The first all-digital radio station in Boston is set to launch in April. Danielle Johnson has been knocking on doors of commercial terrestrial radio stations in Boston for years with no success, so she decided to start SPARK FM to serve the Urban and Caribbean community in Beantown.
“Radio has always been my passion, it’s something I always liked. I realized that the Urban voice in Boston was unheard and not very represented by the bigger-name stations. They aren’t very knowledgeable of what’s going on in the community. I want to fill the void.”
The music will be eclectic, as will be the personalities. Johnson not only wants to offer entertainment, but also empowerment. “SPARK is also going to be a resource. There are plenty of resources that I have discovered around the city that are available but not known to the Urban community. I want the station to be able to activate the community.”
There is a Kickstarter campaign underway to raise money for equipment. “Since we are digital we already have the means to start streaming, but we want to get the equipment so people can start coming into the station and doing their shows at one centralized location.” Plans are to start off in a business incubator facility in Brockton; but Johnson knows the value of being in Boston with a professional brick & mortar facility. She has among her volunteers real estate professionals looking for a permanent location for the station.
At the moment everyone is a volunteer, but she is working on a revenue stream to pay everyone and to keep the lights on. “Were going old-school advertising. Also sponsoring events and concerts. We are going to have an e-commerce store for our branded merchandise. We are trying to get back to the foundation of what radio really was but on a digital level.”