Every year, I’ve looked back at the records that not only captured the moment, but signaled a sea-change at radio. In 2003, however, with the labels still trying to save their way to prosperity by releasing less product, it was hard to pinpoint more than a handful. Still, radio definitely changed last year. So what songs drove that change?
Author Archive for: Tom Webster
About Tom Webster
om Webster is Vice President of Strategy for Edison Research, a custom market research company best known as the sole providers of exit polling data during US elections for all the major news networks. He has nearly 20 years of experience researching consumer usage of technology, new media and social networking, and is the principal author of a number of widely-cited studies, including The Social Habit, Twitter Users in America, and the co-author of The Infinite Dial, America’s longest running research series on digital media consumption. He is also the co-author of The Mobile Commerce Revolution, and a popular keynote speaker on data and consumer insights. He writes about all of these topics at www.brandsavant.com and on Twitter at @Webby2001.
Webster has a B.A. from Tufts University, an MBA from The University of North Carolina, and conducted post-graduate studies at The Pennsylvania State University.
Entries by Tom Webster
Unlike much of the country, the author hadn’t lived with the Christmas format on a full-time basis until this holiday season when WLTW and WNEW both took the plunge (as well as numerous other stations heard on his daily commute). It’s hard to dispute the effectiveness of Christmas music. The effectiveness of Christmas radio, on the other hand, is another story.
Chillout music, electronica’s mellow side, has been the Smooth Jazz (or Easy Listening) of this generation for several years, but only in the last 18 months or so has that music made its way to the radio with specialty shows and, now, the debut of KLBU (Blu 102.9) Santa Fe, N.M., the first full-time chillout station. Here’s an exclusive interview with GM Ken Christensen.
The arrest of Michael Jackson just seemed like more fodder for morning shows and promotion directors—something to tide them over until Britney Spears could get married for a few hours. But why would any morning team try to find the lighter side of this particular tragedy? And are PDs overlooking the topic’s potential to polarize the audience?
As recently as mid-summer, Top 40 radio was harder and rappier than ever. Then fall came and suddenly the hits were by Stacy Orrico, Fountains of Wayne, and Trapt with just an occasional Outkast or Baby Bash. But have Top 40 listeners really switched their musical allegiences this fast? Or are PDs just being, uh, headstrong?