Radio K tunes played in American Eagle stores

American Eagle Outfitters approached Radio K to create an 80-song playlist for their stores.

mackenzie collins

Radio K listeners donâÄôt have to turn on their radio to hear their favorite songs âÄî they can just step into American Eagle stores nationwide. In November, American Eagle Outfitters Inc. approached the University of MinnesotaâÄôs radio station to create an 80-song playlist unique to the stationâÄôs independent music style to play in stores from Feb. 19 to March 15, station manager Sara Miller said. Miller said she was surprised and honored that the company showed interest in the stationâÄôs music styling. âÄúWe are recognized nationwide as one of the best âÄî if not the best âÄî student-run radio stations in the nation,âÄù Miller said. âÄúWeâÄôve gotten a number of awards so that people have taken notice of what we are doing, which is really cool because it gives the University of Minnesota a lot of exposure.âÄù A majority of the daunting task of creating the playlist was given to the stationâÄôs former music director, Jake Knight. The marketing team, station manager and Knight had about a week to put the list together, Knight said. Knight said he spent about three hours assembling the playlist, which ranges from songs by Ratatat to P.O.S. Minneapolis band Tapes âÄòn Tapes, is also featured on the playlist with their song âÄúHang Them All.âÄù The groupâÄôs lead vocalist and guitarist, Josh Grier, said that while the more mainstream location of American Eagle Outfitters isnâÄôt the first place he would imagine his groupâÄôs indie sounds to be, the free publicity was an amazing opportunity. âÄúUnless, somehow, someone is using one of our songs to promote something that was strongly against one of our base moral values, itâÄôs getting our music out there,âÄù Grier said. âÄúPeople donâÄôt just listen to music on the radio. ItâÄôs everywhere you go, and itâÄôs a good thing.âÄù American Eagle also asked the station to record short breaks that drop every five minutes between songs, as you would hear from a disc jockey on a radio station, telling the shoppers they are listening to Radio K from the University of Minnesota. The breaks also tell listeners they can check out the playlist online at Radio KâÄôs Web site. The station wonâÄôt receive any money for its efforts, but the unique marketing opportunity it provides is priceless, Miller said. And while the station just added a live playlist and history of songs to its site, Miller thinks the stationâÄôs Web site has reaped the benefits from the American Eagle exposure. âÄúOur daily rates of Web traffic have doubled in the last week,âÄù Miller said Thursday. The retailerâÄôs interest not only exposed the station to new listeners all over the country but also opened shoppersâÄô ears to local bands. One of those bands, Solid Gold, is featured on the playlist with their song âÄúArmoured Cars.âÄù The groupâÄôs vocalist, Zach Coulter, said he hasnâÄôt bought a piece of new clothing in five or six years, let alone stepped into American Eagle. But Coulter said he was thrilled they were getting the exposure and giving shoppers something different to listen to. âÄúA lot of music nowadays, it has become elevator music in some places, because a lot of the top 40 blends together,âÄù Coulter said. âÄúAnd sometimes that spirit of the music is lost, and some people recognize and care a lot, but some people donâÄôt really notice.âÄù