― lex pretend, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:19 (8 months ago) Permalink
is the pop domination due to itunes or changing of radio playlists/genre stations changing to top 40 or just one of those things that happens?
― Algerian Goalkeeper, Thursday, October 11, 2012 2:12 PM Bookmark
Both of those things are happening. Another part of this phenomenon I wanted to get into is how specialized radio stations have been getting pushed off the airwaves. A few years ago another change that happened is how Arbitron, the company that measures radio station ratings (and thus, how much $$$ stations get from advertisers), changed their own system from one in which their sample listeners kept diaries of what they listened to to one in which an electronic device automatically records what radio they listen to. There have been arguments about their sampling methodology underrepresenting minorities and related issues, but the effect of this switch has been black- and latino-focused radio stations plummeting in ratings. A lot have switched formats and this is compounded by the fact that many talk, news, and sports stations have been ditching AM radio for FM, which has traditionally been the domain of music stations due to its higher fidelity. A few years ago, Seattle had three high-powered commercial stations that focused on black music - a rap/r&b station, an "adult rhythmic" station that focused on 80s-2000s dance & r&b hits, and a smooth jazz/adult r&b station. Today only the former is left, and it skews much more towards pop.
― Cap'n Hug-a-Thug (The Reverend), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:25 (8 months ago) Permalink
I'll assume you don't want to hear her latest track.
lol hell no
― The Owls of Ja Rule (DJP), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:27 (8 months ago) Permalink
this is a identity/identification/musicalogical problem
it has always been this way. R&B is just shorthand for "black", 'twas ever thus
― stop swearing and start windmilling (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:29 (8 months ago) Permalink
The adult rhythmic station is now top 40 and the smooth jazz station is now sports, fwiw. KUBE, the r&b/rap station, used to be an unassailable ratings kingpin, but now lags behind both the newly-top 40 Movin 92.5 and the already existing top 40 station Kiss 106, which used to have very mediocre ratings.
― Cap'n Hug-a-Thug (The Reverend), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:30 (8 months ago) Permalink
xp to Rev: something like this happened in the twin cities too. there was a lone black oriented pop station up and running for quite a few years (B96). interestingly it was a new startup at the time (i need to look up exactly when but it was in the 00s) i could tell that the advertiser base was becoming increasingly reliant on only a few businesses as the years went by. and then one day it was done, changed to a pretty generic 80s-10s pop/rock station, a bit like the JackFM format.
xp idk how common this phenomenon was across black radio nationally but this station had its slice of white club pop: gwen stefani, justin timberlake, lady gaga, and right before the end, kesha.
― there is no dana, only (goole), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:31 (8 months ago) Permalink
for the last decade or so, there have been 3 contemporary R&B/rap stations in Baltimore and D.C. that all pretty much play the same things from the top of the R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart. in the last year, one of the D.C. stations began dropping Ellie Goulding and Katy Perry and Gotye and Flo Rida into their playlist. and they're the only R&B station i've heard Rihanna's now-#1 R&B hit "Diamonds" on.
― some dude, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:31 (8 months ago) Permalink
xp to myself: er when i say "lone" that's not quite true, there's been a lower-powered black community radio station, KMOJ, on the air here for years. this was the only black radio station with broadcasting reach over the entire metro.
― there is no dana, only (goole), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:33 (8 months ago) Permalink
Until now, only country stations contributed to the Hot Country Songs chart, or R&B/hip-hop stations to Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs; the same held true for Latin and rock. The new methodology, which will utilize the Hot 100's formula of incorporating airplay from more than 1,200 stations of all genres monitored by BDS, will reward crossover titles receiving airplay on a multitude of formats. With digital download sales and streaming data measuring popularity on the most inclusive scale possible, it is only just the radio portion of Billboard chart calculations that includes airplay from the entire spectrum of monitored formats.
― Cap'n Hug-a-Thug (The Reverend), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:33 (8 months ago) Permalink
"Adorn" and "Springsteen" topping every chart.
I mean not what kind of music would make up the charts, but how would a properly designed modern chart system function?
I'm trying to wrap my head around how all of this works, but the idea that there was this beneficial feedback loop between radio and what the audience was buying is interesting and something I've never really considered. It makes sense that a chart that allows for some input from tastemakers would work better than one that strictly tracks sales. I always thought of that feedback loop in a negative way, as a pointless echo chamber, and a decade ago I would have thought that something like an itunes chart would end up being more diverse and interesting than a radio-driven chart, but obviously that's not the case.
So I'm kind of wondering what other kinds of gatekeeper or tastemaking factors could be input into the equation besides radio? Like in theory it seems like you could develop some kind of interesting combination of online sales and listening metrics (itunes, spotify listens, lastfm) and then add in something like hype machine data for the gatekeeper input. But that wouldn't really work in the same way and wouldn't result in the kind of beneficial feedback loop that existed between radio and retail.
― wk, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:33 (8 months ago) Permalink
Boston's R&B/hip-hop station has been a ClearChannel property for years and has therefore already been on this bandwagon; the interesting thing happening here is the dismantling of all of the alternative stations
xp: goole I was gonna ask if KMOJ disappeared after this summer!
― The Owls of Ja Rule (DJP), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:34 (8 months ago) Permalink
i think that the genre charts should have remained dictated by airplay on only stations of particular formats. the Hot 100 and various Digital Sales charts already did a good job of showing what was selling even if it wasn't getting airplay. MAYBE the genre charts could have digital sales factored in, but at a much lower rate than they are now, where it just feels like this trump card that overrides all other factors.
― some dude, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:35 (8 months ago) Permalink
if you look at Billboard's Radio Songs chart, which is all airplay from all formats, you can see that there's clearly just way more pop stations than anything else right now. the 10th biggest pop song on it often outperforms whatever the biggest song on urban radio is.
DJP: i can't/don't listen to it at all really but it's still around afaik: http://kmojfm.com/
― there is no dana, only (goole), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:38 (8 months ago) Permalink
I share most of the above concerns about these changes. But is it possible this move could actually prove a good thing by allowing stations to rely less on the charts? Stations still ultimately have agency over what they play, so I don't think urban stations are going to start playing Rihanna just because her songs appear on their charts as a technicality, and if these charts really do become as messy and random as we're predicting here, isn't it possible that could make them such unreliable barometers that stations begin ignoring them?
― Evan R, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:39 (8 months ago) Permalink
I don't know how you break the interdependence of stations and the charts tbh
― the ones that I'm near most: fellow outcasts and ilxors (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:41 (8 months ago) Permalink
that's a nice thought, but generally anytime some shit happens that makes me hope "maybe this is the breaking point and from here on out things will get more regionalized and freeform and open-minded!" i'm wrong. (xpost)
― some dude, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:42 (8 months ago) Permalink
Rev, re limited American radio options, this started back last century, blame Clinton for signing the Gingrich pushed Telecommunications Act of 1996; and radio programmer Lee Abrams homogenized commercial rock radio back in the late 1970s
The radical deregulation of the radio industry allowed by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 has not benefited the public or musicians. Instead, it has led to less competition, fewer viewpoints, and less diversity in programming. Deregulation has damaged radio as a public resource.
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:43 (8 months ago) Permalink
I was hoping no one was going to bring up the Act.
― the ones that I'm near most: fellow outcasts and ilxors (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:43 (8 months ago) Permalink
to be fair radio HAS learned to ignore songs with iTunes sales bumps for a long time -- if it's a new artist like fun. or PSY then sales helps show the interest, but so far it's rare that some superstar's deep cut that jumps on the Hot 100 purely from sales gets added to playlists (although sometimes sales can help pick singles -- Molanphy had a good column a few months ago how big sales for "Set Fire To The Rain" as an album track contributed to it becoming a single)
― some dude, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:45 (8 months ago) Permalink
Both KUBE and Kiss 106 in Seattle are Clear Channel. It should be noted that as KUBE is playing an increasing amount of pop (although mostly by black artists - Flo Rida, Rihanna et al), Kiss has eschewed playing rap and r&b at all. The Flo Rida brigade is the only music by black artists they play, and only a few such songs at a time. Their playlist is otherwise white white white white white, which wasn't the case ten years ago, when they were playing 50 Cent just like every other station in America. 92.5 the other, non-Clear Channel top 40 station here, doesn't seem as averse to dropping "Mercy" or whatever from time to time tho.
― Cap'n Hug-a-Thug (The Reverend), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:45 (8 months ago) Permalink
in ten years all commercial radio is either gonna be chr or talk
― balls, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:48 (8 months ago) Permalink
― some dude, Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:35 PM (7 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink
well, obviously there was an irreconcilable problem that the feedback loop had disappeared, right? that radio was just arbitrarily dictating airplay
i mean radio is already fraught w/ payola & etc.
it seems to me the real problem is that online sales produce no demographic information.
― The rain in Spin circles mainly on the mansplain (D-40), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:48 (8 months ago) Permalink
like, genre used to be determined by audience, now it's determined by ... the billboard people guessing based on ???
― The rain in Spin circles mainly on the mansplain (D-40), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:50 (8 months ago) Permalink
yeah, that's a huge problem
― some dude, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:51 (8 months ago) Permalink
D-40: as i was arguing earlier, just by how the artist in question came up and/or what the song sounds like (often contradictory)
ie Rihanna is and R&B artist so everything she does now is R&B.
― there is no dana, only (goole), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:52 (8 months ago) Permalink
I kind of get the impression payola is actually less of a problem in the post-Act world, because playlists are much more likely to be dictated by some suit at the top then by a radio dj who may be more amenable to an envelope full of bills. Not that that is a case for allowing corporations to buy up 1,000s of stations.
― Cap'n Hug-a-Thug (The Reverend), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:52 (8 months ago) Permalink
billboard's always pulled this shit though, i can think of twice in the past 15 years where they modified the hot 100 calculation effectively cuz it was skewing too r&b.
― balls, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:52 (8 months ago) Permalink
thanks to mergers there are no local morning zoo deejays getting paid off.
― the ones that I'm near most: fellow outcasts and ilxors (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:53 (8 months ago) Permalink
yeah huge lol at payola being anywhere near as big a problem now as it was ten, twenty, thirty, etc years ago
― balls, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:53 (8 months ago) Permalink
Glad to see this thread. My own area of special concern, Latin radio, is probably going to be severely affected in similar ways to the problems you guys have identified with R&B and country: first, superstars with with new releases are going to crowd out everyone else; good if you want more Shakira #1s (which I selfishly do), bad if you want to hear any reggaetón besides Daddy Yankee or W&Y or any bachata besides Royce and Romeo (both of which I really, really do). Second, it'll mean that Mexican regional music will be increasingly shut out of the main Latin chart, since airplay is the bread and butter of banda, cumbia, etc. And there'll be a LOT more J.Lo and Pitbull regardless of language or audience embrace. Pap
― JonJonAthanAthan, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:54 (8 months ago) Permalink
I think one thing people are forgetting here tho is that the charts aren't the only data radio stations have for determining what is popular. iirc, radio stations (especially better-financed ones) do a TON of focus-grouping. Also, call-ins.
― Cap'n Hug-a-Thug (The Reverend), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:54 (8 months ago) Permalink
in hip hop radio i can promise you payola it is still a big thing
― The rain in Spin circles mainly on the mansplain (D-40), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:55 (8 months ago) Permalink
yeah urban and country radio are VERY driven by call-in requests
― some dude, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:56 (8 months ago) Permalink
mention of 50 cent & "in da club" is interesting too -- apart from all of this accountancy, different genres do wax and wane in creative power and popular appeal. it's not a stable equilibrium of li'l genres pumping out the same stuff to the same people every year
― there is no dana, only (goole), Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:56 (8 months ago) Permalink
very true. and to me that's a reason that the genre charts SHOULD have stayed as they were, those genres need to be able to keep defining themselves by what the core listenership likes rather than what's crossing over to whatever genre is doing bigger business at that moment.
― some dude, Thursday, 11 October 2012 21:59 (8 months ago) Permalink
― Cap'n Hug-a-Thug (The Reverend), Thursday, 11 October 2012 22:01 (8 months ago) Permalink
yeah it's just bad datagathering plain and simple. it's not like the r&b audience or country audience and the networks catering to them just disappeared (ok the record stores have obv been going, so argument for incorporating itunes exists but calibration is beyond fucked), but the data of what is succeeding in those markets isn't being captured.
― balls, Thursday, 11 October 2012 22:03 (8 months ago) Permalink
so much contempo-country sounds like AOR rock that I wonder what this forced iTunes mash-up will do to Nashville A&R.
― the ones that I'm near most: fellow outcasts and ilxors (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 11 October 2012 22:04 (8 months ago) Permalink
this is an unmitigated disaster
― teledyldonix, Thursday, 11 October 2012 22:04 (8 months ago) Permalink
Bill Werde of Billboard seems very comfortable with the changes in that tumblr post above. Like its no big deal
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 11 October 2012 22:13 (8 months ago) Permalink
"we are never ever..." was probably going to be tswift's first single (from an album release) not to go at least top 10 on the country chart, which is probably an accurate representation of how country audiences received the song. and now it's suddenly #1 due to a lots of pop/crossover downloads. i always found the genre charts interesting because they offer a glimpse into what more specific audiences are hearing through focused radio formats.
― teledyldonix, Thursday, 11 October 2012 22:13 (8 months ago) Permalink
i cant believe he refers to wikipedia as determining what is hip hop w/ a straight face
― The rain in Spin circles mainly on the mansplain (D-40), Thursday, 11 October 2012 22:14 (8 months ago) Permalink
On twitter Werde says he will engage in respectful discussions of this
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 11 October 2012 22:18 (8 months ago) Permalink
i guess flo rida will be getting #1s on rap songs with these rules in place (his only song so far to do this was "low")
― teledyldonix, Thursday, 11 October 2012 22:20 (8 months ago) Permalink
well, one thing that hasn't been mentioned so far is that the Rap Songs chart already factored in airplay from non-urban formats, so Flo Rida and Pitbull etc. had been mainstays on Rap Songs already
― some dude, Thursday, 11 October 2012 22:21 (8 months ago) Permalink
but nobody ever really paid much attention to that chart, R&B/Hip Hop Songs was always the barometer of a rap song's success
I recommend everybody jump ship from all forms of popular music
― gesange der yuengling (crüt), Thursday, 11 October 2012 22:22 (8 months ago) Permalink
that remix is pure brand synergy at work, rihanna's managers probably put guns to people's heads demanding she bumrush that shit to keep the mythos cash rolling in
― r|t|c, Saturday, 15 June 2013 09:31 (5 days ago) Permalink