In marketing for new listeners, Philadelphia’s WXPN emphasizes human touch in music curation

A new marketing campaign mounted by Philadelphia’s WXPN-FM takes aim not at other local radio stations but targets the threat of online music services such as Pandora and Spotify. The Triple A station launched a six-week campaign last week to bolster recognition of the station in its market, attract new members and try to lure people away from online competitors. The “Vinyl at Heart” campaign features bus wraps and billboards as well as refresher campaigns and live events. Research commissioned by the station four years ago sowed the seeds for the new campaign by revealing untapped potential for new listeners in the Philadelphia market. “One of the key findings was that of the people in the region that liked the kind of music we play, only half knew we even existed,” said Roger LaMay, WXPN’s g.m. “It wasn’t shocking, but nonetheless it was one of those findings that grabs you and says you need to do something.”

Those results paralleled a study of classical music listeners presented at last month’s Public Radio Program Directors conference.

Pew grant supports new zydeco project from Philadelphia’s WXPN

Philadelphia’s WXPN-FM has received a $360,000 grant from the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage for Zydeco Crossroads, a 15-month project that will include concerts, educational events and a documentary film. WXPN will also use grant funds to launch a zydeco-themed website in September. “The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage has made it possible for us to bring leading Zydeco artists to Philadelphia and expose them to a wider audience, which will help foster a broader understanding and appreciation of this unique American music,” said WXPN General Manager Roger LaMay in a statement. “Our project partnerships with Allons Danser, Philly’s home for Zydeco/Cajun music and dance, the Philadelphia Folksong Society, and the African American Museum in Philadelphia will also access additional audiences who connect to Zydeco in distinct ways.”

The documentary will be created by filmmaker Robert Mugge and screened at a culminating weekend festival in fall 2015, according to a Pew release.

The Key raises WXPN’s profile as valued music curator

With The Key, we’re able to better reflect the diversity of the Philadelphia music scene, give local bands a platform to showcase their music in multimedia formats and position XPN even more centrally in the market conversation around local music.