By “Big Time” radio, I’m referring to formats like Adult Contemporary (AC), Hot Adult Contemporary (Hot AC), Contemporary Hits Radio (CHR), Active Rock, Pop, and Urban.
There are other formats — college, Adult Album Alternative (AAA) — but, because their impact is smaller (read: less money can be made from them), they operate more in line with the way one would think radio operates: program directors try to pick music that the listeners of their stations will like, and if the listeners respond (calling in to request the song; calling in to ask what the song was, etc.), the song gets played more and more.
Favors are given to those who have greased palms for years to provide the three and a half minutes of airtime at AM on a Thursday night to test a song. The methods change; the labels always trying to stay one-step ahead of the government, and obfuscate just enough to keep the system churning along as it always has.
A major label (and that’s an important distinction) signs an artist, spends a bunch of money to make a record, and then get that artist’s music on the radio in order to have any chance of success.They lost control of perpetual copyrights when artists could fund their own recordings via the advent of Pro Tools.They lost control of distribution once Apple and Tune Core got in the game.To top it off, these very same indies are often also paid a second time by the stations themselves as a consultant to advise the stations on what songs they should play. ” The answer ties us back to Jeff’s article, and explains why Big Time radio is still the purview of the majors.Assuming you had a million bucks or so, you very well could hire yourself some of these indies to “work” your record to Big Time radio, and, believe me, they’d take your money.