Over the years one of the most frequent questions we’ve ever gotten is why does Radio keep playing the same songs over and over again.
Here’s the brutally honest truth. Radio is pretty much dependent on advertising and the greatest amount of listeners who are tuned in to one station the longest. That’s a very tall and hard to satisfy order especially in markets where there is a lot of competition for Black stations like Atlanta.
Commercial radio is controlled by a system called PPM or the portable people meter which is owned by Nielsen. Stations have to rank high in order to get ad dollars. The way to do that is through PPM. PPM gives a select group of people a device attached to them (like a beeper for those over 80 years of age who remember) who walk around all day long and what they listen to is consistently recorded throughout the day.
In order for Radio to compete, and to have people listen longer to one station (TSL or Time Spent Listening) they have to constantly play the “hits.” There is little room on commercial radio for new music discovery. For the most part according to radio research, people want to hear the “hits.”
Unfortunately, this leaves a lot of great new music out of the loop. Which goes on to another complaint we’ve often heard “There’s no good music out there anymore!” You would be shocked at the amount of amazing new music that is out there that you never hear on the radio. This is why a lot of listeners are huge fans of streaming services like Spotify which is not dependent on research or advertising.
Over the last five years I must admit the question about why Radio keeps playing the same songs over and over has been asked less and less. I am just amazed this is because of streaming. There you have it the reason why Radio keeps playing the same records over and over.