In years past, the cool songs were introduced to radio first. Stations and DJs would build the hype for the latest songs because they had discovered them first. When new songs were finally released for public purchase, everybody wanted their own copy on vinyl or 8 track tape. No live streaming, no mp3 downloads, no iTunes, no piracy…remember the “good ol’ days?” And the music artist truly benefited from the exposure that radio gave them.
In present times however, techonology rules. Whether legal or leaked, availability via the Internet is almost instantaneous. Radio has truly become the flea on the tip of the dog’s tail. Music followers have already heard the music, have purchased it (usually more than once), and don’t need the opinion of a radio station or DJ to know what they like to hear. Some have even said that radio has turned into a new form of piracy because, at least in the U.S., music artists are not paid for the spins of their music on radio airwaves.
Unfortunately, this shift in power from radio-humans to the world wide web, and the subsequent consolidation of music media companies still grappling for what’s left of the market share, has left us with a few myths about radio airplay:
Myth No. 1: DJs decide what is played on their station. Only in very rare cases of non-commercial or specialty radio do DJs decide what is played. The decision about what is played on commercial radio is made at the top of the management chain.
Myth No. 2: A great song will spread like wildfire to more stations. Nope. Behind the scenes, record company big bucks drive the marketing and promotion of a song. The songs you actually get to hear on the radio are the ones that beat out the other music artist’s marketing that week.
Myth No. 3: Request calls to the radio station will help. Not really…or maybe minimally. And stations know which calls are real and from their local listeners. “DJ’s can tell when a band’s supporters are overloading them with requests and this will not win friends or more airplay. Most stations will play music based on merit and not on requests.”
So why do I give a flip if Adam’s singles are played on the radio? Why do I even spend time requesting or listening to stations to check if his songs are being played? I don’t usually even listen to the radio!
This is possibly a complicated question, but underlying the whole analysis there is something about radio airplay that still signals “success” for the music artist…and everyone wants this for Adam. The reality is that we just don’t have nearly the control we think we have as fans.
O.K., so how is Adam doing on radio?
Thought you would never ask!
Things actually took a positive turn this past week. Data from the week of 11/13 was dismal. It didn’t appear that any stations had added “For Your Entertainment” or “Whataya Want From Me,” there was no new information on number of spins, and neither released single appeared on any of the “top” lists. But this week, “For Your Entertainment” is appearing as a Hot, New Adult Contemporary single on the Nielsen charts with: Total Plays: 224, Total Stations: 21, Total Adds: 1. Additionally, “For Your Entertainment” debuted on the MediaBase Hot Adult Contemporary chart at number 48 with 193 spins. Finally, “For Your Entertainment” debuted at number 84 on Billboard (see Adam on Billboard Chart here: http://www.billboard.com/charts#/charts/hot-100?begin=81&order=position) (Note that different radio stations across the country report in to various charting companies for monitoring…and there is likely overlapping and/or missing data here.)
I’m guessing that the American Music Award performance on Sunday night will make these charts explode next week!
Dana, Glamb #6