WHAT is VUHAUS?
VuHaus (pronounced “view house”) is a non-profit, non-commercial organization comprised of public media’s leading Music Discovery radio stations. The human-curated, state of the art music discovery video platform features performances from the studios and events of the participating stations, and is available via mobile and ...
It’s fairly easy to find cool new things from beloved artists, if you know where to look. When kd lang, Niko Case, and Laura Veirs premiered their new collaborative project, for example, there was one place to hear it first. When Ray LaMontagne wanted to give back to his fans and supporters by playing his album in full right before its release, you could only find it one place on the web.
That place is VuHaus, the platform that gathers the best in video from tastemaker public radio stations around America.
Though its premieres and exclusive live streams draw people to the site, VuHaus’s approach to curation ensures that viewer exploration doesn’t stop with the familiar. It carefully curates videos to enable music discovery. Built to boost emerging artists and give fans a fresh look at beloved musicians, VuHaus’s curation approach follows in the footsteps of its public media creators.
Mark Abuzzahab, Program Director at VuHaus, lives and breathes the open-ended ethos of public radio’s musical eclecticism in his work. His team creates playlists of videos that are genre-agnostic, the kind of operation that demands the human touch. “We want you to go from Beck to Disclosure, and enjoy the experience,” Abuzzahab says. “It’s not something an algorithm can do consistently.”
The curation process is human driven at all points. There are no strange suggestions based on past listening, no leaps of machine learning that lead to out-there outbursts or repetitive tracks.
Stations pick which artists to invite, how to capture their performances, and what videos to upload to the VuHaus platform. Many sessions happen in the stations’ studios, but others are shot in creative locales that add serious visual appeal. This may mean Mudhoney playing a dizzying set on top of the Space Needle, or musicians jamming in a canoe in the middle of a Texas lake or in the resonant ruin of a retired power station.
No matter who’s playing where, one thing matters: “I’m looking at quality,” states Abuzzahab. “If there’s a band that has a buzz, I want to feature that. But I’m not programming just for clicks.”
After it’s uploaded to the platform, the VuHaus team works with the video, tagging related artists on VuHaus, creating thematic playlists, and juxtaposing big names and emerging artists, as well as genres and sounds. “If you watch a performance on VuHaus, it will suggest artists based on that artist. We think these suggestions are better done by humans,” says Abuzzahab.
These suggestions are designed to encourage branching out to make new connections, not circling around the same few names or sounds. “For example, KEXP in Seattle has gone to Iceland to film bands at a big fest there. It would be silly to link them all to the other Icelandic bands,” Abuzzahab explains. “You have to watch and figure out what is similar, even if it’s a bit of a stretch, based on things you think the music might have in common with other music. As new material comes onto VuHaus, the suggestions are constantly updated.”
The videos capture the kind of moment only to be found on public radio, like when a certain Star Trek veteran made a cameo in a surf rock band’s session. “There is a great session with Taco Cat, who were doing a video at KEXP,” recalls Abuzzahab. “George Takei happened to be in the studio for an interview, and he liked the band so much he jumped in and started doing this fun, goofy dance.” Only on public radio, and visible only on VuHaus.
VuHaus (pronounced “view house”) is a non-profit, non-commercial organization comprised of public media’s leading Music Discovery radio stations. The human-curated, state of the art music discovery video platform features performances from the studios and events of the participating stations, and is available via mobile and web.
The VuHaus stations film local, emerging and established artists playing live music in their studios, on location, and in intimate settings, with one-of- a-kind interviews, and live performance streams. VuHaus curates this exclusive content providing a single platform for music discovery in an ever-expanding video collection from America’s most vibrant music scenes.
The VuHaus network includes WFUV in New York City, KCRW in Los Angeles, WXPN in Philadelphia, KUTX in Austin, KTBG The Bridge in Kansas City, KEXP in Seattle, KXT in Dallas/Ft. Worth, opbmusic in Portland, Mountain Stage in West Virginia, KDHX in St. Louis and Live from the Fort in Vermont. VuHaus received initial funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and is operated by its founding partner Public Media Company, a national non-profit organization focused on maximizing the impact of public media through innovation and strategic partnerships.