Thursday, February 13, 2014

Top 10 Played More Than Ever Before

old radio image
Many of us today think of music life centering around the online world, but that's far from the truth. The fact of the matter is that people still listen to the radio as much as they ever did, and it remains the top way for listeners to discover new music, beating YouTube (the online leader) by a large margin.

That said, the songs that reach the top 40 are played twice as much today than those ten years ago, according to Mediabase, a division of Clear Channel that tracks radio spins for all broadcasters.

For instance, last year's most played song was Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," which aired 749,633 times in 180 markets. That comes out to 2,053 times a day on average.

In 2003 the top song was "When I'm Gone" by 3 Doors Down, which was played 443,160 times during the year, or 1,214 time per day on average.

One of the reasons is that there are a lot more Top 40 stations than there used to be, with about 70 new ones created in the last decade in place of more specialized stations that played rock and smooth jazz (which was once heralded as the next new thing in radio programming).

Even on the country stations, the trend is similar, with the top hit of last year, Darius Rucker's "Wagon Wheel" receiving 229,633 plays. In 2003, Lone Star's "My Front Porch Looking In" received 162,519 spins.

The upshot is that even though people still discover their music from radio, radio has a much tighter playlist overall. It seems to be a case where the 1% of the music industry is profiting more than ever, while the 99% has a harder road to travel yet again.

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