Among the changes taking place as part of satcaster SiriusXM’s latest channel realignment is the cancellation of longtime mainstream top 40 address "20 on 20.” As of July 17 the channel will be replaced by “Venus,” which will focus on rhythmic pop hits released since 2000.
"20 on 20,” the interactive channel that regularly played the top 20 songs voted on by listeners, dates back to the days when it aired only on XM, prior to its merger with Sirius Satellite Radio in July 2008. According to Arbitron measurements at that time, the channel garnered the highest ratings for XM, rivaling numbers put up by Howard Stern on Sirius.
While "SiriusXM Hits 1,” programmed by radio veteran Kid Kelly, will continue to represent mainstream top 40 on the bird, it is not known where other “20 on 20” programming such as The Official Chart Show, which counts down the top singles in the U.K., will be heard as of the 17th. Representatives at SiriusXM could not be reached for comment.
To a greater degree than on “Hits 1,” “20 On 20” has been known for its wide playlist of current songs - many of which receive little to no exposure on commercial mainstream top 40 stations - and for going early on songs which have gone on to become major hits. “That in itself is a great reason for it to exist,” says Robbins Entertainment President Cory Robbins, whose label currently has two songs playing on the channel.
Current examples of songs recently in "20 on 20’s’' top ten which spread to other stations and have impacted Billboard’s Hot 100 include KONGOS’ “Come With Me Now” and Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me.”
"Kid was the first to play ‘LOL (Love On Lock),’" says 4 Sound founder Jonnie Forster, referring to the song by the label's After Romeo (http://youtu.be/4BjrXoDZy28) which is currently No. 3 in airplay at ’20 on 20,’ according to Nielsen BDS. “We got [the song] on MTV Hits in large part because of '20 on 20'.”
"As an independent [label], we've looked at '20 on 20' as a barometer of what the next hit is, and Kid as a huge tastemaker for radio,” Forster says. ”Other station PDs I’ve talked with respect the activity on '20 on 20,' which has helped them in their decision-making process.”
Robbins adds, “We’re sorry to see it go.”
Other channels to be added by SiriusXM on July 17 include “Utopia,” which will feature dance hits from the 90s and 2000s, and “Y2Kountry,” focusing on country hits from the 2000s.