How to curate a soundtrack for Amsterdam? | BRAM wk 19, 2023

Written by on 13/05/2023

Jessie Ware is out, Charlotte Plank is in. Bleachers are being retired and Inhaler are back. Radio stations refresh their music playlists all the time, and for BRAM RADIO it’s for sure a weekly action, but this week there’s been a bigger audit than usual. I’m talking about the station’s main playlist here. We have a few hundred individual music tracks stored in our cloud library and these provide the music that’s played in between scheduled shows and re-runs on our online streaming radio station. We use a system of tags to show which music tracks are on our ‘main’ playlist, which are ‘just added’, which are for ‘slow’ vibes, and which should be played only ‘overnight’, for example. So it’s kind of random but not completely.

For the audit I used our ‘Track summary’ report to find out which songs in our cloud were chosen by our algorithm over the last two months and how often. I culled some of the tracks that were played out the most, thinking that you might be getting tired of them. The station’s rotation played Spotlight 116 times in a two-month period, which is about twice every day. That’s not so much actually but I’ve taken it out now, so sorry if you’ll miss it. Our Spotify playlist, 99 new tracks | 2023, shows which new music tracks we’ve added to the cloud playout recently, including a d&b-pop collab from Rudimental, Vibe Chemistry and Charlotte Plank that some are already calling out as “a perfect summer ear worm”. You can find the playlist here, together with archives of top music submissions to the station here,

So how do we curate a station playlist for an international city of over 880,000 and keep everybody happy? And how are we doing with that? We’d like to appeal to as broad and diverse an audience as we can but we don’t expect to please listeners 100% of the time with the music choices. So we’ve gone for a combination of:

  • fairly mainstream releases that are proving popular all over
  • acts that have performed or will be performing in the Netherlands
  • music artists based out of the Netherlands and Amsterdam
  • new indie talent
  • tracks the music controller (that’s me for now) likes.

By the way, our station playlist is completely independent of any music shared during our hosted radio shows (live broadcasts, re-runs or On Demand recordings). Those tracks are selected by individual show hosts and their guests. Our show host’s playlists can be pretty eclectic as they have free rein over the music they play on their own shows. My general guidance is to focus on music from the last ten years, with the occasional throwback track. It’s not strictly adhered to 😆.



🧋 🎵 Broadcast Club meetup!

Join us on Saturday 20 May from 10-11am for another edition of our Broadcast Club. We’ll be having a coffee and sharing suggestions at the Tennisclub Kattenlaan bar-cafe by the gate of Vondelpark. In this meetup we’ll focus on the radio station’s music playlist, and we’ll give demos of our 🙏 request-a-track function using our radio 📱 smartphone app.

RSVP and join our Meetup group, here.



Some picks from our recent radio shows in case you want to catch up …

Cauldron, stirring up musical theatre in Amsterdam

Some of the Cauldron team joined us on the radio to share how they are stirring up the magical musical theatre scene in Amsterdam, for amateurs and semi-pros. The team of Camille Gribbons, Sophia Frayle and Julian Ortega, talked about the journey from their first show in March 2022 to current and future productions, how they run their small arts organisation in Amsterdam, and how you can try musical theatre for yourself at one of their karaoke nights. ▶️ You can find the whole show and links here,

🎵 Music included tracks from their May production, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and a teaser track to reveal live on air … a show they will do in 2024. Warning: If you really don’t like musical theatre, don’t press play 😉.

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee runs 12-14 May and 19-21 May. (🎟️There’s a special offer here for the 20:00 performance on 13 May!)


▶️ On Demand radio shows

The full On Demand list, with all our Dam Daily shows and more, is available here. This week, Sara Mc brought arts blogger, Monika back in for a museums update, Chris Willis was back on Friday’s Dam Daily after a short break and lots more.

📰 Local news

Our latest 2-min Dam Daily ep

Park & Ride fees to rise steeply, fancy hiker cabins in Noord face opposition, and there’s a new kid’s trail in the Amsterdamse Bos. A short news roundup for Amsterdam from 9 May 2023.

BRAM RADIO shares local news on our weekday Dam Daily radio show and in our general playout, but we also publish a ‘2-minute Dam Daily’ of Amsterdam news stories, in a mini-podcast which you can subscribe to on Spotify etc. (Amsterdam news links are also updated regularly on our Pinterest boards, and shared on our website, here.)


Gigs to book before they sell out!

For the latest Gig List show, Cathy gave you the heads up on artists that are likely to sell out their Amsterdam concert dates pretty soon. You can listen back and check the link, here:



So thanks for reading this update from Broadcast Amsterdam! If you don’t already, subscribe to our newsletter for free to receive new posts by email and follow our work.

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