The Music Tune-Up
August 28, 2012
All music software works like a funnel. There's a big opening at the top with all the songs you might play. Before songs drip from the bottom for actual airplay, they are squeezed by the narrowing of the funnel. The more rules and restrictions you add, the fewer the songs that make the grade.
Every week, The Lund Consultants review music software databases for stations. When we first look at a client's music, we can often tell how many program directors or music directors have worked on the software over time. Sometimes there is a tendency to add new rules for music scheduling without taking the time to clean out the old rules.
Give your music software a tune-up. The Lund Consultants offer these tips for better music scheduling:
Clean out unneeded rules. Watch for rules that duplicate or conflict with each other. Examine your artist, special artist, and group separation rules in particular. The old Garth Brooks separation settings are no longer the factor they once were. The same goes for '90s Alternative band rules that may still exist in your Top 40 database. Sound codes are often the graveyard of unneeded rules.
Use the right tempo controls. Most software programs offer numerous ways to control the pace of your music. Avoid jarring shifts in tempo and swaths of slow songs. Consider starting each sweep or hour at a higher pace, and use rules to stay within a speed range.
Stretch your library. Use Gold recycling from midday to the next overnight. These are largely exclusive listening periods, and you can vary the actual mix of songs by not recycling currents and recurrents.
Don't ask for the impossible. Having a scheduling rule that says no male artists back-to-back may sound like a good move for variety, but not if your library is 80% male artists. The same goes for tempo restrictions.
Avoid artist repeats and conflicts. Check your spelling and spacing on artist names, as well as solo versus group artists like Rob Thomas and Matchbox Twenty. Watch the supplemental artists, especially on Top 40 (Pitbull, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, etc.).