Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Where Are The New Country Superstars?: Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Toby Keith. We love ya! You guys are mostly exclusive to our format and came of age in the late 90's, nearly ten years ago. Entertainment however is cyclical. We need a "next big thing" exclusive to our format to sustain growth. The current new crop of Superstars (Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift) are crossover artists. We share them, and their sound with other formats.

Ten years ago, we wondered, who are the next Garth, Alan and Clint? Today, we wonder, is there a new Kenny, Tim or Toby waiting in the wings? Could it be Brad, Dierks and/or someone we don't yet know about? Why is there no woman on any of those lists? That's a great question for another blog on another day.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Wrong Hook Can Kill Hit Song: Garbage in, garbage out. When testing music, if the hook is wrong then the results may very well be wrong. One glaring example was Kellie Pickler's first single, "Red High Heels". The standard hook most used did not capture the unique part of the song, but instead focused on the title (as do most hooks). A hit song lost. Another example, "Red Dirt Road" a moderate hit for Brooks and Dunn. If you tested the correct hook (which most did not) you'd have found this song to be a strong power gold.

I also believe that the essence of some songs cannot be captured in a five to ten second hook. That doesn't mean they don't resonate with the audience. It just means they don't test well. Some of Keith Urban's best songs haven't tested as well as I believe they were actually accepted by the audience. The depth of some music goes beyond a hook.

Testing is a tool; one of several used to determine airplay. But it is not nor should it be the be all and end all in making music decisions. Knowing your audience, your market, sales, competitive strategy along with testing are all factors in making goods music decisions.