McLane is editor in chief.
VuHaus is a new
collaboration of several public radio stations that specialize in music
discovery. This week it formally
announced its launch as a video platform and
“VuHaus showcases gorgeously
shot, in-studio live sessions best experienced in wide screen with the volume
on high,” the organization promises, with added features like an artist of the
week, local spotlights and playlists. The mobile app is available on iTunes and Google Play.
To mark its launch VuHaus is streaming three days of live performances from the Non-COMMvention in Philly. I emailed with Erik Langner, right, to
find out more.
RW: How did the VuHaus concept take shape, who
Public Radio’s Music Discovery stations are incredibly prolific producers of
high-quality video, and as a community, there is a strong ethos of cooperation
and collaboration amongst these stations. A few years ago at a public media
conference in Atlanta, Mike Henry and I were both socializing the concept of aggregating
all of these great music videos with several stations and with the Corporation
for Public Broadcasting.
that time, Public Media Company (PMC) had just constructed Channel X, a
digital platform that allows public broadcasters to more easily share, preview,
license and broadcast new independent news and music content, so the backbone
for the service was already built.
Shortly thereafter, the five founding stations (KCRW/Los Angeles,
WFUV/New York City, WXPN/Philadelphia, KUTX/Austin, and KTBG/Kansas City)
committed to collaborating, CPB signed off, and we were off to the races.
RW: What was the funding amount from CPB?
Langner: We received a generous $750k
collaboration grant from CPB.
RW: Where do you envision additional funding coming from, in your
Moving forward, we envision continued philanthropic support as we build a
premiere destination for new music and artist discovery, and we will be working
with a select number of sponsors to help support our non-profit mission.
RW: Why is the concept of music
discovery important in public radio?
Langner: Non-commercial stations play a
very important role in breaking new artists. All of the VuHaus stations have
their own programming slants, but the main thing they all share in common is a
real passion for sharing new music with their audiences. In the past few years,
so many of the new artists that are getting attention today got their first
radio airplay at non-commercial radio. That’s where VuHaus comes in — we will
be a new platform to showcase the dedication and care these stations show in
choosing the artists that perform intimate sessions for their listeners.
RW: What is
Public Media Co. and what role does it play in this project?
Langner: As PMC’s managing director, I
will serve as VuHaus’ first president, and PMC will sit on the VuHaus board
with the five founding stations and will be managing the VuHaus operations. PMC
is a national non-profit organization that has advised more than 275 public
broadcast organizations in planning for and executing a wide range of
strategies, partnerships and transactions aimed at growing audience, local
impact and financial capacity. As part of this work, PMC has helped to acquire,
finance and launch a number of Music Discovery stations around the country,
including KTBG in Kansas City, KUTX in Austin, WXPH in Harrisburg, WNKN in
Cincinnati, Open Air in Denver, and KXT in Dallas.
RW: Our readers are public and commercial
radio owners, managers and engineers. What else might they want to know about
Langner:Investing in content is a good thing. As VuHaus
continues to add stations, everyone will benefit from a bigger pool of content
and web streams of live events. Many people in the industry find non-commercial
radio to be perplexing because all of the stations are programmed so
differently. We view that as its biggest strength. Each station will bring
their own slant to VuHaus and have their own locally curated city pages. All of
the stations have passionate and educated listeners who are looking for new
music. VuHaus will make it easier for stations to reach their audiences, and
for the audiences to find the new music they are looking for.