Whenever a station conducts an analysis of their music system, the first stop should always be to examine how songs are rotating. This is the single most common source of problems in a music database. There are many things that could cause music to rotate poorly. But before diagnosing the cause of a problem, it’s best to go all the way back to the basics to make sure the math supports perfect music rotations.
Establishing perfect music rotations isn’t difficult, but it’s commonly overlooked. Over time, programmers move songs between categories. But they usually don’t move other songs out of the category. As a result, the math is compromised. Categories may start with perfect music rotations math, but it’s not long before those best laid plans are out the window.
Start there and all problems will be easier to solve.
Music rotations are simple math involving the number of songs in a category, the frequency in which those songs play and the number of hours in a day. There are 24 hours in a day. Right? Please nod your head yes.
Okay, let’s take a simple example. Assume a category that plays one time per hour. that means the category 24 times in a day. If there are 24 songs in the category, guess what happens? That’s right, the same song plays at exactly the same time day after day. So 24 songs in that category are going to cause problems.
To get the most value from the library, it’s important for songs to naturally rotate through different hours and dayparts before playing again in the same hour. Of course, most music software includes rules settings to protect against this. But rules should never be established to program your station. Rules are there to guide song selection toward desired goals.
So why make the software work so hard to find a song to schedule when there is a much more effective solution?