NCRA Announes major new project: !earshot Digital Distribution System

The National Campus and Community Radio Association/ L'Association nationale des radios étudiantes et communautaires (“NCRA/ANREC”) which represents 97 radio stations across Canada will be working with the broadcast industry to create a new service for Canadian musicians. Currently for around 180 radio stations across Canada, Canadian artists have to individually supply each station with their music. In the commercial and public radio sector this distribution process has been digitized.

The NCRA will be creating a national solution with of the !earshot Digital Distribution System (!earshot DDS). This system will allow Canadian artists, Canadian labels and distribution companies to upload their material and make it available at once; to nearly 10,000 volunteer broadcasters within the community radio sector.

The project is being developed in collaboration with the Canadian music industry, including the labels, artists and the public sector. The NCRA will be funding the project through internal funds, and with support from the Community Radio Fund of Canada. Over 80% of the NCRA’s members are looking forward to this tool.

Our project is being overseen by a team of technical advisors from the record labels, the community radio broadcasters and Canadian artists. We also have expertise from CBC, and the commercial distribution companies assisting.

We are looking for more feedback, and invite people to fill out the following survey:

“For years, stations have worked off an antiquated system of physical CD's, and programmers have been under-serviced because they bring their own content in to broadcast from, limiting their exposure to Canadian artists. The new !earshot DDS will allow, for example, an artist in Saskatoon who makes east coast fiddle music get it into the hands of the right programmer who wants (and needs) that material for their show. For both broadcasters and the music industry, I see this as being one of the most impactful changes, this decade in how the campus/community sector uses music” – Barry Rooke, Executive Director NCRA/ANREC

“It goes without saying that the proposed digital infrastructure is long overdue for !earshot. The industry has shifted away from physical product and the digital environment has greatly empowered independent artists/music businesses. Canada is producing world-class talent and valuable content at an exponential rate. The proposed DDS will not only redefine how the campus and community sector receives and distributes music but is a clear opportunity to further empower Canada’s musical landscape in the digital era.” - Zack Leighton, President of Bandbox and VP Development of Duet Promotions