Twice a year, before the CMA show and the ACM show, he reaches out and asks for opinions of the industry. This week he's asked "what you think of where we are right now or where you think that we're headed.."
One of country's greatest strengths remains more true than ever - the fact that older listeners whose tastes in music on radio otherwise are all songs from their youth love both the newest music and also their all time favorites. As always, the young side of our target isn't as fond of the country hits from much longer than 3-5 years ago. And, when those moons align - as they have done for the last two years - we get an exciting new group of superstars which drives growth. Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown Band, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Taylor Swift and Luke Brian, for example, are more than enough to build a new format on, while some very savvy heritage superstars like Brad Paisley, Toby Keith and Tim McGraw have found songs that have kept them in the mix as well. Boom years used to last five to seven years, but everything moves so fast in this culture, the question now is how long will this last? Will it be like the early 1990's boom? Or, more like the brief one in 2006, which peaked in just over one year? Thanks to the fact that all of our "new big seven" stars are all doing exceedingly well in touring, as are many if the historical stars, I am optimistic that as long as we don't push too much mediocre music at listeners, we're going to have a good run, driven this time by the emergence of Generation Y, the largest generation in American history, whose values are going to drive everything for the next decade or so. If you don't understand those values, it is going to pass you by. To learn about them, simply listen to the lyrics of the hits that test well with target listeners.
He promises to weave these thoughts in with all the others this coming Friday. I can't wait to see the tapestry containing many threads that everyone else is thinking!