Soul Café, a weekly podcast featuring current slow-jam and smooth jazz hits, has surged to over 1.3 million listeners.
The show, which bills itself as “Your weekly dose of relaxation,” originated as a staple of iVybe Radio, where it is redistributed as a weekly podcast the day after being broadcast. From there, Soul Café’s smooth yet distinctive blend of music from both independent and established artists resonated with listeners, and popularity skyrocketed. The show has been picked up by over 90 Commercial and Internet radio stations and has a worldwide fan base.
Soul Café host and radio programming veteran Chris Clay attributes the show’s acclaim to its central concept: being based not on radio’s present or its projected future, but rather, its past.
“A listener recently told us that ‘this is what radio used to sound like,’” Clay reflected from iVybe Radio’s headquarters in North Carolina. “That’s a huge compliment for us, because that’s exactly what our goal is. One of the drawbacks of modern radio is that it’s essentially built around a younger audience: it moves so fast from record to record, and often listeners don’t get the time one needs to fully digest the quality of a song.”
Soul Café’s fresh, innovative feel also comes from challenging radio’s current conventions regarding adult listeners, he said. “Many people in the industry believe that if you’re building an adult station, you have to play old songs, and that’s not true…adults want to listen to new music too,” he explained. “A lot of it has to do with how you present that music to them.”
Soul Café currently boasts audiences in far-flung countries like Japan, Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Italy, South Africa, and Australia. But for Clay, that already-impressive list is only the beginning. “Historically, radio’s popularity came from it providing the soundtrack to people’s lives: it enriched the living experience and refreshed the soul. It’s such an important, vital part of radio’s legacy, and our goal with Soul Café is to help maintain that.”
Listen to the podcast at www.TheSoulCafe@podbean.com