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'Hard Music' Gets Boost from 24/7 Radio Station

Created nearly ten years ago on a single FM station in Columbus, Ohio, RadioU offers listeners a 24/7 live radio stream of Christian hard music.

Do the names House of Heroes, Family Force 5, Number One Gun, and Subseven ring a bell?

Probably not.

As bands that are part of the Christian “hard music” genre, visibility within the music industry is something difficult to come by, with radio airplay a dream for most artists - that is, unless you’re listening to RadioU.

Created nearly ten years ago on a single FM station in Columbus, Ohio, RadioU offers listeners a 24/7 live radio stream of Christian hard music, with the network’s programming geared toward what RadioU Vice President Michael Buckingham calls “a huge untapped audience of music lovers in their twenties that much of radio seems to have lost the ability to reach.”

“Whether Christian or not, RadioU’s diverse young audience eats this up because the music is mostly new and different than anything else on the radio,” he says.

“Some of our more familiar bands like Relient K, P.O.D., Switchfoot, or Thousand Foot Krutch have achieved various levels of airplay among mainstream rock and pop formats and on FUSE or MTV,” says RadioU’s music director Nikki Cantu, “but these artists are just scratching the surface of an industry – Christian music – which is continuing to sell records like crazy, despite losses experienced in other formats.”

According to Cantu, the Christian hard music buzz has become significant enough to catch the attention of even mainstream radio owners.

“They’ve been circling around, sniffing at Christian music to see what it can do. They’ve seen the sales data. Perhaps even unknowingly, they’ve experimented with playing it on their stations,” says Cantu. “The fact that it’s Christian isn’t really the issue anymore. It’s just got to be good music inside an authentic well-executed radio format. RadioU is that format – and it’s the only one out here.”

But while interest in Christian hard music continues to grow, RadioU is hoping to speed up the process, having announced on Tuesday that it will make its programming available for free to FM and HD Radio broadcasters.

The attempt is to “simply get this music played on the radio where it belongs,” according to Buckingham.

“We want to give these bands a voice to be heard on FM stations or their new HD multicast channels all across the nation,” he says. “Maybe at the same time, we can help radio to reclaim some of its appeal among younger audiences becoming distracted by shiny objects like their iPods, MySpace, and satellite radio.”

For more information about RadioU, go to www.radiou.com.

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