Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A Brief ADDs Tutorial and CMJ ISSUE 1379 WEEK 6 RECAP

Happy sixth week of the year everyone! We almost broke through the 300 stations reporting barrier for the first time this year. Give yourself a half a round of a applause. We came up five short! Next week? Or is there some weird holiday that will prevent 20% of you from reporting? Maybe 300 is too low a goal, I mean 300 should be easy right? There have been almost 350 stations that have reported at least once this year you would think that 300 barrier would not be so difficult.

This week I wanted to start with what has become a regular occurrence for me. Ever since Tyler pointed out that a station was charting Goldfinger I like to go over the charts and look for the worst of the worst.  This week it goes out to a station that is charting the new U2 record. But that in itself is not bad. NO what makes this stations chart so bad is that they also charted a different U2 single and the rest of their chart is filled with some new stuff and some very old stuff. There were other stations in the running. The station charting Megan Trainor only 2 spots after Sleater Kinney. Or the station that has Taylor Swift at #1.   This, we are told is one of the beauties of college radio.  I could argue that perhaps there should be some constraints on what people can chart.  That because we do not there are people that do not take what we do at college radio seriously.

There was a lot of conversation about this on Twitter yesterday and hopefully we can have a bit more today @theanimalarrg

While the charts can be a mess at times the thing that I see the most problems with are the ADDS. I suppose ADDS can be a bit confusing at first because everything you might be putting into rotation you are calling an ADD but when a promoter or label talks about ADDS we are talking about being TOP FIVE MOST ADDED.

First thing you need to know. The order does not matter. #1 most added on your top five adds is the same as #5 most added on your top five adds. The goal for our records is to be on your list.

What is the point?

Adds serve as a starting point for a record. So we pick ADD dates so that we can have as many stations start at the same time as possible so that we can have impact on the ADDS chart. A list of 20 records that were the most added in that given week.  It can take anywhere from 15-20 to get on the ADDS list.

Again why is this important?  Well some records might be new bands just starting out and the only real impact they might have at CMJ is getting these 15-20 ADDing the record on the ADD week and getting the bands name in "print"

At the High end being #1 most added is an important step for a band that might have a shot at #1. Getting 100+ stations Adding your record at the same time serves notice to other stations who, for whatever reason, pay attention to that sort of thing. It also shows the client, the band or label, that this record is well liked at radio.

All of this may seem very silly and in the long run it is. That is why the number of stations reporting ADDS is almost always lower than those reporting charts. Usually by around 20 or so stations. So if you think it is silly then I would argue it is better for you to not report adds than for you to report them incorrectly.

Now how can you add something incorrectly?

Well Adding anything that is not on the ADD week is wrong.  There are some stations that like to ADD a record a week early. This helps NO ONE. It is especially frustrating when in the real add week you end up missing top five most added by one add.  Other stations ADD records a week or two late on a regular basis. I cannot say this enough times, once the ADD week has passed just put the record into rotation. You are helping no one by adding a record a week late. Just put it out there and let it start getting plays.

Now personally I think you should do ADDS, If you are a station that reports your charts based upon what is actually getting spun at radio then ADDS are one of the few places you get to decide everything. You don't have to get spins, you hopefully do not have to check in with anyone. These are yours. You can add 5 records from the same company, who cares. That is not wrong, of course you might get 8 other companies mad at you but it is not wrong.  ADDs are your opportunity to say, you know what I like this record. Or I think this record will do well at our station. It can also be you know what I would like to help out company X this week cause they were nice.  None of those are wrong. Because YOU have total control over them.  The only rule should be ADD ON THE ADD WEEK.

If you can remember one thing about ADDS that would be it. CMJ has a handy list that tells you what is going for adds. It is up to the promoters to update CMJ on this list and sometimes it might be out of date so if that does not work almost every company lists what they have for ADDS on their website. If they don't then maybe they don't care about ADDS and you should add my record instead.. kidding.. ha

Lastly one common thing I see with the ADDS / chart dynamic at radio is there are some stations that every week will ADD five records and every week those five records will chart on their top 30. To me this looks like you are just making things up. Your chart SHOULD be based upon what is getting spins so try and keep that in mind. Of course there are weeks where you add a new record and it happens to be the biggest record of the season and it gets 3 spins and charts that week. That happens I get that. But when it happens every week that is a red flag to me, or more like a green flag saying.. this station will just make things up, and you don't want to be known as such.

I hope some of this  helps you out there. If you have any questions hit me on twitter as always

I guess we did not go over the charts this week. Sleater-Kinney continues to dominate and while Decemberists has inched closer I am not sure if they will have enough to get there before someone like Bjork or next weeks big record from Father John Misty.   A place to bury Strangers takes #1 most added by 4 adds over Districts. Another close ADD week.

Thank you for reading!

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