Why do radio stations play the same songs at the same time over and over again?
Because that’s what you want.
People say they want variety, in the end – they want familiar.
Charles Blow reports in the NY Times that:
“A study last year conducted by members of PRS for Music, a nonprofit royalty collection agency, found that of the 13 million songs for sale online last year, 10 million never got a single buyer and 80 percent of all revenue came from about 52,000 songs. That’s less than one percent of the songs.”
This is virtually a pure test. You can download (almost) any song you want when you go to iTunes. Sure some will search for the obscure garage band, but more than 99% of us stick with the popular and familiar. Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Nickelback.
It’s one of those situations where people have an ideal in their head on how they perceive themselves and their world and how they think they behave, yet strip away all the imagery and you have one result – you’re mainstream.
Don’t blame the radio station for playing the same song over and over again. They want you to listen to them, and you’re the one that chooses familiar over new almost every single time.
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