#Shameless promotion for NCOE

Today via Twitter, @AdamLambert asked his followers to request his latest single at their local radio station:

Before I go on, I want to be sure everyone knows that I am not claiming to be an expert on this topic. In general, my “expertise” seems to lie in the realm of collecting useless information in my head and stringing it all together into cohesive topics and much of my background is fairly technical (which is why my blog posts are usually short and to the point.)

What does this all mean? I’m pretty good at connecting the dots. To this end I present the following dots I’ve run into on this topic over the years.

Dot number one: A dozen or so years ago I signed up with a survey company called Luth Research. They call me occasionally to see if I qualify for a paid research study. If I qualify I go to their office, discuss a topic, they record it and I walk out with money (usually betweeen $65 and $200). A couple of times a year I get called to do radio survey. As I usually avoid top 40 radio like the plague I’ve never qualified for a music listening survey.

Dot number two: On August 26, 2010 I listened to a podcast by Juneau & Xena’s Salon with guest Radio DJ Chloe. She’s a DJ (if I remember right she works for a radio station in Long Island NY) and she talked about her experience DJ’ing for a Top 40 radio station. You can listen to the podcast here (the topical discussion starts at about 38 to 40 minutes into it):

Listen to internet radio with Juneau Xena on Blog Talk Radio

What I got out of the broadcast was that DJ’s have absolutely no control over what they play. She comes in to do her shift and she is presented with a list of music that she will play and when she will play it. She has very little to no lee-way to play things that are not included on the list. She even mentions at about 45 minutes in that calling in a request that is not on the pre-aproved list does no good.

Dot number three: I am currently looking for a job and regularly look at several different sections on the job listing section of Craig’s List. One section I recently started trolling is the “Etc.” section. Marketing companies advertise different research groups there and I often see one for radio stations and music such as the following:

Help your local radio station (San Diego)

Harker Research is seeking individuals in the San Diego area to join the Music Listening Panel. Your local radio stations want your opinions on what songs YOU want to hear.
As part of the Music Listening Panel, we will contact you once per month inviting you to take a 5 minute survey rating music. For each survey you take, you will earn survey points towards gift cards from your choice of national retailers. If you are interested in learning more about the panel please click the link to start rating music and earning points:

My conclusion: Although I’m sure calling in to request a song isn’t a complete waste of time, in general corporate run radio stations pick their songs based on the results of these types of polls.

If you really, want to make a difference get involved with the polling process. Find out what company the radio stations in your area hire to do the demographic testing. In San Diego (my market) I often get calls from Luth Research and they have offices in other major cities as well. Call the research company and tell them you want to be on their Focus Group call list. You might have to take time to fill out a survey over the phone or online so they can get your demographics so they can start calling you. Here is Luth Research’s online survey arm. I think it might cover parts of the country where they don’t have a physical presence.

If you can’t find a local company that is doing this type of polling, try looking on your local Craig’s List “Etc.” job section for these types of one-time paid surveys.

The down side is that once you sign up to do surveys these companies might start calling you for other types of surveys (I’ve done everything from taste testing Subway Sandwiches to discussing various washing machine options), but the up side is that if you qualify for a study you get paid. I do it all the time and make at least a couple hundred extra dollars a year doing it.

One last thing. You should be aware that all of these surveys are run by demographics. You must fit a certain demographic to “qualify” for the study. Based on how the survey I found in Craig’s List panned out,  it *seemed* that since I said I was “over 42” I didn’t qualify. Take what you will from that.

The bottom line is from what I can tell radio stations are not run by DJ’s any more. They don’t get to pick out the songs they play. They are given a playlist and told what to play and when to play it. The lists are created using the above types of surveys. Get involved with the survey process to make a real difference.

About Lila Hayes Zubik

I keep the site running and occasionally add an informational post. I'm a mom, a computer geek, an Adam Lambert nut and I love good design of any kind. My music taste is eclectic, but I'm particular in my diversity. You can reach me on twitter! @lliillaa


  1. Carol, Glamb #2 says:

    Great job Lila! So topical and relevant. I hope the readers take this and run with it. I also hope Adam takes notice of it too! 🙂

  2. There was a thing on the Graham Norton show that had Cheryl and Katy Perry. The comedian, explained how he does a “twitter bomb” (Im a total noob at twitter) Basically he told all his followers to tweet to I think.. Nachos? (they basically get one tweet a week) – but to do it blind, like he didnt put them up to it.

    They buried this company in nutty tweets all day – the excerpts on You Tube

    So how about we do that? The idea I believe is you dont retweet, you just flat out bombard them

  3. I so want to help. I repeatedly request Adam’s music on station’s request line. One of them KISS FM even has Adam’s picture associated with I Heart Radio, but they do not play him or even acknowledge he exists. I am in Austin, Texas. If anyone has any ideas on specifics I can do, please post.

    • Lila - Glamb #3 says:

      Ummm. The entire article was full of instructions on what you can do. Please let me know what was unclear so I can clear it up.

      • MomTerryLady says:

        She is asking for “specifics” on who to contact in her area from someone who may have that information already. The patronizing is neither kind nor helpful.

  4. Madeline says:

    Thanks, Carol, for this information. Adam knows that this is one of the obstacles he must overcome. If you listen to some of his interviews, he mentions the “business” of music. This is what he has come to learn in the last few years. So far, I have never heard any of his music here in AZ. In fact when he was here for the first tour, I approached the DJs for the day and asked them about Adam’s songs. Neither of them could recall any song, yet they were out there promoting the concert. Nothing makes any difference to these people except money and “fitting in.”
    I really appreciate your efforts here to clear things up and help people not to be frustrated. Hope to see you at Fantasy Springs.

    • Thanks Madeline but I can’t take any credit for this, it was all Lila. If you’ll notice at the end of each article is the name of the author who wrote it. Lila is really strong on the technical issues and she gets to the heart of the matter quickly.

  5. We have to do something. How does a record reach #1 and not get played on the radio…. something is very very wrong…. I guess the teen girls are running the show

  6. Thanks for all of the info. Sure would love to follow through with Adm’s wishes, not sure that this is possible from what you have said. I trust what you have us.

  7. glamity58 says:

    I’ve tried so hard and it gets frustrating. I will keep trying, but I think you are correct. We need to go to the corporations or get on survey groups. I also send messages to the talk shows to see if they might be willing to talk about his Queen gigs and even mention his name. I am deeply disappointed in the music world. I really need a plan of attack and I just don’t know where to start.

    • I agree with all of you & glamity58!! I tried to tear into this with blood in my eye, BUT the DJ’s get VERY rude and mad at me, (they recognize my voice) and at Adam! Remember last time Adam had to tell us to back off, as the Radio Stations REALLY started black balling all of us—including poor innocent Adam? THERE SURE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE MUSIC SYSTEM HERE IN AMERICA!!! I’M JUUUST FURIOUS!!! IN OTHER COUNTRIES THEY RESPECT TALENT LIKE ADAM, MICHAEL JACKSON, ELTON JOHN —–AMERICA IS JUST A BUNCH OF LEMMINGS!!! GRRRRRR

  8. Sandra, I couldn’t have said it better. Even all the entertainment and MUSIC magazines don’t ever have but maybe a small picture or note about Adam! This REALLY SUCKS THE BIG ONE, (no pun intended) !!!!! When are these nurds going to stop playing all the ‘tween stuff and get around to playing what WE really want to hear???????????? We love Adam 4-ever & a day, Rita Norton & Donna Levi, P.S. Thanks Carol, for all you do to keep us informed, we love you too!!!!!!!!!!

  9. BarbaraBelle says:

    This may apply in the US but definitely not so in my country. I always vote for Adam’s songs on their site daily and they will send me an automated email, telling me to listen in on what time for that day. And they have never failed to play the song I voted! Sometimes, I would tweet them online and they would play my song of choice immediately, sometimes even 2 different songs by Adam. I love my radio station! I’ll share this on twitter and hopefully, if everyone pitch it, it may help to get radio stations to play Adam’s songs.

    • Lila - Glamb #3 says:

      That sound fabulous! What country are you in?

      I’m not saying that calling and online voting etc doesn’t help get his name out there, but that in the US the play lists on corporately owned radio stations are run by polls.

  10. I think the polls are really good. BUT!!!! it does absolutely NO GOOD when glamberts rate Adam the highest and everyone else the lowest. Those are thrown out right away (as they should). You have to be neutral and not stand out when you do these polls.

    Also, don’t sign up for the polls and just do polls when Adam is on there. Don’t stick out.

    Just trying to be helpful. I share the above information as I learned from different fans.

  11. I was out last week for girls nite out & suddenly I heard NCOE over the PA. Asked the waitress if it was a CD – she said it was thru Serius radio. I don’t have access to that & I don’t know what station in my area plays his music. Is it considered pop? I’ve heard WWFM in grocery stores last year, but not often.

  12. I recently received a call which was a radio survey. While I usually don’t have the time or really the desire to participate in phone surveys, when I heard it was radio I decided to do it, so I could tell the caller that I wanted more Adam Lambert. Unfortunately, even though I tried, she just kept repeating the generic questions, and would not let me answer with any specific answers. It was just about what stations I listen to, how many hours a day, etc. It was very frustrating.

    On a different note, I belong to New York Sports Club and whoever chooses their music must be an Adam Lambert fan because whenever I’m there, any day or time, an Adam song is usually played!

    • I heard NCOE in Macy’s last week. It made me so happy i wanted to go buy something I didn’t need

  13. Something is up with NCOE. Adam tweeted and now my local station @947freshfm in dc. started spinning it 9 x yesterday. I think he’s trying to say that perhaps its had some positive feedback and now is the time to push. Calling the stations can’t hurt. The DJ are very nice and it keeps Adams name out there. I also believe we need to sign up and rate in the radio surveys like Sirius and top 40 rate the music. I do lowball my age a little though. :).

  14. shirley caissie says:

    I live in Ontario Canada and I wasn’t hearing Adam’s song on my local radio station. I requested it 3 times and the program director emailed me that he wasn’t picking up the song as sales were not that great. I thanked him for his reply and said I couldn’t believe this was so. he was no 1 on billboard and his video is playing on 2 of our much music station playlists. He said it was sales. But the good news is, within a week his song is playing every day 2 or 3 times a day now!!! don’t know what changed but I am glad it did!

  15. Wow thats just crazy thanks for all the info. It all makes sense to me now as to why my numberous texts and phone call to my local radio station have been ignored. Makes me wonder now who is actually participating in these surveys. Maybe they are being paid by someone to take the them and give certain artists names…it just doesn’t seem like a fare process. All I know is that Trespassing has many songs way better than what they are playing on the radio today! Lets hope and pray for Adam so we can get NCOE heard..maybe that will work! Have fun at the upcoming concerts ladies!! Unfortunately I was not able to make the trip to Cali but will look forward to seeing the videos 🙂

  16. The bottom line is, Adam burned himself. His first big deal after AI and he ticked a LOT of people off.

    For someone so smart, he can sure be dumb (before you all hit reply and start yelling it me, please read)

    I was a huge Queen fan, I was at Live Aid in Wembly stadium in 1985. No one knew Freddie was gay. What counted was that before he died, he “paid his dues” He was one hell of a showman, who discovered “other” things and Opera later in his life. But he always evaded the question, “Are you gay? by saying “arn’t we all gay at times?”

    Adam is slowly mending fences. Maybe actually answering the Homosexual question right after AI wasn’t the smartest thing in the world – I understand why he did, BUT he automatically gained the label “The Gay singer, Adam Lambert”

    Perhaps a Freddie approach and less finger in the beginning would have opened more doors, and made getting played a whole lot easier.

    America isn’t ready for an openly gay successful singer. Its a huge double standard, if he was female, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. Facts are facts, most DJ’s and deciding People in Radio stations are male, and dont like gay men. Show them a lesbian female and they will play her songs , np!

    Hee needs recognition from his peers, other singers – have people guest, guest with others.

    After all the burnt bridges, he needs to do a bit of building. Queen went quite a way with that, but still BBC Radio One isn’t playing him (believe me – I have spammed here and there.

  17. Gwendolyn Mills says:

    So informative and yet so disheartening. I have requested locally here in KY — as well as contacting Ryan Seacrest and Jim Shearer (VH1) but I’m still not hearing the CD. Let’s hope things change in the next few weeks, now that he’s back in the US again.It’s frustrating that we all feel the same way but we don’t have much recourse in the matter. I love the website and all the extra info it provides to Glamberts everywhere. Just one question that you ( or someone) may be able to answer. Now that Adam has changed some of his management, what is the address for sending him a gift or a letter? Anyone know for certain? Thanks for everything!!

  18. KO's smiling says:

    My theory: His music won’t be played until he does more self-promotion at each individual radio station. He’s been too busy until now with the Queen gig, but we can expect some radio interviews soon, I’m sure. Then we’ll get to hear his new stuff on the radio!

    • Mary at the Lake says:

      Adam did a TON of self promo at radio stations earlier this year..He worked his ass off. For instance in Portland OR, at the Bing Lounge at the end of March (I was there…and this is also where he introduced and sang Never Close Our Eyes publicly for the first time, to rave reviews) …And yet these stations do not play his music. The DJ we spoke with at the Bing Lounge said (privately) that he cannot play the music unless approved by the station, even tho he loves the songs…And he blamed “radio politics”. As Lila says, the DJ’s are not in charge of the playlists. At another radio promo, this time in Seattle, the DJ responded when asked why no play for Better Than I Know Myself “It doesn’t fit our demographic” REALLY!!?? …Another close friend told me that she asked a DJ why they don’t play NCOE, and he said “Because we don’t get enough requests…” Although, it seems to me if they would PLAY the music, they just might get requests….A NOVEL concept to be sure…(Grumble, grumble…)

      SO, all that said, it makes a LOT of sense to give some serious consideration to what Lila has presented here…Let’s get smart and play radio’s little game and do this for Adam!!! His music needs to be HEARD, and by whatever means it takes to accomplish it….

      And thanks Lila for the insightful article…….

      AKA @glitzylady