Why Radio Plays The Same Songs Over and Over
You may know of Pat Holiday's YouTube channel. He's a veteran program director from my generation now doing a valuable job teaching things we all used to learn by doing. From its invention in the 50's to the end of the century, radio guys learned the craft by working with groups of guys (mostly guys) who all wanted to do the same thing; to live and work in the radio biz. To get paid to play records.
From the time I got into this biz myself (the middle '60s, children) until the end of the decade, radio programming continued improving. Small steps, yes. But it got better. The announcers got better. The formatting became much more strategic. Then, in 1996 it all changed for American radio. Congress did it's thing and gave the licenses to corporations. Now, Pop music radio has always
played "the same songs over and over"; for some its a few hundred songs, for other stations its a few thousand. We learned early on: if we don't
play the hits over and over, we'll lose the audience to the station that is! The principle problem isn't so much playing a song too much as having it play at the same time of day today as it played yesterday.
That's why I'm always telling M1 folks; Keep your eye on the Average Turnover chart for each category. Know when and where the repeats are going to fall.
So, back to Pat's channel. He's just posted this really good video about why radio plays the same songs over and over
. It was made not by a radio guy. It's the work of a radio fan who is just disappointed in what he hears now and started investigating why it is the way it is. The fine little essay runs about 10 minutes. You need to see it.