Wednesday, July 29, 2015


For a week in the middle of the dog days of summer there sure was a lot of excitement out there.  You might recall last week when Tame Impala took #1 most added. Well we thought it might take a few weeks for them to jump up to #1. At least everyone I talked to thought as much. Well they were not messing around this week going from ADD to #1 in one week. Pretty impressive feat.

Ducktails edged out Titus Andronicus for #1 most added this week. I imagine both are destined for top five but it feels like they might miss out on #1 with Tame Impala most likely holding the spot down for a while and next weeks big add Mac Demarco taking over after that. But hey, I never saw Bully coming so I am sure they both have a chance.

I really want to take a minute though to talk about promotions. I love a good contest or promotion for a record. One of my favorites back in the day, and I may of mentioned this before, is when we gave away A whole HAM for the band Jettingham. It was a record on Universal and they had money to burn it would seem. It was a huge success.  Turns out college kids loved the idea of winning a ham.  I bring this up because there was a promotion earlier this week that I would of totally missed this had 3 other promotion companies not brought it to my attention.  Apparently for the project Jack and Eliza--Gentle Warnings they sent out Pizzas with the initials of the band.  Here is one of the stations

and here is another, 

Not surprisingly the record had its best week on the charts going from #32 to #19 in its 4th week on the chart. It is not untypical for a bad to jump a bunch in it's fourth week but the pizza promotion does raise some questions. 

Is it payola? 

The Wikipedia definition of payola can be found here

The simple google definition is here 

noun: payola
  1. the practice of bribing someone to use their influence or position to promote a particular product or interest.
    "if a record company spends enough money on payola, it can make any record a hit"

    I am not sure it is. But that question was batted around quite a bit yesterday. If anything I think its just a lazy promotion. Also in looking over the reporters for this record some that got pizza dropped the record so no agreement was in place but it does feel like a bribe, part of the above definition. 

    In searching the internet I was able to find 4 stations that got pizza of those four 3 either were debuts or moved the record up.  I have no idea how many pizzas got sent out overall but I have to imagine that more did. The question remains though is this type of promotion wrong? I am not so sure. As I said before I think its just lazy. Its just removing the step of having a contest to win pizza.

    Lets say they would of done that. Had a contest where you win pizza provided by the band/promoter. No one would of mentioned anything to me. Perhaps they did and we all just missed it. From the comments and posts though it looks like the pizza was a surprise/ reward to the stations that got it. 

    So stations out there that read this, I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on this or any other promotion. What do you like, what do you not like. 

    I would also be curious to hear from industry on what is the limit in promoting something? Free tickets, vinyl, CDs all seem fine. When does it not seem fine? 

    Lets talk about it here in the comments or on Twitter. Thanks for reading.


    Updates will continue throughout the day.

    UPDATE #1.

    A station reached out to me and let me know they also got a pizza bringing the number to 5 confirmed.  They also mentioned that they had to mention on air that they were provided lunch today by the band.  They also mentioned that "I would prefer promotions that the station or MD could opt into. Like Vinyl contests. But getting pizza out of the blue felt weird"

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


What does a #1 record mean?  Does being #1 the first week of the year mean the same thing in the middle of the fall? No, but is it any less of an accomplishment? Getting a #1 record is hard any time of the year and I think it does mean something no matter when you get it.

It was around the same time last year that Alvvays took the number one spot on the charts and it was one of the weakest #1's of the year in terms of percentage with 49% of reporters. It was not the lowest of the year though. Caribou had 2 weeks at #1 last year one at 60% and one at 48%.  I bring this up because when Bully took #1 this week Alvvays was the first thing I thought of.   Perhaps it is something about this time of year that makes it possible for #1 records with less than 50% of the reporters?  It does make sense as there are a lot less records coming out and that then means there are a lot less BIG records coming out so stations chart the best of what is available.  So Bully took #1 this week with only 45% of stations charting it.  A pretty big step bellow even Alvvays last year.  I did not have to go far though in looking for a #1 with less of a percentage though as Thee Oh sees took it with only 44% of reporting stations.

In the case of Alvvays and Bully I think you can compare the two but they are not comparable to Thee Oh Sees or Caribou because those records were on the charts for multiple weeks.

I wanted to also compare Bully and Alvvays with the average #1 record. Over the past year and a half.  This year the average #1 record has had 62.4% of all reporting stations. Last year that average was 62.7% Pretty close.  The highest in the last year and a half was Sleater-Kinney with 76% of all stations.

One thing I bring up a lot when talking about the charts is that the 100 ADD mark is a good way to gauge if a record is going to make a run at #1. This appears not to be as true in the summer time. A few weeks back when Bully was #1 most added with 89 adds I thought there was no chance for them to make a run. One thing I did overlook with Bully though is that this was the 2nd time they were #1 most added this year. In the first week of the year they were #1 most added, something I had completely forgotten about but something that obviously helped with the bands impact at radio.  Sometimes looking at just the top ADD numbers can be a bit short sighted and its nice to be reminded to look at the big picture.

Speaking of adds. This weeks #1 most added Tame Impala will surely be #1 in a short amount of time  and likely dominate until the end of summer. Speaking of summer, according to my records we have about 6 weeks left before it gets really busy again. How many #1's will we see in those 6 weeks?
I am going to say 3.

Thank you for reading.

Let's continue the conversation on twitter. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


I have told this before but it bears repeating. There are a handful of numbers you never want to be on the charts. #2, #6, #11, #16, #21 . At least in the heat of the moment or the excitement of that week these are the worst numbers. Even looking back it still burns me that certain Tom Waits records only got to #2. I am sure it burns that Modest Mouse peaked at #2.  Not to say #2 is BAAAAAD .. its just not #1. Saying top five record just is not as sexy, nor does it have the impact as saying #1 record. 

It is always fun to be in a race for #1, no matter if it is for ADDS or for the Charts. As a promoter it really energizes me. I am not really sure it ever matters for the stations. I am sure there were times when I was a MD a promoter would say we are in a tight race for #1 most added or #1 on the charts and I would get caught up in that excitement and I might add a record because of that. I am sure there were many times where it had no impact at all as well. It really always comes down to the record  being promoted. 

We are in the dog days of summer with not a lot of movement on the charts. Thee Oh Sees continues to hold at #1 but that lead is shrinking weekly. Unknown Mortal Orchestra is RIGHT there on the cusp... But it has also been on the charts longer than anything else in the top 5 so you have to wonder how much time they have left. But without anything else pushing its way up there the way we see in the fall, you have to believe they have a good chance. Who would of thought Bully would be in line for a run at #1 when they went for adds, but here they are at #3. Leon Bridges at #6 also is something to keep an eye on. I think any of these have a shot next week but as soon as Tame Impala gets out there all bets are off. 

This weeks Adds race was a lot of fun. So few stations report early in the summer that it becomes difficult to really predict who is a contender.  The first reading I felt good about was around 3pm on Monday with just under 30 stations reporting.  Bird and the Bee had 10 ADDS and Velvet Teen had 9.  Nothing else was really on my radar at that point.   Nothing really changed throughout Monday. They remained pretty close with Bird and the Bee having a slight lead when I went to bed. When I woke up it was deadlocked again.  Throughout Tuesday it remained deadlocked. both records within an ADD of each other. Then out of nowhere, well they could of been there the whole time but I had only been focused on Velvet Teen and Bird and the Bee, EZTV started climbing up the list. At one point they had the most ADDS.  With 10 min to go The Velvet Teen had taken the lead and was up 67-65 over Bird and the Bee. The thing about the CMJ system though is it only lets you check the status every 10 min. So for those last 10 Min of reporting I was riding blind. I had no idea what would happen. 

When I checked the playlists at 2:10 they indicated a TIE between the two records. Well A tie is better than #2 I thought. I felt good, I thought it was a fun race to break up the boredom that comes with leaving 100+ messages in the summertime.  Then the charts came out and Bird and the Bee had won by one.  Well you can imagine how shocked I was. After the dust settled though and I cleaned my broken computer off the floor and bought a new one I was able to look into what had happened. 

Apparently an invalid chart had been corrected to be valid again is the short story.  

Today as I look back on it I am not as bummed as I was yesterday and think it was a blast going head to head for #1 and while my record did not "win" it was fun. This is one of the reasons I love ADDS. I can see what is happening as its going on. With the charts I can push for higher chart numbers but it takes a lot more math to see what that higher chart number means. With ADDS everyone is equal. One ADD is One ADD everywhere. And you know where you stand and if you are 3 adds away from #1 you go after those stations that only added 4 adds this week. Or you go after those stations that added singles from 3 weeks ago. Sometimes you can move the needle sometimes you can't. It brings excitement to what we do though. Especially in the summer. 

We should take a look at these ADDS in 6 or so weeks and see if they were a predictor of anything. I feel they usually are. Remember a few weeks ago when it was Bully Vs Desaparecidos? Bully came out on top ( in what ended up not being that close of a race) and now They are #3 while Desaparecidos is #11, Still very good but clearly the record that got the most adds is doing better. 

Thank's for reading.  I will be on the internet. Find me there. 

Until next time. 

Wednesday, July 01, 2015


Happy JULY!!!!! 

July is pretty exciting .....

ok it is not. That was a lie. 

However this week we did see another flip flop between #1's Thee Oh Sees took BACK the #1 spot from Hot Chip in a pretty tight week.  Unknown Mortal Orchestra remained at #3 and could still have a chance at #1.  However with the holiday coming up this weekend it will be interesting to see how that has an impact on the charts.  We could see another flip flop next week and it would not shock me. 
It is curious to see that the second year in a row we have a return #1 when we had not seen one in such a long time.  I am not sure it really means anything but something to keep an eye on. 

This week's #1 add was the easiest to call in some time with 2 indies pushing him and a boatload of hype behind him Leon Bridges took the top spot with 81 adds... Might not seem like much but when there are only 192 reporters getting half the stations to add a record is pretty good. Leon Bridges also had a nice debut in the top 100. I don't want to get carried away but with a lack of other contenders perhaps we see a run to #1 with him. Timing seems right. Lack of competition. Loads of Hype. Good record. Widespread appeal.  Something to keep an eye on. 

I hope everyone is doing something exciting for the 4th! This week also marks Steve's, Canada and my very own birthdays! So go celebrate. Buy yourself some cake.  

I will be celebrating by taking next week off from writing this... you might also think i took this week off from writing this... perhaps. 

Thanks for reading. 



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