Scandanavian Research Firm Finds A 3-Month Lifespan For Hits
March 17, 2014 at 3:00 AM (PT)
DENMARK-based RADIOANALYZER CEO/Co-Founder MIKKEL B. OTTESEN shares with ALL ACCESS, "some rather surprising new facts about how listeners react to music on the radio. The facts are from the RADIOANALYZER SPRING Survey 2014 and are the result of the most complex and extensive data analysis of real listener reactions to date. It is based how real listeners react to songs when actually listening to the radio, and that is new brand new methodology compared to conventional music research where listeners are asked to rate the music. The survey covers millions of minute-to-minute data sets from the largest SCANDINAVIAN radio stations and even more on-air log entries. Even though the survey stem from SCANDINAVIAN radios, the results have a statistical size that make them transferable to other countries too."
The research found that the average radio lifespan of a chart hit ought to be less than 3 months after it has become popular. After that listeners start reacting negatively to most songs. The analysis of all major SCANDANAVIAN Top 40 and AC radio stations and their listeners’ reactions to everything they have aired in 2013 also show that it normally only takes between 3 and 5 weeks from first on-air play to peak popularity. The results of the analysis suggest playing a chart hit for more than four months without a break is more likely to damage the ratings of a radio station than increase them.
”This is a bit of a surprise when you compare it to the way songs are scoring in other types of testing”, said OTTESEN.
He explains that an important difference in methodology is behind the new know-ledge. ”Conventional testing is done by asking people to rate songs, so in a sense you are forcing them to take a stand on a song. Our results are based on analysis of how they actually react when listening -- not how they say they will react.”
As a result of the data analysis RADIOANALYZER has been able to categorize Currents into three new primary groups, based on how listeners react to them. The grouping structure has been published in the RADIOANALYZER SPRING Survey 2014.
The survey, entitled ”The life cycle of radio songs”, goes on to determine that even listener taste in classic hits is less stable than one would have assumed. Very few classics enjoy positive listener reactions if played consistently over more than three months -- and classics are extremely sensitive to airplay over-exposure from competing stations, noted the survey. The data also details how, while the vast majority of the songs played on-air are newer songs, it is the classics that receive the most positive listener reactions, if played at the exact right time.
Read the whole Spring Survey 2014 -- ”The life cycle of radio songs” by clicking here.