It’s great to have music research that provides a map of what titles to play, but when it comes time to sort music into categories, it takes more than a spreadsheet with numbers. Programmers must have a strategic focus to make the music sort work for the station.

How can a programmer determine the depth of the library? Should it be deep or shallow? And should the primary focus be on narrowly defined genres or open them up to be wide? What is the best way to stretch music’s appeal and improve the chance of capturing more fans?

These are common – and difficult – questions for programmers. It’s not as simple as targeting broad demographics defined by the ratings services, such as 18-49 year old adults or, for some, 25-54 year old women. Within every demographic are thousands of nuances. That’s why stations must have a station vision. Without one, even the best tactical research (music test) can damage the brand.

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