Digitally Imported has expanded its range of services and announced the news at Amsterdam Dance Event. From the previous online radio service portal is coming an interactive music download store and indie ethos environment combined into one.
Amsterdam/Berlin – Oct. 17, 2014 – "Digitally Imported has been around since 1999 as a network of different online radio stations," Ronny Krieger reported in an interview with Music Week. Krieger previously worked in the digital music business at Beatport, and since then has added consulting to his resume. He is also active on the Board of the German-based VUT (the German association for independent labels) and will offer his strategic and conceptual services in his new position at Digitally Imported (DI).
Digitally Imported started as a single station and has since expanded to all aspects of the dance music space, now offering more than 80 individually curated channels. "Digitally Imported is now available worldwide, with around 3.5 million unique monthly listeners, and is growing rapidly," says Krieger. Forty percent of the company’s listeners come from America, while the other 60 percent are international, "with a high percent of listeners coming from Central and Eastern Europe."
The Digitally Imported family of channels has been expanded under parent company AudioAddict, which includes stations from many other genres, including pop, rock and jazz. Ari Shohat, a pioneer in the dance music business, founded Digitally Imported and is currently the CEO. In daily operations, Eloy Lopez is responsible for the growth and development of the company. Lopez joined in 2011 as Chief Operating Officer for the team, following his work growing music download service Beatport since 2004 and building it into an internationally recognized focal point in the dance music business. This is also the goal at Digitally Imported.
To date, they currently offer the audience a purely linear radio program. At the Amsterdam Dance Event, the company’s new concept will be presented. "The market for electronic music has grown tremendously," says CEO Ari Shohat. However, the wishes of the users were often not sufficiently considered. But this is about to change: Shohat and Eloy want to make Digitally Imported the first platform to integrate interactive radio and on-demand streaming music with radio shows. It will also include the option to download tracks. Leveraging the team’s prior experience at Beatport, they built everything new under one roof, as docking to an existing streaming or downloading service was not an option.
Independent Producers in Focus
Digitally Imported opens up new revenue sources.
To date, Digitally Imported has been built mainly on advertising revenue and a premium subscription model, which in comparison to the ad-supported version offers subscribers improved sound quality and mobile access to the service. "With 3.5 million monthly listeners you already have a certain attractiveness to advertisers," says Ronny Krieger.
For a new business, this reach is promising. Digitally Imported content is chosen through a strict curation process. "We concentrate heavily on releases from independent production," says Krieger. The aim was to form a counterpoint to major online services. At first, distribution was for music streaming, although à la carte downloads were closed. GoodToGo (Rough Trade Distribution/Groove Attack), Believe Digital; dig dis!; the Daredo subsidiary digedo, Fuga, Paradise Distribution and Symphonic Distribution are all on board to provide non-interactive, interactive and full digital rights to their content on Digitally Imported’s new service.
After the Test Balloon, the Rest of Europe Follows
After the first wave of testing in the USA, Digitally Imported will follow suit with Europe and has aimed for the Dutch market. "We hope to become a UK market presence soon, and launch the new services in Germany as well as in the rest of Europe after the first quarter of 2015," says Krieger.
Digitally Imported is also programming new ways to complement curated radio channels and additional productions for the future. A new monthly series will be named DI Journeys, which will be devoted to selected topics or artist portraits, including Armin van Buuren, whose radio show "A State Of Trance" is the most successful on Digitally Imported, says Krieger. The team of Digitally Imported presents their new concept to accredited participants of the Amsterdam Dance Events at a cocktail hour on October 16th, at 6pm.
This article has been translated and reprinted with edits with permission from MusikWoche (MusicWeek Germany)