Released on MCA Nashville, "Time" is getting a boost as Capitol is now promoting it to adult pop radio. Still, Steve Salhany, who programs CBS Radio adult pop outlets WBMX Boston and WTIC Hartford, Conn., has been playing the love song on the stations since before Capitol's involvement. (WTIC first played "Time" on Feb. 26 and has spun it 345 times through April 12, according to Nielsen Music; WBMX is at 220 plays, dating to its first on March 3.) "My job is to play the hits, and this is a hit," Salhany says. "Just looking at its sales and streams, it's a hit record."
"Time" doesn't mark the first country ballad that Salhany has championed at adult pop radio. He previously gave spins to Luke Bryan's "Play It Again," which crowned Hot Country Songs, also for nine weeks, last year.
Sam Hunt Erases Boundaries Between Country & Other Genres at NYC Show
Helping warm up pop audiences for "Time," in addition to its singer/songwriter lean, which in many ways makes it a sonic fit: its familiarity thanks to country radio. While the song is fairly new to WBMX listeners, Boston country competitors WBWL and WKLB lead all U.S. stations in plays for it, at more than 1,400 and 1,000, respectively, since each began playing it in November.
As Salhany cites, sales also reinforce that Hunt is fast becoming a known commodity. "Time" finished as the top-selling country digital song in first-quarter 2015 (619,000 downloads sold), while parent set Montevallo was the top-selling country album (199,000) in that span.