NonCOMM Recap: Hot takes from The Music Meeting with Sean Coakley

The NonCOMM Music Meeting | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Radio industry pros, XPN listeners, and music nerds alike packed together this afternoon for NonCOMM’s annual Music Meeting. Hosted by Sean Coakley of Songlines, this exciting yearly tradition resembles a type of new music auction — where each crowd member becomes a judge armed with score cards, and votes on new or generally unknown songs presented by Coakley. Immediately after voting, members voice their opinions on their score choices, which results in unbarred, honest, and overall, incredibly entertaining responses. Continue reading →


NonCOMM Recap: Making metrics matter

photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Analytics and metrics are one of the most bewildering, least understood and yet most crucial elements of media programming. For the second Friday morning panel at the 2017 NonCOMM-vention, a group of industry vets who deal with data day-in-day-out broke down what information is at our fingertips and how to use it.

“Everyone’s starting with the same pile of records,” said moderator John Rosenfelder, comparing song selection to analytics. “How you annotate and how you program around the music is what makes [your station] better or different or creative. It’s the same thing with data.” Continue reading →


NonCOMM Recap: How public radio stations navigate a digital landscape

photo by John Vettese for WXPN

As Jim McGuinn of Minneapolis station The Current observed, “It used to be we just did radio. Then we had the website used to support the radio. And now it’s back and forth. It’s one of the fascinating aspects of the job I think.”

As new media platforms continue to grow and evolve, public radio needs to be more on top of their multimedia game then ever — and more specifically, on top of their digital media game. That was the theme of the opening panel at the NonCOMM-vention on Friday, where McGuinn was joined by John Barth of Public Radio Exchange to talk about how stations can adapt what they do.

Barth says he loves seeing stations experiment with digital-exclusive content and podcasting. “They may not know what they’re doing, but they’re tying, and that’s the first step,” he says. Continue reading →


NonCOMM Recap: A Dan & Dan Music Podcast Conversation with Dan Auerbach

Dan Reed and Dan Auerbach at NonCOMM | photo by John Vettese

Dan DeLuca couldn’t make it to NonCOMM today, but luckily Dan Auerbach was able to fill his spot for the taping of a Dan & Dan Music Podcast segment. The Black Keys co-founder is prepping the release of his sophomore solo effort Waiting on a Song, the first record he’ll share through his own Easy Eye Sound label. Over the nearly hour long discussion he talked about the inspiration for the LP, what it’s like recording other people’s music, and his knack for meeting cool people.

Continue reading →


NonCOMM recap: A conversation on community-building

photo by John Vettese for WXPN

A major part of being a public radio station is connecting with the public. This morning at NonCOMM, Mike Henry from Paragon Media Strategies hosted the panel “Walking The Walk and Talking The Talk – Acting and Branding Local,” which featured conversations between Matt Reilly from KUTX Austin , Benji McPhail from The Colorado Sound, and Jordan Lee from Radio Milwaukee. These three industry pros sat down to discuss the various challenges, and also major advantages, to running successful noncommercial stations grounded in locality. Continue reading →


NonCOMM Recap: The view from within the industry

Photo by John Vettese

While so much of the annual NonCOMMvention focuses on the radio side of the music industry, the first panel at this year’s event took record label perspective on navigating what XPN program director Bruce Warren called “the iTunes economy.”

Joining Warren onstage was David Macias of Thirty Tigers records – home to Patty Griffin, Jason Isbell, Angeleena Presley, and more — and Bill Burrs of 300 Entertainment — a division of Atlantic that works with artists from Fetty Wap to Meg Mac.

The three discussed how record labels work to break an artist in a landscape where record sales have been diminished and labels look for new ways to make revenue in a landscape dominated by streaming. Continue reading →