Turn on your radio, what do you hear? Probably Adele's new song "Hello" or Justin Bieber's "Sorry" or "What Do You Mean?" What about after you turn the radio back on again after maybe half an hour. The same songs continue to broadcast!
Radio keeps playing the same dang song, which also happens to all be singles from the artist. Why is that? I always asked myself this question just because I know that whenever I hear the artist I listen to's single, it doesn't happen to represent their work in the industry. I was determined to find some type of answered so I asked the people online, a. k. a Google...
The first thing we have to think about is the reasoning behind the repetition of songs. “The idea behind this repetition is to quickly take a song from being unfamiliar to being liked and then loved,” (Craig Bruce, Souther Cross Austereo’s Head Of Content). May I add that these songs quickly become liked, loved and hated? If I was to put on "Happy" right now, 90% of the people surrounding me would tell me to turn it off because they became annoyed with the song just because the radio plays it so much. It is one of the sad outcome because the radio has the ability to destroy a beautiful song through their method of repetition.
Then again, why do we continue to come back to listening to the radio when we know that it continuously play the same thing? That's interesting isn't it? I, being someone who listens to the radio all the time, I feel like I could relate because I could never turn my radio off even though the song just played an hour ago. “People come to us expecting to hear their favourite songs and our rotations mean we can deliver on their expectations,” (Craig Bruce). Not only are these expectations from us, the listener, but major labels and record companies also influence commercial radio playlists, which also changes the outcome of the Top 40 charts.
“Record companies share their priorities with us every week. We then get together at least a couple of times a week to discuss these new songs. Through consensus, (if the content director and music director love the song and it fits the sound of the station) we then decide how often we should play it,” (Craig Bruce). So, what I'm hearing is that sometimes, radio stations don't fully have a say in what they can or cannot play due to the demand of the listener and the record/label companies-interesting.
"Familiarity is the first step to a song becoming liked.” (Craig Bruce). I completely agree with this statement because I, myself fall into that deep hole. Every time a song comes on, I would tell my friends I don't like it, but then catch myself singing along. The fact that the song is so familiar in my head makes me want to sing along, therefore, I somehow enjoy it.
Repetition is a form of marketing and advertisement. Living in a society full of technology, we are definitely surrounded by those influences. After all, we are a walking billboard! Record/Label companies uses radio stations to target their audience and get their artist across, concluding that in order for them to talk about those individuals personally, they would need to use the strategy of repetition, resulting familiarity. This explained why we always hear the same songs over and over again, but did you know there are requirements for music on Canadian radio?
Any English-language and French-language Commercial, community, campus and native radio (also known as Category 2), must ensure that at least 35% of the Popular Music they broadcast each week is Canadian content. Not only that. commercial radio stations also have to ensure that at least 35% of the Popular Music broadcast between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday to Friday is Canadian content. How crazy is that? This clearly explains why we constantly hear Shawn Mendes, Justin Bieber and The Weeknd! It all makes sense because they have to follow these requirements!
As I did research for this writing, I realized that radio stations don't work the way we think it does. I expected them to have the rights to play whatever they want just because they have the power to do so, but they really don't. Some DJ's and broadcaster don't even have a say on the music choice being played because there is already a playlist made for them. Where's the fun in that?
Next time when you listen to the radio, try to observe whether they fulfill those requirements, used repetition and familiarity. Everyone is constantly wanting to influence you. Did the radio influence the choices you make on an artist? I find it super intriguing knowing that my favourite artist's singles aren't always their best work and so that's what people believe is their image. It makes you question the choices behind the decision process of picking a single because you want it to show what you are capable off. It's funny isn't it? Think about it, let me know.
How does the radio affect you?