Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Data

18 = the average number of weeks the top ten chart songs has been played on country radio this week.
16.8 = the average number of weeks the number 11 through 20 songs has been played this week.
17.3 = the average number of weeks the number 21 through 30 charting songs has been played this week.
9.5 = the average number of weeks the number 31 through 40 songs on the chart has been played this week.

How many more weeks should radio keep playing songs ranking between 21 and 30 before recognizing that they won't go any higher on the national charts, making room for faster-growing songs?

4 comments:

www.upyourratings.com said...

So, I’m thinking that this is the approach:

1. Start with the Powers, and deal with the entire category. Look at the AVERAGE burn over the entire category. And before you do anything else, go back over the past 2-3 years and see what the range of category burn has been. And look at what the average burn has been for songs during the first 8 weeks in Power. If there is a difference, use the lower figure that you’ll find in the first 8 weeks. If that number is still very high, perhaps you’ve been managing Powers badly for a long time.
2. You need the category to be the best music, but not communicate “yesterday”. The recurrents can do that. It is a balancing act. So when you see the burn in Powers move up past the average you’ve decided to use as a trigger, you simply must force out the weakest Power. By weakest, I mean a song with high burn and the least amount of favorites to balance that burn. Even if no single song has reached a very high burn level, a Power category with a higher than normal average level of burn will make the station sound far less “now” and interesting.
3. The songs moving up have two scores you should watch. The first is the popularity index. Different companies use different methodologies, but in the end it boils down to the positive energy is there for this song. The second score is the “potential” or “breakout”. This is simply the popularity index calculated only on those people who are familiar with the song. We learned many years ago that the relationship of potential to popularity will usually tell us when to move up or give up on a song.
4. Every song will start out with a potential score that is higher than the popularity score. Over time the spread will shrink. For new music, you simply expect the potential score to move up each week until it shows real strength. If and when that growth stalls or fails, the song is over. Otherwise, the familiarity eventually will be at a point to support a medium rotation.
5. In the secondary/B category, we’re allowing the song – which has shown good potential – to mature. Not all will reach Power status. As the familiarity comes up, the gap between potential and popularity will shrink. At some point, the spread will become fairly small. For a scale like the one I use (and CMM and many others), a spread of less than 10% pretty much signals a peak. If a song hasn’t “come through” by then, it is usually time to accept that it had a nice run and made some people happy (or else the potential score wouldn’t have allowed it to move out of the new music category). But now, it is time to let it go.
6. A real strength of call out is the ability to notice if and when songs reach certain points in their lifecycle. To recap: New music needs to establish an increasing potential score. Once the familiarity is fairly high (75%+) you can safely move it to a real rotation. Now we watch the potential/popularity gap. And when that stalls or the scores drop, we’re done, or we’re in Power. The average burn level of Powers must be monitored and managed. It isn’t enough to deal with each song individually.
7. By managing the burn of the Power category as described above and watching the shifting balance of unfamiliarity/popularity/potential scores in the music research, we should be able to avoid big playlist logjams while not accidently throwing out perfectly good hits that simply need a bit more time.

What do you think?

Very best regards,

Steve

royce.risser@umusic.com said...

The songs that move fast through the system are primarily from a handful of Superstars and the rest typically move very slow...as you already know.

However, historically, a lot of the really slow moving songs wind up being the biggest hits in the format every year...

If this logic prevailed...so far this year.... radio would've very likely dropped...

James Otto "Just Got Started Loving You"
Jamey Johnson " In Color"
Gary Allan "Watching Airplanes"
Luke Bryan "All My Friends Say"
Lady Antebellum "Love Don't Live Here"
Chuck Wicks "Stealing Cinderella"
Chris Cagle "What Kinda Gone"
Keith Anderson "I Still Miss You"
Lost Trailers "Holla Back"

Off the Top of My Head...other Songs in the past we would've missed. I'm sure there are many, many more.

Josh Turner " Long Black Train" and "Your Man"
Sugarland "Baby Girl"
Billy Currington " Good Directions" and "Must Be Doing Something Right"
Rodney Atkins "If You're Going Through Hell" and "Watching You"
Montgomery Gentry " Lucky Man"

Feels like we are on a course to run the well dry with Flatts, Chesney, Tim McGraw , Toby Keith, Sugarland, Paisley and Swift....

These artists move through the system very fast in relation to all the others....most of the time...blowing by the lesser and making them look weak.

How will we break any new artists if we let drop those songs for those reasons?

Anonymous said...

Is this a trick question? Shouldn't the correct answer be based on how many times the average listener has heard the song? In order to become familiar with a song, let's say the average person would have to hear the song six times (six is just a random number). How many spins would it take for my P1s and P2s to hear that song six times? Is a song stuck in the bottom half of the Top 40 because of the quality of the song or is it stuck there because of the quantity of spins? (There is also the issue of the quality of the spins the song received... were they prime time or fringe rotation slots?)

Anonymous said...

I believe the "number of weeks" is a bit of a red herring. In my opinion, the answer should be based on how many times the average listener has heard the song? In order to become familiar with a song, let's say the average person would have to hear the song six times (six is just a random number). How many spins would it take for my P1s and P2s to hear that song six times? Is a song stuck in the bottom half of the Top 40 because of the quality of the song or is it stuck there because of the quantity of spins? (There is also the issue of the quality of the spins the song received... were they prime time or fringe rotation slots?) Just my two cents worth from Winnipeg.