How to create a playlist on radio stations / The company's blog Audiomania / SurprizingFacts

Almost to each of our material on how radio stations work (they are here: 1, 2, 3), one can find angry comments that modern radio " "The same music that repeats from hour to hour, and in the intervals between annoying songs annoying advertising plays.

In this post we will tell about the construction of a playlist of a modern radio station and why the authors of the comments are right, but not quite.

Photo Camilo Rueda L Ópez CC

It all depends on the format of

The format of the radio station is such a "stumbling block", which is disputed by both journalism professors and the broadcasters themselves. Someone thinks that the format of the radio station is too fuzzy, someone is sure that this is the basis of broadcasting. Nevertheless, there is a classical division of radio stations according to the formats and it is from which one of the stations that this station is based that its content, including the musical one, depends.

So, the formats of radio stations:

  • AC (adult contemporary) – is considered the most common format, the basis of the playlist is modern popular music for the adult audience. As a rule, these are modern hits and music of recent decades.
  • CHR (contemporary hit radio) – hot rotation of modern hits. As a rule, it is the stations of this format that have the scantiest playlists. In general, the charts (top 20, top 40 songs, etc.) prevail on the air, the compositions that left the chart are not delayed on the air.
  • Rock / Jazz / Dance – these formats combine the music of the corresponding trends.
  • Easy Listening – soft, relaxing music like trip-hop, soft-rock, etc. plays here
  • Urban – on such radio stations put hip-hop, rap and r'n'b. For Russia this is a rather rare format, in FM broadcasting it practically does not occur
  • Oldies – music of the past decades, retro.
  • Gold Hits – as is clear from the title, the golden hits of all time sound on the air.
  • News / talk – radio stations of the spoken genre. On the air, as a rule, more work leading: analyst, news, talk shows, conversations, music fades into the background.

Of course, there are subformats, for example soft AC or AOR (Album-oriented rock), in modern broadcasting there are practically no representatives of "pure", classical formats. But the basis for the construction of the ether is precisely the ones listed above.

How songs get on the radio

Now, after we sorted out the formats, it's important to understand how the songs are selected for the ether. On each radio station there is a person (and more often several) who choose, this or that composition for the ether is suitable or not. This is the program director, the producer of the air, and often all the tops that work with the air are involved in the process of "listening".

That is, contrary to popular belief, a DJ can not just take it, open a streaming service and start a song with it He likes and seems to fit the format of the radio station, on the air (although the bravest sometimes do so and often get rather big fines). Each composition undergoes rigorous selection and must be approved. In addition, it is necessary to remember about observance of copyrights.

There are several key rules that increase the chance of a song to get on the air (they are not followed by all, each station has its own selection criteria, but observance of these moments will go to plus for Selection). Firstly, the composition should be a "potential hit" (which means that neither the number of downloads on the most popular streaming services, nor the millionth views of the clip on youtube, nor the successful concert tours do not make the song "radial").

It is best if the song is not too long (no more than 4 minutes). If you listen to famous radio stations, you can observe that even the longest songs of the most legendary performers "cut" at the end.

The features of building a broadcast grid in general give more chances to short songs, they are very convenient to "plug" the holes between the release of advertising or news And transition to a regional bloc.

There should be no moments in the song with complete silence, because the silence on the air leads to the micro-inflection of the entire radio station. No one likes long instrumental introductions, it's better that the vocalist starts singing as early as possible, and the chorus goes no later than the first minute of the song.

How the playlist builds up

For this, there is special software (for example, Power Gold). After the music library is selected, all music is divided into categories. Each station has its own division, but, as a rule, it's hits, "golden fund", fast, slow, music for the evening, music for the day off, music for mourning, a night playlist and so on. In the program, you can specify playback rules – for example, tracks from which categories can stand side by side, and from which can not. For each category, you can also set the time of day for rotation, frequency and other parameters.

There are several unspoken rules about the compatibility of songs on the air: you can not put several songs in a row with male or female vocals (in other words, boys are diluted by girls and vice versa ), The "musical picture" should be combined according to the atmosphere, so it's better to "cheer up" in the morning, and relax in the evening, but the two songs from these categories put near them severely cut the rumor.

And here, That the radio is playing The same songs?

And now, if you compare all this information, the "withered" playlist is very easy to explain. First, CHR radio stations (which are most often heard by young people) are not designed for long listening. Due to the tight binding to the charts, the playlist is rather meager, and the same songs can be heard within two to three hours. This is a normal practice.

As for radio stations with a richer library, even they once become boring for the regular listener, because any new song goes through a lot of checks and approvals before getting into the rotation and becoming a permanent resident of the radiophonetics , As the musical "golden fund" of the radio station remains unchanged. It turns out that the songs begin to repeat, although the new tracks still fall into the playlist.

Some radio stations practice "listening" with the help of their audience (someone directly on the air offers to choose by voting what should get In a playlist, someone gathers a focus group outside the air.)

And yet, the only advice that can be given to people dreaming of new music on the air is to change the wave. At least for a while, or even better, choose for yourself several radio stations and switch between them. It is desirable to expand the format, let it be, for example, CHR, news / talk and jazz.

By the way, special attention should be given to radio stations of the conversational format – because the music does not take up most of the air there, it does not So quickly bored.

PS Digest: 30 materials on the subject of portable Hi-Fi.