When adding a new hit song – wait, it is a hit, right? If it’s not, don’t add it – consider how it can become a programming weapon as quickly as possible. And perhaps even more important, if there’s a direct format competitor, is how can your station can win association to gain credit for it. If you’re going to play a song, doesn’t it make sense to celebrate new music?
Often, programmers tip-toe into new music. We put new songs in categories that play infrequently, or just in certain time slots. They reason that new songs are unfamiliar, and unfamiliar songs test poorly compared to established hits. This is true, of course.
However, as with most things, there’s an opposite argument. As a result of this programming tactic, new music a) stays unfamiliar longer, and b) fails to associate your brand with the song/artist.
Assuming the songs going on the air are all going to be hits, here’s another way to think about it:
Have confidence and program boldly.
A great new song is like a new boyfriend. Listeners can’t get enough of it. Give it to them frequently. Put it in hyper-drive rotation, playing at least as often as power currents. It may sound crazy to rotate a category with new songs this often, but this tactic helps claim credit for an important song or artist. Even more importantly, it will become familiar faster. And familiar songs are more valuable.
Once established, slot it into the appropriate category/rotation.
This also supports a new music image.