Saturday, April 12, 2008

One Positive Aspect of HD Radio: Whether your for it or against it, there's one aspect of HD Radio that will ultimately benefit our industry. Experimentation. It's been lacking for a long time. Now, with HD, we can try new things. Witness the 24 Hour Psychic channel programmed by WYCD PD Tim Roberts. I think they may have something.

What's on YOUR drawing board? What fantasy format have you always wanted to try? Personally, I'd like to see more HD stations attempting to reach teens who are increasingly becoming disenfranchised with radio. The only hitch is that we'll need to make the radios affordable and cool. No small challenge.

Open Letter To Nashville Songwriters and Producers: Music sales are down. Less money is being made. I will let others hypothesize about how the buying habits of the music consumer are changing. It's convenient to blame technology. It's convenient to blame tightly controlled radio playlists.

Here’s the bottom line: The lack of sales is occurring now for a reason that has at least as much to do with the direction of the product as the changing technology.

It's really very simple. We have very little hit music to call our own. Most of the biggest hits lately are shared with other formats. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Rascal Flatts. Taylor Swift is a talent to be reckoned with for the next thirty years. Keith Urban; you’re sensational. You are HUGE part of our format.

Why then, is James Otto "Just Got Started Loving You" arguably the most requested song at Country Radio these days? The song touched a nerve with the Country core. It's simple; it's Country and you won't be hearing it on A/C radio. It's a stone cold smash that we (the fans, Country radio) can call our own.

My call to the best tunesmiths and producers in the world is this. Stop chasing the crossovers. Stop watering down the sound. Focus on the fans. Our biggest fans still buy CD's (of which your profit margin is higher) and you'll sell more of them more consistently if you take a cue from James Otto. Make great Country music. Is it a coincidence that Sara Evans biggest hit was "Suds In The Bucket?" Be Country. Have fun. We'll all make more money.