radio songs

Currently, some radio stations are letting listeners know that they play back songs from a “play-list”. What is a “play-list”? Let’s demystify. “Play-lists” are strings of product, short or long.
Is a “big” play-list something to brag about? Yes, sort of. If the broadcaster uses the term to define their entire collection of songs that they are permitted to use, from start to finish, without repeating any one of those songs in play, then they have more potential to play back the string(s) of songs without people getting worn out listening. But, what if too many people listening don’t like a certain song or selection of songs and it/they get overplayed anyway? Then the play list, being long or short, does not matter. Unless advertisers believe that the songs are helping drive sales of their products.
Broadcasters, with truly (and not just perceived) more variety of songs, and playback permission, have more contracts that allow them to extract money from sources. Of course, they also have pay- out obligations and possibly even frequency of play obligations, in exchange for playing the songs over the air, of certain artists. But, how often do broadcasters rely upon the same song(s)? The same listening person? Is there a feedback loop? Do listeners become paid listeners? Do they cheer-lead for certain artists? Advocate certain broadcasters?
Individual songs are organized in an order – in a long string. But, not necessarily played back to us in a long string, start to finish. The tracks can be set in a “shuffle” mode, and played back in a string, or, combined strings of varied duration can be played, to then be broken up at chosen times by broadcasters’ advertising announcements, promotions, DJ comments, jokes etc. This is done today with help of sophisticated computer usage.
Still, people in the broadcasting industry control music play, via what I call “playlist operators”. These are people who operate the computer machinery for pay.
Stations broadcasting, try to find the right balance between advertising and radio play, before audiences turn off the radio. The same is true in television program broadcasting. Radio broadcasters have to please the audiences, the recording artists, the attorneys, municipal sponsors etc. This is probably not easy.
The broadcasting station, and the satellite broadcasting mechanism, needs advertising dollars that come from what you and I buy – from shoes to shampoo (song recordings included). Otherwise, they are not able to play songs, and even the artists lose pay. So, if everyone stopped shopping, some advertisers would advertise even more than they normally want to, repeatedly, and others would pull out entirely.
Consequently, radio stations would play more music in the absence of advertising, but they’d fill it with more talk, and interruptions – radio wouldn’t be “free” anymore in sharing their “play-lists”.
They are probably still aware that the play-lists boasted to be “largest”, can still get boring very fast, if there are too many certain track repeats. Much like you set tunes into your player, on your brand of “shuffle”, the playlists gets tired to your ears after too much play. And, there are limitations to artists too. They can only produce what they can produce. You might burn a CD, or buy a record, with that determined list, and after several listens, it gets old and collects dust. Cool when you get to choose what to listen to. And cool when there’s variety, on the hard-working broadcasters’ transmissions to us. More and more channels, is however not necessarily a safeguard for more variety.
Radio has changed much with public events etc., but essentially there are the primary components – songs, artists, executives, attorneys, advertisers, and all the people who technically make it work to transmit over the air. It’s really quite amazing. Particularly with international play, satellites, and regulations set by the FCC.
Despite play-lists, big or small, and the threat of illegal downloads, radio play has remained a very coordinated medium that needs paid staffers and precision. A lot of the credit goes still to machinery and talent. Who doesn’t love good music? Some artists get over-played, and this annoys audiences who then change the station, only to find that the other station has the same recording contracts with the same artists. Man, they must be wealthy artists! Big or small the “play-list”, the frequency with which songs repeat, can be adjusted by broadcasters, as the station’s executives want. Someone has to be at the helm.
The songs the people working with the broadcasting station select, are in large part chosen by motivated relationships persons have with advertisers and with recording companies, who also have a business relationship with their signed musicians.
Sampling of audiences’ preferences, or selections by the executives at the station, makes executives at the station “This DJ”.
The level of “requests” made by audiences is one factor in determining what gets played. Frustrating for some; gratifying for others.
Again, advertisers are rumored to have paid certain listeners directly, for calling requests in to stations, to promote a certain artist – even if that artist is dated or dead… sort of a scam really. Now you know!

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