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The future of Radio music research

What does it mean for the future of testing music when:

1. Satellite Radio does little or no testing – and increases its subscriber base anyway? 2. The hottest new formats are characterized by playing songs which, de facto, “don’t test”? 3. The costs of testing music, especially through conventional call-out, continue to skyrocket, causing stations to cut back on that testing, to roll averages, or to abandon it altogether? 4. The presumed introduction of HD radio – hundreds of new audio channels without advertising support (for the first couple years anyway)? No revenue will mean no expense, and no expense will mean no music research.

What does it say about the testing of music?

The theory goes that as options magnify the need to test music in ever changing flavors will likewise increase.

I think this is exactly wrong.

The fewer musical options you provide, the more important it is that those few options satisfy the lowest common denominator tastes for the majority of the time – and the more important music research becomes.

But the more musical options you provide listeners, the more they can self-program those options and the less important music research becomes. In fact, the leaner and meaner you make your playlist, the more resentment that playlist creates.

Think about it.

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