It is hard to believe that in three more short reporting weeks we will be hanging out in NYC for the CMJ Music Conference. I know not all of you will be there but it seems over the last few years there has been an uptick in the number of stations going. Or perhaps just more people from a few stations. Whatever the case it seems to be on the upswing. And yet while we are three short weeks away and the number of people going to CMJ keeps going up, the number of stations reporting to CMJ is just startlingly low. We have not had a over 300 stations reporting since week 17. This whole year we have only had NINE weeks out of 38 that have had over 300 stations. Last year at this time was not much better with 12 weeks out of 300.
I believe I have gone over this once before but it is a point worth revisiting every now and again.
This year we have had 432 stations report.
Last year there were 466 reporters
468 in 2011
510 in 2010
530 in 2009
575 in 2008
608 in 2007
647 in 2006
As you can see every year there are less reporters and I always ask why, why do more stations quit CMJ every year. That is not to say there are not new stations but for every WQFS that quits a station like Pizza FM takes its place. For every WEGL, WERS, WHRB, WPGU, WERK there are "the thing" "radio Phoenix" "ohio FM"
I do not mean disrespect to any of these stations, I only wish that instead of replacing WERS with M3 Radio there was a way to keep WERS reporting to CMJ because CMJ is better when the best stations across the country report. CMJ is not at its best when Joe internet can go and buy a subscription and report and dilute the charts. I wish we could get them back but I understand completely why they no longer do, programs are getting cut budgets are getting smaller. On every level. Upon saying all of this I can understand why a new station that is taking the time and spending the money to report would be upset that reporting does not automagically equal hard copies of records. The truth is, and we have touched on this before, that some stations that have more wattage, a bigger listening audience, more community outreach and thereby a spin there is worth more to the band/ promoter/ label than a small unknown station broadcasting to 3 stoned dudes and a cow. Anyways this is a huge discussion we can have and I would love to have so let me know your thoughts. I have asked some stations recently that no longer report that I still service why they no longer report and because they are larger stations they still get records and do not see the point in reporting. Not my words theirs.
Anyways such a large tangent to start off with this week but it bothers me that we are still under 300 stations to start the year.
Now on to this weeks chart. I will say that while we did not get to 300 we were close 296. But the point is we should be way above not hovering below as we currently are. But 296 is a jump up from last week by a good 20 stations so there is hope we can get there next week. The hard part of having these waves of new stations is keeping on top of them. Stations tend to come back to PILEs and PILES of records and no matter what we try and do to help them the end up adding Vampire Weekend, Daft Punk and a bunch of summer left overs because they are there. This is hard when you have 4 different companies pushing 4 records for #1 on the top 200. It makes for a pretty tight race.
This weeks race was pretty tight, at least I think it was. #1 Ty Segall pretty much had it the whole way I thought but is not gaining the ground we saw over the past few weeks so the thought is they have peaked and might start to fall a bit. He has been hovering close to the 60% mark of stations while the other contenders are closer to 50%. Lets take a look at the others.
Neko Case at #2
Franz Ferdinand at #3
Arctic Monkeys at #4
Deer Tick made a nice rebound to jump into the top 5 I just think these other records are stronger so we will focus on them.
I could of seen the order play out any other way and not been shocked. Every one has strengths. Franz is dominating with #1s having an overwhelming advantage in that department. Neko has the AAA and higher cores going for her while Arctic Monkeys saw a big jump in the # of stations playing them.
I actually thought, before I looked at the numbers, that Arctic would be ahead of Franz but the #1s and the volume of stations really helped them out. This next week should be very interesting. I don't think any of the big debuts or records that had big moves will contend next week so it should be a similar showdown between the four.
The new records to keep an eye on would be Goldfrap, MGMT, Man Man, Elvis Costello and Obits none of these I see pushing for #1 though. However this time of year can lend itself to longer runs at the top spot. I say that because with so many new good records coming in you get fewer #1's for each one because more stations like a lot of different records and they tend to have longer climbs than the summer time where there are 2 good records and both race up the chart very quickly.
The next big contenders I think went for adds this week in DR DOG and Chvrches. Dr. Dog took the number one spot pretty handedly but at the same time Chvrches had the higher debut on the top 200. I could see these two fighting it out the week after CMJ, look for both to be somewhere in the top 20 easily next week perhaps even top 15.
Something I always find interesting/ frustrating this time of year is with new stations and new good records you get to see records gain a lot of stations and go down on the same week. It can be VERY frustrating to gain 20 stations in a week and go down 2 spots but it happens a lot. Look at Deer Tick last week they gained stations on top of what they had the week previous but they went down a spot. They were able to rebound nicely this week and grab that top 5. So we need to keep an eye out for those records in week 4 or 3 that already have gone down as they have the best chance of a rebound. Once you get to week 5 on the chart it is typically time to let them go, not always though.
Well I think I covered a lot this week, as we get closer to CMJ I will list all the parties I know about and also tell you who I am looking forward to seeing, please share with me who you are excited to see!
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