Should I Play It?

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Should I Play It?

Post by rogerwimmer » Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:14 am

I'm PD at a fairly conservative CHR/Hot AC. Where we are MOST conservative is with the Rhythm. Over the past few months, we have been getting an increased amount of calls, e-mails, Facebook posts, etc. for more Rap music in our mix. As you know, that's actually still a divisive style for some folks. We've dipped our toes in the Rhythmic water in the past, with very mixed results. That's what makes me skittish about it now despite the fact that I grew up on Hip Hop and personally love it.

What's the best way to go about researching if I should play more of this stuff, or not? I suppose I could just start dropping more in the mix, and learn from the results. But I don't like the downside of that risk (playing it, chasing away audience, causing my station's brand damage that may take a long time to heal). - Anonymous

Anon: The only reliable and valid way to know if you should add Rap music to your radio station is to ask your listeners in a music test, or in a perceptual study if you can't conduct a music test. If you can't conduct either research project, then you'll have to guess, and guessing is the easiest way to make mistakes.

You said you have been getting, " . . . an increased amount of calls, emails, Facebook posts, etc" asking for more Rap music. I wouldn't rely on that information for anything other than it's nice that some people take the time to contact you. In addition, all of the people who made the calls or comments may be your competitors who are trying to mess up your radio station. If you think there is some validity to the comments you have received, then you need to verify if the information is correct by conducting a legitimate research study.

Finally, I don't know how many people have called or written to your radio station. You only said "an increased amount." If that "increased amount" is several thousand contacts, then you may want to pursue the idea. If you have received only a few dozen comments, then you don't have enough information to do anything other than keep the information in the back of your mind as an "indication" of what listeners may want to hear on your radio station.
Roger Wimmer is owner of Wimmer Research and senior author of Mass Media Research: An Introduction, 10th Edition.

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