Radio Stuff. Country Radio music formatting and scheduling services. Occasional posts from my archives.

Category Archives: Music Radio

What Chart Do You Use?

A station owner recently asked for and received my Country library playlists; Recurrent, Gold, Classics and Legends. He’d had some uneasiness about many of the songs he was hearing on his station; some of them just didn’t seem ‘right’. As he began updating and adjusting the library and was immediately pleased with the result, he sent an eamail asking which chart I relied on. Here’s how I answered:

for tracking top 10 performance,
i use MediaBase now. switched to it about 5 years ago.
before that, Billboard. i used the R&R chart until it
folded.

again, this is only for noting Top 10 performance,
the confirming fact that a song should be a candidate for
inclusion in the Recurrent and Gold lists in the future.
‘candidate’ because not every top 10 record makes
the cut. i hone in on Top 5 for those lists as it is
more reliable.

charts for new songs judgement/consideration are
culled from many different lists. i see what’s on
billboard and mediabase. more importantly are
the digital charts. iTunes shows what’s being bought
Youtube views are an indicator of bubbling interest.
same goes for the Shazam chart.
and the Slacker EQ chart. this one measures how long
a person listened to a track, did she listen all the way to the
end of the song, did he add it to his ‘favorites’, did
they ‘share’ it on social media.

since its debut this summer the chart to watch is: buzzanglemusic.com
this one is a comprehensive aggregation of sales from
all platforms.

as my sage mentor told me way way way back: the two indicators
of a record’s programming value are 1st: requests 2nd sales
and the dollar spent to buy a song is the more important of the two.

the conundrum that we can’t solve is: WHO is buying the record.
Country is primarily and Adult 35+ format.
under 30 demos are far and away more likely to buy and share
music than past-30 adults are. so that gives the charts their
present skew towards BroCountry and the Country-rap glut.
much of this is “not Country” to more mature ears, those who
are much more likely to listen to broadcast radio than ipods.
so, a Country music director needs to be careful with
acts like Dan + Shay and new guy Kane Brown, both of whom are
doing fairly well on all charts now.

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Human Element Missing

One of the many mistakes corporate radio has made is the elimination of the live, human element from much of their broadcast day. And no, happy-talk voice-tracking is not a proper substitute. Most announcers lose something when they are voice tracking; the immediacy is gone, they’re talking “professionally” to a microphone rather than to theirContinue Reading

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BroCountry Peaked in ’14

Here’s a Nielsen graph tracking Country listening trends. Looks like BroCountry peaked in 2014. But, it didn’t do much for the Country’s historical prime demo, 25-54. This suggests to me the mix I’ve put together for the New Country Tradition format on target for today’s marketplace.

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Adding New Music – Early Lesson

In the early years of Top 40 Radio, song rotations and music formatting were way different than what we know today. It was common for a station to play the #1 song of the week every hour. WABC in New York, the biggest Rock ‘n Roll station in the whole wide world at the timeContinue Reading

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More About Move/TV Music Synergy

Following my post about playing Goldfinger a few minutes after the Bond movie let out so’s some folks would hear it on the way home and, we hoped, be getting an extra little shot of feel-good juice from our station. Here’s how such a thing can be done today. Take The Sopranos. Season Five, inContinue Reading

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Playing Goldfinger After The Movie Ends

Before I started my 7 to 10:30 pm airshift one Saturday night in early ’65, my program director, the guy who’d hired me told me to play “Goldfinger” by Shirley Bassey at a specific time that evening. This was a surprise because he was the same guy who’d already schooled me that successful radio stationsContinue Reading

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The New Country Tradition – My New Format

My hand-tooled Country music formatting and scheduling service is now available for broadcast stations in the U. S. Working with The Talent Farm syndication service, I provide my personally curated hour-by-hour music schedule to subscribing stations. The daily playlist is delivered directly into the station’s playout/automation using the services of Syncronicity. The full library isContinue Reading

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Drop the WWW, Please

Advertising copywriters, Please. The ten syllables in your ad copy are no longer relevant. “da bul you, da bul you, da bul you dot” …is pointless now. we don’t have to type it in to get anywhere anymore. Like for this site. No need to type www.stevewarren.net, just stevewarren.net gets you here. And program directorsContinue Reading

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The Importance of the DJ

Found in my archives, a short memo I posted in the control room in the summer of ’80.: Folks, A recent RadioIndex survey7 show the DJ is ver important to a listener’s enjoyment of his/her station. Well over half – 66.5% – said so. The jock is particularly important to 12-17 year old boys, 18-24Continue Reading

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Seven Songs

At any time, each listener has seven favorite new songs. Everything else in the library is just part of the landscape. Seven that s/he can name if asked the question: Can you name all of your favorite new songs? Seven is the most of any product that can be named according to the original “positioning”Continue Reading

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