A&O&B has been ranking the most played songs at the end of every year and then ranking that list by how each one researched with listeners.
It is always instructive to understand the differences between what listeners rated highest compared to what radio played the most.
Here is another important use of those stats, as illustrated by the top testing song of each year since the turn of the century:
2013: Blake Shelton - Boys ‘Round Here
2012: Luke Bryan - I Don’t Want This Night to End
2011: Blake Shelton - God Gave Me You
2010: Miranda Lambert - The House That Built Me
2009: Billy Currington - People Are Crazy
2008: Kenny Chesney - Don’t Blink
2007: Carrie Underwood - Before He Cheats
2006: Rodney Atkins - If You’re Going Through Hell
2005: Toby Keith - As Good As I Once Was
2004: Tim McGraw - Live Like You Were Dying
2003: Dixie Chicks - Travelin’ Soldier
2002: Alan Jackson - Drive
2001: Diamond Rio - One More Day
2000: Faith Hill - Breathe
It's a reminder of how one only thing consistent about country fan music tastes is change.
Superstars today are a completely different list than just a few years ago. What seemed so new and edgy a few years ago now sounds very mainstream.
Hopefully, each year - at the very least, if not more often - you revisit the song types, sound coding, era codes, special artists and A-B-C artist codes in your music system.
If it has been awhile, here's a fast reminder that you may have all of your music categories completely up to date, but if your coding isn't, you're playing today's hits with yesterdays policies and priorities, making your sound target older than you believe it is!
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9 months ago