10 Jun Wednesday, June 5, 2019
his Week in The Lund Letter:
> Play the music listeners want
> Morning show strength
> The big prize image
> Queen Alexa…plus other Trends
Lund Programming Clinic: Play The Hits!
How many times have you heard this phrase from programmers? When it was first coined, there was no music scheduling software like Selector, Music Master or Power Gold. Rotating music was simply a “hot clock” and stacks of 45s.
Bill Stewart invented the Top 50 format in the 50s. Bill Drake honed it to the Top 40 in the 60s. In the 70s, Mike Joseph developed the “Hot Hits” format rotating the Top 5 songs every 45 minutes. “Play The Hits” became reality.
Listeners Want Favorite Songs
The #1 reason core listeners tune to a station is to hear their favorite songs. This is more important than hearing a variety of songs (biggest library). Yet many radio stations set up rules preventing the listeners’ favorite songs from being played. Research has shown listeners are not turned off by the repetition of their favorite songs; in fact, they want it. It’s the repetition of songs that are not their favorites that drives them away.
Watch Software “Rules”
Today’s programmers utilize “Rules” provided by the music scheduling software to guide rotations. But these Rules can actually make it difficult for the listeners to hear their favorite songs. When Rules prevent a favorite song from being scheduled, it shows up as an unscheduled position requiring manual scheduling. The tendency of programmers is to reduce the number of unscheduled positions by adding more songs which further dilutes the exposure of the listeners’ favorite songs. For example, the artist separation rule prevents the playing of the listeners’ favorite songs by a core artist in recurrent and gold categories when the core artist has a song in power rotation.
Program What Listeners Want
It’s easy to prove the premise that Rules are preventing the scheduling of the listeners’ favorite songs. Perform a Most Played analysis of your past music scheduling history. If it shows “one hit” wonders and secondary songs receiving more airplay than power rotation hits by core artists, you have rules preventing the proper exposure of the listeners’ favorite songs. Next perform an analysis of the unscheduled positions. Find out what rules are preventing the scheduling of the songs and then either “relax” the rules or make them “breakable.” The goal is programming to the audience and insuring they always hear their favorite hits.