Hot 107.1 reborn online as Beatgasm.com
In its short life span, HOT 107.1 managed to build a decent following with its EDM format -- decent, but not quite big enough, as the station ended up flipping formats. At first the frequency was unveiled as Pot 107.1, which turned out to be a stunt (what a brilliant format that would've been, though, eh?) before later being branded as JackFM. Max Media LLC, parent company of the former HOT 107.1, has reintroduced the format as Beatgasm, an all-EDM signal on the Internet.
Beatgasm launched less than two weeks ago, and one of the first questions Jeff Rimmer, Max Media's vice president of digital strategy, asked himself was, "How do we do this right?" At the height of HOT 107.1's popularity, the station attracted upwards of 30,000 Facebook fans and developed a sizable web presence, but the lacking came in the form of actual radio listeners. "Radio gets sort of a bad reputation," Rimmer notes, "so many people have switched to online stations like Pandora and Spotify. I'm not ignorant to that."
Fueled by this realization, Rimmer tapped his Denver crew, headed by Sean Rhoads of the former HOT 107.1, to create and helm Beatgasm. "I was really disappointed with how [HOT 107.1] went away," Rhoads admits. "But we have so much access to this music, and Denver has become the premier source for EDM, so we had to do something."
Beatgasm is staffed with some familiar faces, including Alvin Richardson, known better on the airwaves as A-Rich, the former Hot 107.1 jock who recently won a Best Night Radio Show nod from the Colorado Broadcasters Association. "We wanted to do something that's just not normal radio," says Richardson. "And this is a way to bring it back in a different way."
A-Rich (foreground) with DJ Ishe on the set of his "Slow and Low" video with Dirt Monkey.
Right now, Beatgasm is in the early stages of development. Fans can go to the website and make requests while streaming music, and there are already talks of podcasts and live-streams from local venues. Some of the perks of this new wave of Internet radio is the complete lack of commercials. Thanks to Strainwise, a local dispensary that sponsors Beatgasm, the broadcast is currently commercial-free.
Rimmer thinks this template has the potential to go national, maybe even global. "Obviously, we just launched last week," says Rimmer, "so I would love that problem. I think we can go both ways. Ideally, I would love Beatgasm in each of the markets. Beatgasm Atlanta. Beatgasm New York. Each city has different flavors. In Denver, it's a little bit more dubstep, whereas New York is really into trance.
"Engagement is the key word," Rimmer concludes, "and it's the thing that online radio stations like Pandora and Spotify are lacking."
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