We've got a guest posting today from Jacobs Media's Dave Beasing:
What is a hit? Radio programmers have debated this question, song by song, since shortly after Marconi. Most agree that this usually fits the definition:
- Top debut album sales – unusual these days for Rock
- Big sold-out concerts – unusual these days for anybody
- Massive artist exposure on television
- Massive artist exposure in other media
- High callout scores for stations that play it
- High callout scores for some stations that don’t play it
- Cross-cume appeal from other stations, at a time when cume is dwindling
Oh, but as Paul Harvey would say, “The rest of the story…” is that I’m referring to a Rock artist who first launched his singing career on the cheesiest of TV shows – you know, the one that pulls nearly Superbowl-like ratings twice a week.
I’m not saying Daughtry’s music fits on every Rock and Alternative station in America. There are some that – legitimately – have a strategy of being positioned outside the mainstream. In effect, they have built an audience expectation that they avoid hits. But if your goal is simpler – a big audience and big ratings – hits are your lifeblood.
Why does Rock radio often shun hits? Pop programmers probably wonder, too… all the way to the bank.
Addendum: We contacted RCA to get the full CD. (After all, how could it be in their best interest if stations actually played more than ONE Daughtry song?). Eric Holmes, our "ears" in the office, found "What I Want" on the album, featuring Slash. A snippet of the song is included below. As Bill Jacobs points out, if Slash isn't repelled by performing with an "American Idol" loser, why should a Rock station go out of its way to avoid playing this guy?