Could Radio Stand to Play Multiple Singes By the Same Artist?
At Musicscribe's blog, where I also am a contributer, this discussion was brought up by David Bruce Murray. It is in relation to an artist releasing more than one single at a time. My response is this:
Interesting idea, David. The standard way of radio programming, and the way we program radio at Joy FM, allows for a very limited amount of slots for new singles.
Among that chunk of "currents" we have: a heavy, medium and light category.
As you can imagine, the heavy category is for a select few.
To keep a sound that is not focused too much on one artist, you'd have to limit an artist to one song in the heavy category.
If their second single was in a medium or light category at the same time, their heavy single would always usurp the right to be played first. Heavy is given priority. If the heavy song plays every 3 hours, more than likely, that artist would not be allowed to play much outside of that one song, without generating a rotation error.
If it did allow the second single to be play, it would negate any of that artist's classic songs from the past.
So... the focus would be 100% on the artist's two NEW songs with almost zero chance for that group's classic/recurrent/gold songs to play.
Hour 1: SONG A
Hour 2: SONG B
Hour 3: SONG A
Hour 4: SONG B
at this rate, we're playing that artist once per hour. Any more than that is probably oversaturated. Note that there is now no room for any other song by that artist. If you're a two-hit wonder, that's good. But if you've had huge success in the past, say goodbye to that brand recognition.
The risk there is this: we KNOW that Gold City's Midnight Cry was and still is a huge song. We're "not sure" about the next single they send out. *We* may like it, but who knows if will have the staying power of a Midnight Cry with the audience.
We'll take a chance on a good single to give it a shot to make an impact, but.......
Radio is going to bank on Midnight Cry as being a song we can count on getting a good reaction. Putting something else on with such exclusive airplay in place of Midnight Cry is a risk.
(having said all that, sometimes risks are worth taking!)
I still like your idea; it's thinking outside the box, outside of the current system, and asking the right questions. I think if radio thinks outside the box, too, we could find a way to adapt.