Saturday, March 26, 2011

How I started #NekoDesu at The Cat

From time to time, people ask me how I got started at The Cat radio with my anime music show. It's a slightly interesting story (not very interesting, so I won't blame you if you get bored).

In Crewe (where I live) there's a local anime club called the AMGSC (Anime, Manga and Gaming in South Cheshire). I can't remember if the head of the club asked or got invited, but another member and I went to the Cat's studio to plug the club's existence and to get members. This was before the studio was moved to Nantwich, so this studio was the one upstairs in the M Club. It was Sunday the...somethingth of May in 2009. We were guests on Paul and Angie's "Off The Wall" show. The radio was on FM at that time so that was pretty cool.

So we talked about the club for a bit and I asked if I could play an anime song (I brought a few with me). I ended up playing Bouken Deshou Deshou by Hirano Aya (the opening theme to The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi). Once the show was over, I asked if they were looking for any presenters (out of curiosity more than anything) and I was given an e-mail address for the chairman.

After a few e-mails back and to, I was called in to talk and put forward my idea for the show. I was given some training and I got a time slot for my first internet show: every Thursday at 9pm until 10pm. A few weeks later, we had to move the M Club studio almost a week before the next FM broadcast (November/December 2009). Eventually, I went on FM at the new studio in Nantwich (scary!).

Due to OFCOM regulations, FM broadcasts for new stations only last for 28 days at a time, and you can only do them twice a year. Kinda crap, but that's OFCOM for you. Either way, FM broadcasts are awesome, as well as being a bit scary.

So, after this, I decided to put the show on hiatus for a few months. Why? Because I used up most of my anime music in those 4 weeks. So, I went on a mission to get more anime music for when I returned to the station. This is where it gets a bit fuzzy. I don't remember off the top of my head when I re-started doing my show. However, according to when I created the playlists on my computer, it would be around March time.

So, let's assume I started again in March (which sounds about right). The slot I had previously on a Thursday was taken by someone else. However, a slot opened up on Friday for a show 9pm to 10pm. I took that and called my show "Series two" on the programme guide.

Eventually, it was time for another FM broadcast. This time it was July 2010. I can't remember whether it was changed beforehand, or for the FM broadcast, but my show changed to the current Saturday 10pm to 11pm. Since the time changed, I called this Series 3. It's been series 3 for quite a while now (almost a year in fact).

Not long before that FM broadcast, I started putting my anime music into the Cat's music database. Until then, I had burnt the show's music onto 2 CD-RWs each week and then went between the two of them. This meant having to take requests before the show, and then put them in a playlist to burn before the show. I'd also have to print off the playlist with copyright details and put them in a file at the studio so that we pay the right money to PRS/PPL.

Now, all the music is in the database and simply requires dragging it into the timeline for the show. This means I can also take live requests for songs too as I just do a search, and then drag it in.

Currently, there's approximately 400 anime songs in the database. I'm averaging 12/13 songs each show depending on how many adverts there are, or how long Community Action is. Oh and how long I talk for of course, and that's something interesting.

On the Internet, there are whole radio stations dedicated to anime music. There's quite a few actually. However, some of these probably don't pay licensing fees like we do, and I have yet to find one with an actual presenter like me. Those are two big reasons to listen to my show. We pay money to PRS/PPL depending on how many listeners we get and how many songs I play. I think it's something like:

( (money) x (length of song played) ) x (number of listeners) = money that goes to labels

There may be other factors, but that's how I thought it works.

As for the other point, I think having a presenter hosting a radio show is important. It makes it much more personal since you can feed back to listeners, especially when it comes to requests. I can read out listener e-mails, Twitter post, and even have phone-ins.

One last thing, according to my research, Neko Desu is the only anime music radio show to receive FM broadcasts in the UK. I have not found any other station doing anything similar to me that broadcasts on FM. Perhaps one day in the future, I could get a show on a national station and broadcast to millions of people. That's a dream for the future.

brb writing to the BBC Asian Network......

No comments:

Post a Comment