Recently I listened to several major market country stations. It was kind of return to my radio roots after several years away programming news and talk.
The monitor startled me.
I have to wonder if anyone in country radio is listening with a critical ear?
It’s no surprise to read that ratings are down when you hear the music mix on these stations.
Programmers will be surprised, if not shocked at the message their station is sending.
I hear several glaring problems.
1. THE FORMAT IS NOT FEMALE FRIENDLY
I don’t mean there are too many male singers. I was surprised how some songs seemed sexist even sexually aggressive in nature
Country songs have had ‘sexy’ themes over the years. This is different.
2. THE FORMAT IS NOT SINGABLE.
Country successfully attracts women when the listener can sing along. Very few songs have that quality right now.
3. ALCOHOL FLOWS FREELY.
Alcohol is everywhere, sometimes three and four songs in a row.
4. THE FORMAT LACKS RELATABILTY.
Song after song is about a guy driving down a dirt road in a pickup truck. How does a forty year old mom relate?
A twenty-minute ‘bull ride’ doesn’t speak to her either.
5. THE FORMAT LACKS VARIETY.
That’s the bottom line.
Stations are not balancing tempo, textures and topics.
It’s an easy fix.
- Focus on the mix.
- Pay attention to the lyrics.
- Spread out themes like alcohol and southern backroads.
- Mix textures, male then female, then pop, then country.
- Make sure everything passes the female filter test.
In short, balance the sound.
Be very picky about what you play.
And always, always keep the target listener in mind. .