TikTok is opening a new terrestrial radio station in Australia

Yes, that TikTok. And as someone who has advocated a rethink of radio when it comes to appealing to people under 25, I’m very curious to see how this will work out.

So what will TikTok radio sound like? “Short, hard, fast, compelling,” according to a statement. The station will feature an ever-changing playlist of songs based on what’s trending on TikTok, glued together by familiar mainstream records. And yes, all the songs will be played in their entirety, not just a 30-second clip. The thinking is that TikTok users will flock to the station to learn more about the songs they’re hearing on the platform.

Here’s a statement from content director Brett Nossiter (via CMU):

“The transition will be a song that you know, then there’ll be an artist you’ve never heard of before, but when you hear it, you’ll think, ‘I actually need to dig into and find out more about that’ – it could be the Channel 9 News theme for all I know.

“I think it’s the amazing mix, the way it’s all blended together, I find that incredibly compelling”, he goes on. “And building it from what we’ve been working on so far, I can honestly say, this is the most exciting [iHeart station] I’ve ever made because I get to put it together and say, ‘I’m going to break every single radio station rule in history’, and it’s so liberating and so much fun.”

DJ slots will be filled by pre-recorded four-hour shows from TikTok influencers along with the odd musician such as Rita Ora. And instead of having the same announcer on for four hours, their shows will be cut into one-hour chunks and shuffled with other one-hour chunks from other presenters.

Nossiter again:

“We’re going to have pre-recorded shows with some creators, and they’ll be creating shows in four-hour chunks, and then we’re creating radio teppanyaki”, he says. “So basically we’re going to cook up the dish, then we’re going to chop it up and we’re going to let it fly up all across the schedule. It’s going to be short, hard, fast, compelling. It will be one hour, it will be one host playing all their music, songs that they’ve chosen – it might be a song that they’ve recorded, they might be talking to another creator… And then next hour, new host, next hour, new host.”

Interesting. The station is on a three-month trial as part of the iHeart Radio group. We’ll see where this goes.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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