iSA Radio was established in 2016 by Joe Ward as an online radio station exclusively programming music by South Australian artists. Joe created the website platform, the mobile app, and some friends joined him on a team to bring iSA Radio to life.
The station had its own small recording studio in suburban Adelaide (South Australia) and invited local artists for recording sessions that were filmed and distributed online through social media. iSA Radio created a weekly ‘Top 10’ chart voted by the public on its website. They also ran ‘Headstart’ sessions opening up their studio to help emerging artists by recording their music.
Over time the team found that there were far more people watching the video content than listening to the audio only radio stream. Even though the video content was engaging new viewers, they were mostly listening via free audio streaming platforms so the increased exposure was doing very little financially for the artists. It was at this stage that iSA Radio went off the internet airwaves in May 2017.
The iSA Radio experience turned out to be a proof of concept that led into NETGIGS. It showed the demand for high quality music videos of bands/solo artists streamed on demand over the internet. This led Joe to research how the music industry works, to develop a business case for NETGIGS that not only supported artists but was sustainable as well.