Though it may not be obvious to bluegrass consumers, those who work in the business from artists, writers, radio professionals, and record label staff, know what a major player Airplay Direct has become in the bluegrass world.
Formed in 2005 by Robert Weingartz and his wife Lynda, the Nashville company has grown into an online force in radio distribution, allowing programmers to quickly download new music into their playback systems, and saving artists and labels large amounts of money by not having to ship promo copies all over the world. Labels are comfortable working with Airplay Direct, as they only allow downloads by authorized radio personnel, and the costs are such than independent artists can afford the services offered as well as established labels.
Though not created specifically to service bluegrass music, Airplay Direct has been widely embraced by our record companies and artists. Rarely does a new bluegrass project release without a page at Airplay Direct. They also provide radio distribution services for country, rock, jazz, Christian, holiday, and Americana music.
But the large-scale buy-in from bluegrass has not gone unnoticed by the Weingartzes, who both attended and co-sponsored the IBMA World of Bluegrass convention earlier this year. They wanted to personally meet and thank the many people in our industry who work with their company.
As part of the ongoing effort to provide support to traditional music, Airplay Direct and the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, VA announced a strategic partnership earlier this week. The two outfits will work together to further the museum’s goal of preserving and promoting Appalachian music of every kind.
Leah Ross, Executive Director of BCM and a recently-retired member of the IBMA Board of Directors, has high hopes for her organization working with the Weingartzes.
“Over the past several years, the Birthplace of Country Music has grown tremendously as we opened the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate Institution, celebrated 15-years of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, and most recently launched Radio Bristol, a collection of three radio stations.
This partnership with AirPlay Direct is very exciting, because it allows BCM to work with industry experts at AirPlay Direct to build an innovative strategy to help establish and sustain Radio Bristol.”
And Lynda Weingartz, who serves as CEO for Airplay Direct, noted with pride the significance of where they met to sign their agreement.
“This new Strategic Partnership Agreement was inked in the historic Brentwood, TN office of the legendary Mr. Eddy Arnold, on the very same conference table he signed all of his professional agreements. The sense of history and relevance in this office was inspiring and most exciting.”
Also signatory to this agreement is Collective Evolution, an entertainment and media consulting firm based in Toronto.
Artists, radio programmers, and record labels can learn more about the services offered by Airplay Direct online.