Oscar Best Song nominations have always been an unusual bunch, and while some of this year's nominees fit that description, there are at least two songs that have some hit aspect to them this year, Pharrell's "Happy" and the Frozen soundtrack's "Let It Go." The former is finally exploding at radio after six months. The latter is a hit so far only in Puerto Rico. And once again we ask, "What is a hit"?
In late 2013, R&B/hip-hop radio seemed to be undergoing its first building boom in a decade, and the first since its numbers were diminished in many markets when the PPM metered measurement era began. Part II of Ross On Radio's "Intriguing Stations of 2013" ranges from new R&B launches to country in the northeast to great hobbyist stations.
2013 began with Country coming to New York, but only as the calling card for Cumulus' Nash-ional country format. It ended with Clear Channel moving Rush Limbaugh off KFI and trumpeting "live and local." In between, there were breakthroughs for '90s-rhythmic-based formats and even the super-soft '70s and '80s.
New York's top 40 Z100 isn't running its own year-end countdown for 2013, opting instead for Clear Channel's national iHeart Countdown instead. But over the years, the Z100 year-end tally has been a nice illustration of how various markets still differ. And a look at Z100's most-played songs for the year shows that there are still significant differences, including the power of EDM this year.
For the first month or so of the relentless promotion for "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues," I was feeling a little wistful about radio's inability to be as funny or creative in its promotional efforts. Then as the Ron Burgundy appearances became more relentless, the reaction changed and various tweets and Facebook postings began reading the promotion as desperate. In that regard, "Anchorman 2" now resembles another one of radio's self-promotion campaigns.
Acoustic pop and alternative crossovers often pile up at top 40 waiting for the one "rock slot" among more traditionally rhythmic and mainstream titles. That's why One Direction's "Story Of My Life" needs five weeks to get to the top 20 and OneRepublic's "Counting Stars" needs six months. So what would top 40 sound like if it played those songs right away? A lot like WKRQ (Q102) Cincinnati. So we take a Fresh Listen.