On not needing a song on the radio to be successful:
At Sanctuary – and Sanctuary thought of itself as a management company first and a label second – that was the mantra that was definitely drilled into us: radio is the icing on the cake, but not the cake itself. Even at the beginning of the Digital Age – because it was 2001 when I went to go work for them – that mantra was still the basis. They used Iron Maiden as the example: “Iron Maiden can sell out stadiums and arenas across the planet without a song on the radio.” If they do get a song on the radio, they’re that much better. And again, they were huge with touring and merchandising. The idea of not needing to have a song on the radio to be successful was drilled into my head every day for the seven years I worked at Sanctuary.On new radio ratings technologies:
I think a lot of this is still evolving, because some of that technology has only been around for about four or five years. It only became national about two years ago. So, radio stations are still figuring out how to read the raw data. I’ll give you a prime example of an argument I had with a Hot AC station, which targets to adult women. Your typical listener might be in her car, driving to the mall. The number one single on your station this week might be P!nk’s “Perfect,” and as radio station, you are playing that song because you know it is doing great for you. But this listener gets to the mall while this song is on and turns off her car radio. The first store she goes into to buy something for her daughter is Hot Topic. So, according to this tracking technology, if it is the be all, end all for you as a radio station, you’re going to drop this particular playlist and add Metallica, because it’s getting played in Hot Topic, and therefore it’s what she’s listening to now. The main point is, you have to be able to interpret the data and what is really going on. This is what radio people will complain about, and it’s always been a problem with the technology when you break it down: The sample size is still tiny. I don’t know the exact number, but I think that for the New York metropolitan area, which has 15 million people, there are maybe 500 people with people meters. One person could have an effect on over a million listeners.On radio being open to independent music:
It depends. There are success stories, but mostly in the rock formats these days. It’s mostly alternative or active rock or Triple A with singer/songwriters. Those formats are definitely more open to independent music than Top 40 and Hot AC. Those two and also country are very tough if you’re not signed to a major label.Read the rest of this great interview at musiccoaching.com.
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