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Music Testing - How Important is It?

I was attempting to have a civil discussion with a person in one of the radio groups on Facebook. The discussion was over the importance of music testing. Now being in broadcasting for nearly 40 years, I've always had a problem with two things, they are consultants and music testing. Consultants for slashing playlists and creating a very bland repetitive radio station and music testing because I always resented that a few people in a test room will determine what I would like to hear.


That being said, music testing is the primary way to determine if a song will work or not on a radio station. It has been used for years and ultimately is important to advertisers. I feel that it is more useful for contemporary terrestrial radio formats. Oldies maybe not so much. The audience of an oldies station usually accepts and expects variety. It's great to hear a song and say "boy I haven't heard that one in years!"


The person that I was trying to make my point across to

obvious wouldn't accept my opinion. All he talked about was math algorithms and policy and seemed set in his judgemental attitude. I eventually terminated the conversation.


Internet radio does not have to rely heavily on advertising and listeners of internet radio turn to it for variety. Edgewater Gold Radio doesn't use consultants or takes part in any music testing. I program from my gut and feature a large variety of oldies. There are times that I feel a song does not fit and will remove it from our playlist. We also have methods to measure how our audience feels about a particular song but this isn't relied upon heavily.


There's a reason why listeners are turning to internet radio and that is variety!