Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Sound Codes And Perceived Variety

Ask country music radio listeners why they prefer the format over CHR, hot or soft a/c, adult hits, oldies, easy listening and their other format options and one word recurs - "variety."

A&O has been learning more about this issue of "music variety" once again in our just-completed "Road Map '07" national perceptual study. We wanted to learn what it was that country fans heard when they were listening to a station they perceived played a "good variety."

The answer, it is clear, is not radically increasing the size of your record library. Rather, it involves carefully mixing the many styles, moods, textures and types of music country stations play -- to avoid playing too many in a row of any one particular "sound."

Set up "sound codes" that go beyond merely prohibiting two of any style from playing back-to-back. Use song types. Era codes. Artist (superstar, B or C act) coding. (for more specifics on every song A&O recommends click on Mark Patric's BLOG for Music Directors).

Balance all of these things so you never play two of the same things in a row and spread out similar genres as widely as your policies, priorities, category and library size permit.

Decide how many songs per hour of each type "fits" for your sta­tion, as well as which kinds may play adjacent to which other types.

Call on Mike or me to help you implement these policies in your music system.

No comments: