Last weekend I went to a classmate’s solo concert where she played acoustic guitar and sang a bunch of 90s alternative songs I remembered from high school. I had heard them all first on Y100, a radio station that really introduced me to music for the first time. So I was dismayed when their owners took them off the air last year. It changed the landscape of Philadelphia radio, but its legacy still lives on.
A lot of their talent has gone on to work at other radio stations, like morning guys Preston and Steve. They moved to WMMR and I have started to download their podcast as a way of keeping in touch with home. More interesting, however, is the fact that some former employees and fans have kept Y100 running – online. Y100Rocks.com is an online station that has kept a lot of the trappings of the original with artist interviews, contests, and exclusive concerts. They broadcast on Live365 and are currently the #3 alternative station on the site. Somehow they are supporting themselves with some advertising on the site and on-air. What impresses me is that it seems like a lot of the artists have respect for the stations legacy and have continued to work with them. They are currently celebrating the end of their first year on air.
I don’t listen to internet radio much because I have my iTunes and Napster on my computer, but I am trying them out right now. Not quite the classic songs that I remember from my high school years, but its not bad. Beside the nostalgic thing, this is a great example of how a traditional media organization can adapt to online with success. I wish Y100Rocks the best of luck in their next year on the air.