Major Record Label Podcasting Under the Radar

Aug 2nd, 2006 | By | Category: Corporate Podcasts, Podcast Quickies

KamiMajor label Warner Brother Records appears to be podcasting traditionally copyrighted music, from well-known artists, Under the Radar. Murmurs and whispers around the podosphere have hinted that Bands Under the Radar, described as “a music podcast featuring unsigned bands and indie artists,” is not “indie” at all, but is in fact a podcast being quietly produced and distributed by Warner Brothers Records.

The podcast features music from “indie bands”, such as Tom Petty, Chris Isaak, Kasey Chambers, Better Than Ezra, Mark Knopfler, Johnny Cash, Loleatta Holloway & Muse – all Warner Brothers artists.

Kami Knake right, the host for the program is New Media Coordinator for Warner Brothers Records, and the podcast is served up by Warner Bros: is the latest episode.

We asked Knake whether her podcast, which has a low-budget “indie” quality to it, is in fact an official corporate podcast made on behalf of Warner Brothers Records.”It’s something I started before I came to WBR,” said Knake. “I do play WBR artists, but that’s by choice. My podcast has nothing to do with WBR. 😉 ”

While Knake’s official word is that her podcast has nothing to do with Warner Brothers, Bands Under the Radar features Warner Brothers artists, is created by a Warner Brothers employee and is delivered from Warner Brothers’ servers.

The Bands Under The Radar webpage has an indie podcaster look and feel about it, including a “donate” button in a prominent spot. On the other hand, it also sports an ad in the sidebar linked to Warner Bros Indie Radio:

bands under the radar
While many of the songs on the most recent Bands Under the Radar podcast aren’t exactly “indie” (tracks include songs from the latest Tom Petty album, Chris Isaak, and 90’s darlings Better than Ezra), there are many artists, including WB-label recording artists, that listeners might otherwise not have heard of before.

Whether or not the show is officially a Warner Brothers podcast, Warner Brothers is publishing Bands Under the Radar. What’s not clear is whether they are trying to distance themselves from the podcast by making it appear to be “indie”.

We asked George Smyth, the President for the Association of Music Podcasting (AMP) and host of Eclectic Mix. about the Bands Under the Radar podcast.

“When we found out that Warner Brothers, and, therefore, the major labels, are in the podcasting business, we were very excited to hear the news.,” said Smyth. “AMP currently has over 100 members, many of who would love the opportunity to distribute tracks legally cleared by Warner Brothers and the other majors. This is great news for our industry and the right step in the direction of the millions of downloaded music shows via podcasting. We look forward to working with the major labels in this capacity.”

Warner Brothers has previously been criticized for anonymously spamming blog comments to promote WB bands.

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