Monthly Archives: May 2018


What if Billy Beane programmed a radio station?

Billy Beane famously used “Sabermetrics” to build the Oakland Athletics into a winning team. He had the challenge to field a quality and competitive team with a much lower payroll than major franchise teams like the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox.

Sabermetrics which gets its name from the Society Of American Baseball is essentially … math! More than just slugging percentage or batting average sabermetrics drilled down to specific situations. With a left-handed pitcher and two men on base what percentage of the time does Joe Jones get a hit?

Partly because I look like Brad Pitt it’s my claim that I approach Music Scheduling like Billy Beane approaches baseball.

What if Billy Beane programmed a radio station?

I propose to call it TSL/ATSE Metrics.  (Time Spent Listening / Average Time Spent Exposed Metrics)

Further, I claim you pick your cume when you selector your format.  Bill Moyes of the Research Group used to say, “every market has a certain size life group for each format.”  A “life group” is the number of folks who prefer and basically use a particular format or genre of music.

I know that when your music mix is correct by certain metrics that you can trick listeners to listen longer.  Huh, that’s what I do for a living folks.  I trick folks into listening to their favorite radio stations longer.

I have famously (and infamously) used the analogy of tossed salad to describe the right mix of music for radio.

My claim is it’s a good analogy.  You want to mix your music by era, tempo, gender, core-non-core and format specific sound codes.  You also want the percentages of these components to be “tuned” to that life group.

This is me and  Martina McBride before I ever spoke in public advising stations that more than 15% females in country music stations music mix would be ill advised.

The tossing of the salad is to create the impression of variety.  Much like that salad you wouldn’t want to get a forkful of onion, onion, onion, onion.  That would be like playing Hip Hop, Hip Hop, Hip Hop, Hip Hop or on a country station High Twang, High Twang, High Twang, High Twang.  You generally don’t play slow songs back to back. In a format where the female component is a low percentage you (say 15%) you wouldn’t play females back to back.

And regarding the math metrics imagine going to your favorite restaurant and ordering a salad and when your server brings you the plate it’s 90% onions?  or 50% carrots?  It’s obvious when you use out of tolerance metrics.

When I listen to a station and look at their music I can quickly spot… “hey, there’s way too little core music product in here.”  Or “whoa this library has way too many slow songs for this “Movin” format.

My claim is the percentage of core non-core, slow medium and fast tempo, male, female, and various format specific sound codes need to be at certain percentage and metrics to tune your music for your life group and optimal ratings driven by TSL/ATSE.

Do you know what the right music coding and composition metrics are for your station?

Unless you’re just happier than a clam with your ratings you should find out.  There are two possible problems.  Your music is not tuned and you don’t know it.  Or your music is not tuned and you do know it. Yikes!

To make sure your music is “purr-fect”  Call us.  Keith Hill The UnConsultant and Allie The UnCatsultant.

I’ll make sure it’s right even if he doesn’t!  – Allie



Is Your Music Right?

There’s more to music that most folks realize. The key to tricking folks to listening longer is by driving the “perception of variety” in your music mix. Changing eras, sounds, genders, tempos, core-non core.
I use the great visual tools in software today to allow me to “eye” my music so my “ears” will be happy. Feast your eyes on this…


But is this right? In terms of spreading the codes (sounds) do you have the peanut butter spread evenly on the bread all day? There are even more tools to make sure you can see if your percentage of each code is right hourly and for the day.


If you’re not sure your music is right then you have a problem. A one level you don’t know what you don’t know. It may be right by accident but that’s unlikely. Instead, you can learn, fix, and implement the right plan to make sure your music is tuned.
In the financial industry an advisor, fund or stock that performs the best is said to have the highest alpha. Here’s a quote from
Alpha, often considered the active return on an investment, gauges the performance of an investment against a market index or benchmark which is considered to represent the market’s movement as a whole. The excess return of an investment relative to the return of a benchmark index is the investment’s alpha.
To make sure your music has the highest alpha factor call me
My cell is 956-874-8981 Keith Hill

What Is The Best Library Size?

The good folks from MusicMaster have allowed me to be part of their Pro Team.  The aw-shucks in me combined with my snarky attitude makes to say… “what a mistake on their part.”  The truth they have the best music scheduling software available on planet earth.  There remain really great questions about what philosophies you have to best achieve the best rating results.  The longest ATSE (Average Time Spent Exposed – in PPM-measured markets) and TSL (Time Spent Listening – in legacy Diary markets.) So for as long as they’ll let me be part of the Pro Team, I plan on pontificating about some of the ways to think about the best way to go about scheduling music for excellent results, bonuses, better job offers and getting your competitors evicted from their homes.  See today, I’m snarly and FUN!

“So, Keith what is the best library size?”

Answer 172 songs!   See, I promised snarky and fun.   Seriously,  I go waaaaayyyy back to one of my old bosses and mentors Julian Breen. When I was a baby PD and Julian had forgotten more than I would ever know about radio he used to say, “Gentlemen your library size is your station’s blood pressure!  How high do you want it to be?”  First, you’ll notice we have evolved and now have women music directors, PDs, and general managers.  I believe the intelligent approach to library size involves first making the decision to program your radio station for your P1’s. The folks who spend the most time with you.  DO NOT pick a library size to appeal to your P2’s or P3’s… you’ll end up just playing 5 songs and that will wear out your P1’s.

If you have Nielsen, Eastlan or some research intel you’ll be able to get a handle on those P1 listeners.  It used to be that P1’s would spend 18 to 20 hours a week with your radio station.  That’s rare today.  The belief is that folks have more choices of distraction… the internet, phones, and audio other than radio.  In future articles, we can get into how to fight those things. For now, let’s imagine a station with 12 hours a week average listening by it’s P1s.  That 12 hours means they listen 102 minutes a day. (1 hour and 42 minutes a day)  Then you need to know the typical number of listening occasions. Let’s say its 5 occasions a day. Well, that 102 minutes divided by 5 is 20 minutes 24 seconds.  Now a moment is truth from someone who has studied it way too much.  Those 5 occasions end up more typically being 20 minutes in the morning, 38 minutes in midday, 28 minutes in car in the afternoon, then 4 minutes and lastly one more time for 12 minutes in the evening. The point is morning shows can run 20 minutes to 40-minute occasions.  Middays can run a little longer.  It might be 50 minutes or over an hour and with perhaps one interruption.  Afternoons in-car listening can be around 30 minutes.  Evenings often these days show shorter length in the occasions.  In PPM markets it can be many more listening occasions but shorter.

The truth is, listeners don’t listen as long as we think.

I claim if you take your P1 ATSE / TSL and divide by the occasions you end up with what you should program for.  Important to note these are average of the P1’s  There are those rare P1’s who spend 4 or 5 hours a day.  God give me their addresses!!!!! We don’t want to wear them out with rapid turnover that causes fatigue. So, we’re not going to play 15 songs over and over every hour. Though many years ago Mike Joseph (who sadly recently passed away at age 90) used essentially 30 songs which were turning over every two hours.  He achieved great success with this simple formula.  The truth is listeners don’t listen as long as we think.  Yes, the sales manager is going to tell you our station is on in a big retail advertiser all day long and they are complaining of repetition.  Ask him/her why one spot a day isn’t enough for them in their advertising schedule?

There are different answers to the library size question depending on your format.  If your format has currents and recurrent material or if you are a library based classic hits station.

Let’s quickly wrap up a thought on a station that plays Currents, Recurrents, and Gold and that needs essentially 15 songs an hour.  And for simplicity lets say there are 5 currents, 5 recurrents, and 5 gold.

A Power Currents                 2 Per hour – 5 Songs – Turnover 2 ½ hours
B Medium Currents            2 Per hour – 7 Songs – Turnover 3 ½ hours
C  Light Currents                 1 Per hour – 5 Songs – Turnover 5 hours
D Power Recurrent             3 Per hour – 21 Songs – Turnover 7 hours
E Reg Recurrent                   2 Per hour– 30 Songs – Turnover 15 hours
P Power Gold                         3 Per hour– 57 Songs – Turnover 19 hours
R Regular Gold                     2 Per hour– 62 Songs – Turnover 1 day 7 hours

Well, that’s 187.  (See that 172 earlier was the consultant in me slashing your playlist)

Those turnovers (or repeat intervals) on currents are based on those P1 average times.

Recurrents have some fatigue because they are older.  And the gold is the best stuff from your Gold pool that creates the impression of variety.  Musicmaster offers the excellent tool and facility for auto platooning (Thanks Joe & Scott it’s EXCELLENT!!!)  You could find 5 more power gold and 5 more regular gold lets say and platoon rest 5 songs in each all the time.  I like to rest songs 3 to 4 weeks.  I also like choosing most played in the category.  That way the 5 most played Power Gold move to the Platoon Rest bucket and sits out for 4 weeks.  While 5 fresh songs come in.  And by choosing the most played over time all the songs in the category should take their turn in the timeout rest Platoon Bucket!  What you want is a long enough of a rest so that your P1’s get to the point where they feel you play a song too much.  Just then you rest it.  Its gone for 4 weeks and then they hear it again and it has gone from brown burned to fresh re-greened in their mind.

Next time my pontification on Artist Separation.  While most programmers think of Artist Separation… I will suggest that the wrong way to think about it.  Instead, I’ll introduce you to “Artist Density.”  My claim, the right artist density drives listenership longer… ratings higher and you’ll be driving a newer nicer car as the result of what happens!