COUNTRY RADIO SEMINAR 2019 50THYEAR!!!! AKA WHAT’S WRONG WITH COUNTRY?
I love country radio seminar. I’ve been to a lot of ‘em.
Me and Martina before I said “tomato”
Tom McEntee and those folks who helped create the seminar had a great idea. Country can be a strong format by embracing the labels, artists and sharing information and intel.
The Motto was and remains “Growth Through Sharing.”
Easy for anyone to say the agenda may not be what we need. In fact I know they have tried to address the input that “there needs to be more for small market folks.”
Here are thee most important things that won’t be discussed in any session.
Those would be:
Charts Are Useless
The charts are virtually useless because of the large numbers of stations from the same companies. Then those companies play the same new songs all in unison. It’s the New Payola. Two major corporations make a deal. The big label group gets major chain to play the same new record multiple spins a day on the same days. In exchange that group gets valuable promotional trips to give away to see one of the labels other major superstar acts.
The New Payola
The New Payola warps the charts and creates worse product for radio airplay. It’s in the labels best interest to keep cranking out new acts that get streamed. It’s immediate cash. Protecting the Mount Rushmore Superstars isn’t something the labels worry about. Those stars make more money from touring. The labels don’t’ get much of that pie. That’s why the labels do more to create a Russell Dickerson than to keep a Luke Bryan at a high profile level.
Who? Nameless Faceless Acts
This chart and label combination is the cradle and incubator of creating many more nameless and faceless artists. They manufacture their careers via artificially trumped up played singles. Radio needs stars much more than it needs songs.
Is This Even Country?
The strength of country has always been the excellent and robust song writing community. Then their fine material gets recorded. Have we stretched the production rubber band past its breaking point? I think what can be presented as country can be quite wide but now more than ever radio has listeners complaining about the music saying, “that ain’t country.” I am not suggesting we dust off Hank Sr. and Ernest Tubb. What I am suggesting is that there needs to be a production discussion. The problem seems to be the streaming revenue model will never reflect what radio needs. So revenue from streaming is more than just a competitor for time it pulls the product further away from what radio needs.
Radio Could Be Better – Two Things Scream For Attention
Radio is a local medium. The concept of voice tracking from outside of the market feeds the transmitter but leaves a lot not done. Who is cutting the ribbon at the remote opening the new cell phone store? Who is at the high school tailgate party? If the highest profile personalities are from four states away they can’t do these things. Let alone describe the weather, road closures, or things that are happening in that local marketplace.
Partly because there are fewer local radio announcers there is less time to write and produce quality commercials. Radio (Country Radio and all formats) run awful commercials. Poorly conceived, poorly written and produced with about as much care as taking out the garbage.
Our big problems are USELESS CHARTS, THE NEW PAYOLA, STREAMING HAS LED TO FACELESS ACTS, A LOSS OF AN IDENTIFIABLE COUNTRY SOUND, VOICE TRACKING, AND AWFUL SPOTS.
Sure could use a robust industry discussion on these topics.
The CRB Board isn’t interested in my voice. Why I actually share and tell uncomfortable truths. I’m politically incorrect. And the folks who run the CRS are political and politically correct. If they let Keith Hill have a voice why he’ll say that we actually play 15% women and then say the word “tomato.” God Forbid!