Two terrestrial radio veterans are making a jump to the other side.
This comes as traditional broadcast radio continues battling for market share against a rising tide of online radio, streaming services, satellite radio, podcasts and more. The latest “Infinite Dial Study” by Edison Research and Triton Digital, in fact, found that 140 million Americans listen to online radio weekly and that streaming services have doubled over the past four years.
Today Jeffrey Warshaw, co-founder and CEO of Connoisseur Media, a radio conglomerate with some 39 terrestrial stations, and Michael “Shark” Sharkey, who has worked in radio programming and on-air for the past 25 years, including 14 at Cox Media Group, are launching Satori, a New York City-centric online radio station and music discovery platform headquartered in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
“We’ve watched the shift from traditional radio to streaming after an entire generation was ignored by radio,” says Warshaw, Satori’s founder and CEO. “They don’t identify with it, it’s over-commercialized, it’s hokey and repetitive and it doesn’t resonate with them.”
Shark, who also launched 97X (WSUN) in Tampa and programmed 102.5 The Bone (WHPT), agrees: “Radio has always been extremely formatted and regimented,” he says, “stations can only play specific songs.”
Which is why Satori will focus squarely on the multi-hued New York metropolitan region utilizing real data of what New Yorkers are listening to with a curated selection of multi-genre music programming focusing on but not limited to indie, electronic and hip-hop.
“No one listens to just one genre anymore,” says Shark, Satori’s director of programming and content, “We want our sound to reflect what people are really listening to and to mirror the playlist of someone living in New York.”
To further enamor themselves to the city, Satori plans on having a strong community aspect championing local neighborhoods with live on-the-scene broadcasts and DJ sets along with the inclusion of notable local personalities, institutions and events.
To that end, Satori will launch with a presence at this weekend’s Governors Ball Music Festival on Randall’s Island (June 2-4) where the online broadcaster will have its Satori Satmobile. The mobile broadcast station includes a bar, seating and performance area where artists can be interviewed.
The Satmobile will also continually make the rounds of different neighborhoods and venues across the city’s five boroughs towards fostering community,
Helping to further that goal are Joel Weiss, Satori’s director of music content, and Bree House, director of social media who report to Shark and have been working on Satori while its been in beta.
When asked about the new music platform’s economic model, Warshaw (who it should be noted also sits on the board of the National Association of Broadcasters), says Satori will have sponsors, partnerships and promotions with local businesses. But right now, he says, the Satori team are more focused on establishing an audience.
As for the name, Satori means “sudden enlightenment,” which Warshaw says he hopes listeners will experience and is also how the idea for the online radio platform came to him. “I was honestly sitting in my serenity room on a Sunday morning with incense burning,” he says. “And I had this moment of, ‘Why can’t we do this?’ And thus Satori was born in a moment of sudden enlightenment.”
The Satori app can be downloaded from the app store for both Android and iOS or here.