In the past, programmers generally accepted a music programming strategy that started with a code more suitable for physicians: Do no harm. That’s still good advice for Doctors but it no longer works for radio stations. Shorter attention spans have affected every aspect of our lives. It should affect song selection.

Programmers fortunate enough to still afford music research have a distinct advantage. Listener feedback provides the basis for making more informed decisions. When it’s time to sort the songs, most programmers start by getting rid of the weak songs. And that’s valid. You can’t take those poor testing titles off the air fast enough.

The next steps, however, need to be re-imagined.

Short Attention Spans

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