A Conversation With Sumo Radio Owner Matt Auckland
Today on our Hot Seat we have a radio personality “Matt Auckland” who is running a dance music radio station, Sumo Radio. Lets have a chat with him.
Twist Online : First Tell us a little about the starting of your professional career.
Matt : My professional radio career kicked off in 2003, when I joined a small team setting up a local FM station. This quickly lead to working on another 6 FM stations across the south coast of the U.K, in many different roles. In 2013 I developed a new dance music show for Voice FM with Mark Hill, formerly of The Artful Dodger (Top 40 UK Garage duo), and Ridney. The show has grown rapidly in popularity, and is now syndicated to 17 stations in 6 countries around the world, as well as celebrating its 5th Birthday this year.
Twist Online : What was the idea behind launch of “Sumo Radio”.
Matt : My goal with Sumo Radio was to develop a professionally run internet radio station, focused on promoting the best in dance music.
Utilising my skills and experience from FM radio, Sumo is built from the ground up to provide a great user and listener experience. From the website, to the audio stream, we strive to provide great content, with minimal advertising.
Our ongoing mission is to review every single track in our curated music database, and to promote the great music we play and support on Sumo Radio.
Twist Online : Within a few months of launch, Sumo Radio’s listenership is increasing rapidly. Credit goes to?
Matt : Social media, and quality output. As with any online only business, promotion is crucial to get people through the door, and best way to achieve this is via social media. From images on Instagram, to tweets on Twitter, regular posts utilising the right hash tags has been really successful.
But once people are on website it is all down to the audio output, and the content on the page to turn them from casual visitors, to regular ravers.
Twist Online : You seem to have a close relationship with your listeners through social media, and on the air. How did you develop that closeness?
Matt : I feel it is important to be approachable to all my listeners, and whenever someone takes the time to comment, retweet, or send a message my way, I’m more than happy to reply or simply say thank you. It is just good manners.
On The Global House Party we always encourage people to send in their shout outs, as we always love to hear from our loyal listeners.
Twist Online : What is some of your favorite music out right now?
Matt : I am a big fan of Nora En Pure and Disclosure. Tracks doing the business for me right now are Midnight City’s remix of Lovers Friends by MOWE & Daniel Nitt. Plus, Close My Eyes by Corderoy with Don Diablo on the remix.
If I were to give a top tip, it would be Icarus by Them&Us, due out on 12th August. It has a touch of Empire of the Sun about. Such a big tune for the summer.
Twist Online : You’ve been in the radio industry for quite some time now, is there anything you would do differently?
Matt : I don’t think there is anything I would do differently, so to speak. But I do wish I had got into the industry a little sooner.
I had trained in Media back at college, but due to lack of opportunities and contacts back then, I went into I.T as a career. Ironically enough, it was those same I.T skills that eventually opened the doors into the media industry, where I’ve done everything from Online Editor of an international dance music magazine, to Station Manager, and of course Producer & Presenter.
Even though I am very skilled in I.T and Web development, I’m much happier using these skills and many others in the radio industry.
Twist Online : Radio Presenter & Producer, IT professional and DJ, How do you manage it all?
Matt : Short Matt, I don’t have a social life. LoL, but seriously, I’m blessed with having the freedom to run my own business, which in turn allows me to spread my time over all these jobs. The hours are long, but I love everything I do, and when you’re fortunate enough to be in that situation, it just doesn’t seem like work.
Twist Online : What is the best advice you have for people who want to pursue a career in radio?
Matt : My top tip is Opportunity. Take every opportunity that is available, to build you’re your resume of experience. This is invaluable when seeking your first paid job in radio. It doesn’t matter if that opportunity is unpaid/voluntary, or even just being a runner (also called gophers in media), as the experience and contacts from these opportunities, will be a massive help to you as you start your own career.
Twist Online : How can your fans follow you online?
Matt : Check out the website at sumoradio.uk, or follow Sumo Radio on Twitter @sumoradiouk and on facebook.com/sumoradiouk. You can also follow myself on Twitter, I am @mattauckland