Stepping down from his tower of solitude to address the unwashed masses this week, Big Radio have explained just why it is that stations insist on flogging the same tracks dozens of times a week. Though this is sure to bring very little solace to the local band that never got added…
Speaking to News.com.au, Southern Cross Austereo’s Head of Content Craig Bruce says “very few people listen to their favourite station all day,” meaning that plenty of fans will miss their jam.
To combat this heinous situation, radio stations like 2Day FM will add tracks to high rotation to ensure “you’re never far away from the biggest hit of the moment”, says Bruce.
He also sheds light on the delicate dance that is the relationship between record labels and radio stations. The two parties are deeply in cahoots resulting in constant communication:
“We then get together at least a couple of times a week to discuss these new songs. Through consensus, (if the content director and music director love the song and it fits the sound of the station) we then decide how often we should play it.”
So your band might have the record label hook up but at the end of the day your radio exposure comes down to how popular your label thinks your song will be. Tunes that have proven to be favourable amongst the demographic will be rotated every couple of hours, with new songs being rotated on a two or three hour basis.
As Bruce explains, “familiarity is the first step to a song becoming liked,” which means this selection process is instrumental in kick-starting the prevalence of a song already earmarked for popularity, taking it “from being unfamiliar to being liked and then loved”.
This process is not without its drawbacks though. Bruce says that “repetition is the Achilles heel of the format” though it doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon.
“It’s also the reason why stations like 2Day FM have the highest cumulative audiences. Lots of people come to us expecting to hear their favourite songs and our rotations mean we can deliver on their expectations.”