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Author Topic: Why do radio stations only play singles?  (Read 1690 times)
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ScubaV
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« on: April 29, 2008, 10:30:18 PM »

I work in a lab with 4-6 other people depending on the time of day.  The radio is always on, though the station varies, as that is the only way to listen to music (internet access is tightly controlled, and headphones are not allowed).  Needless to say, I'm getting very annoyed with hearing the same songs over and over and over and over and over again, even if they're ones I like.  How did this come to be?  And why do radio stations only play singles instead of other tracks to add some variety?
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Giles Habibula
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2008, 11:20:23 PM »

Often wonder this myself.
 I have more variety on my home CD collection.
I can only guess it has something to do with a 'package' of songs they license for a set fee. More songs would cost them more....?
My buddy works as a DJ at a local station, and he says he doesn't know. All he knows is that there is a hard drive with a playlist on it, and that's all he has to work with.

Back about 10 to 15 years ago, there was a local station that used to play non-singles. And every Saturday night, they'd do something called a "CD Sideshow", where they would play an ENTIRE CD. I bought a lot of CDs based on what I heard on that show. For instance, I was introduced to Blue Oyster Cult's "Fire Of Unknown Origin" that way, and became a BOC fan because of it. I used to schedule my Saturday nights around that, to make sure I heard it each week.

The old days. I miss 'em.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2008, 11:26:33 PM by Giles Habibula » Logged
Doopri
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2008, 12:23:38 AM »

Quote
I can only guess it has something to do with a 'package' of songs they license for a set fee. More songs would cost them more....?

actually its the other way around.  record labels pay most radio stations via intermediaries ("indies") or directly in order to get songs played.  which is probably exactly the answer to the original question asked in the thread.  of course, radio stations can license music to play it - but why do that when they can cash out big time and all they have to do is play the newest single off the hot new record? over and over and over... smile
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Rumpy
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2008, 02:18:04 AM »

Singles are often the hook to get someone to buy an album. Often it will be a cover or just a song that stands out from the rest. And a lot of the time, what you get is a single that doesn't resemble the rest of the album at all.
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jament
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2008, 03:56:06 PM »

I think that used to be true, but with all the music delivery systems like ITunes, people just buy the single and ignore the rest of the album.

That model has been good and bad, I think - some artists are more single driven and others put out albums that are more balanced to get people to buy the whole thing.
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