advertising that they sell. That's one thing he does. And another thing that's growing are podcasts. Basically, what he does is bridge the licensing agreements, and then he has the advertising connections and machine to connect advertisers with our content. And we've already created a lot of our content, and we're sitting on it. So we have a 24 hour broadcast, and we already have an audio version of it, where I just strip out the video. If you go to dittytvradio.com, it's already live. You'll see all of our podcasts, and you can just listen to the audio. So Gary thinks we can get on other platforms and make some money out of licensing, and or selling advertising. And ironically, he says on the radio market, there's still people listening and people making money. Even on traditional terrestrial radio, AM and FM. They're still buying content. So what we're talking about putting together is a weekly Americana & Roots wrap up or countdown, something like that. And we'll produce a two or three hour show that we then syndicate to all these radio stations.
click to enlarge COURTESY DITTYTV
  • Courtesy DittyTV
It sounds like this will be a big move for you all in the domestic market. I know you're already pretty big internationally.

Yeah. And from our standpoint, it's just building general brand awareness. The more places we can get, whether it's on an app or a radio station, or iHeart radio, the better. Gary thinks there's a lot of opportunity with the audio-only part of our thing that we really have to explore. I've always been more interested in the television part of this. But he's right. All our teleprogramming is very easily turned into podcasts or radio programming. And since audio is cheaper to produce, there's so many more opportunities that we can create. So we're expanding our footprint into the radio podcast world, be it satellite or terrestrial. And we're thinking about specifically producing a radio show, which we've never really done before. But we have all the rights to the music. So there's no reason we couldn't just put together an audio version of what we're already doing.

What is KMG bringing to the table in this partnership?

Gary's got a lot of connections in the industry, with larger names in the Americana Roots world. He thinks we could get guest hosts and guest DJ's. Kinda like XM shows that have celebrity co-hosts. And since we're  a lot better at producing content than selling, he can help us with that. So it could open some doors. He's gonna do this whole market analysis. And our first goal is to get on a high profile radio network, like Sirius or iHeart. Just to raise visibility. And once we turn that corner, other things will come more easily. And it would be the same broadcast that we're already doing.

Will DittyTV continue to stick with Americana and roots music?

With satellite channels, it's usually genre driven. When it comes to Americana-Roots, whatever you want to call it, I think what Gary is realizing, which is what we realized, is there's a big smart global group that likes this stuff. They like the fact that it's not mainstream country. They like the fact that it's not pop music or electronica. There's a place for what we're curating on more platforms, so more people can get to it. If you like it on your television, why not stream it in your car? Or on your XM radio? Or on your iHeart app? And with DittyTV, the goal is not necessarily to make a lot of money, the goal is to be sustainable, self sustainable, and be a real resource and help emerging artists. If we grow, we can make a bigger impact. It would be great to triple the staff. Or to have an RV on the road, covering festivals, with a whole other camera crew.

I know you've recently opened a retail shop as well, Vibe & Dime, on South Main Street. What other new projects are cooking at Ditty?

We also formed a non profit, called the Ditty Foundation. Everything we produce goes back to the artist. We give them all the media for free, we promote the albums and the tours.

And we also just released DittyTV 2.0. We have a brand new app for all the set-top boxes like Apple TV, Fire TV, Roku, Tivo, and now you can watch all the shows on demand, which is new. We'll always have the live 24/7 broadcast, but now you'll be able to pick your favorite shows. And we have so many episodes! You can also get daily news segments. And by the end of next week, we're gonna have our mobile apps. So you'll have all those same capabilities in an iPhone app and an Android app. The radio only, the on demand, the live broadcast. We're super excited about that.

And we're super excited about partnering with KMG. I think Gary really appreciates the entrepreneurship that's gone into DItty so far, the challenges that we've had to overcome. So hopefully DittyTV will be coming to a radio dial near you soon.

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