Thursday, April 17, 2014

Talking About The Music

Here I get to listen to a lot of radio.  There are personalities to coach, competition to keep up with and stations to monitor no matter if the day is spent in the office or on the road.  One thing that often stands out in the content is the lack of real interaction with the music.

Listen to an average hour and you probably get only a few songs even identified. Many stations have dropped backsells before spots and much of the billboarding is for features, contests, traffic and other station stuff. Other times we have lots of social media interaction with pushes to posts and videos. Then there's the phones with 'topics of the day' and impossible questions.

The Air teams have also been on a pretty strict diet.  The pressure of PPM has forced many to trim the breaks as much as possible.  Even in the non-PPM world the jock trend is to keep it very quick.  There's always time for an endorsement or for pushing a remote at the car dealer, or for sales needs - how about some time for the music?

It also doesn't help that the air staff isn't 'spinning the discs' anymore and they have no say in what music is played.   Many years ago the Air Staff HAD to be into the music - now they may be on 3 different stations in a day with 3 different formats.

All of the reasons here have valid points but the reality is that we don't interweave the content of the stations with the music base as much as we used to.  We also wonder about the erosion of our media's music importance.   Perhaps the fact that we have pushed the music away from our non music content is a reason that in Rock and Pop the audience is catching their music info and exposure on You Tube, in Blogs, download sites, and from tons of other on-line services.

Notice that I didn't include Country above.  Listen there and you hear all about the artists.  The air staffs id more of the music and interact with it every hour.  The artists are often stopping by the studios when on tour and they keep radio in the loop on their activities.  In CHR and Rock often the only time we have a lot on an artists is when they are in trouble (like Justin Bieber) or if they become a social media event (like the recent rumors about AC-DC).

Take a listen to your content - are you embracing the music?