It is auditorium testing,not the radio station's fault. They bring in about 1,500 people and play them 10-20 second samples of songs and people vote on them for a few hours and are paid like 20 bucks for their time.
Whatever the results are of the tests the radio station sets their playlist accordingly. That means deeper cuts ala AOR Rock radio are not going to be picked because instead of radio giving a chance to rock artists they just play it safe and play the hits that the idiotic public chooses...
"oh yeah man i love black dog from zep..im votin for that...oh yeah i love more than a feeling from boston...im votin for that" so when they throw in a mix of songs and people do not recognize the song,they don't vote for it because they have either forgotten what that song was or only have 10-20 seconds to decide.
We pay big bucks...6 figures worth....for the testing. It pays off sorta. Our demo is a professional 25-54 year old woman. Proabbly divorced, possibly on her second marriage. Coupla kidz and at least one pet. Drives Hondas, Toyotas and other toaster cars but would really like a bimmer.
Our cash cow station is WSHH-FM. (we have 3 stations in Pittsburgh, 30+ across the county) WSHH broadcasts to wimmin and we spend tons of cash to figure out what they want.
Right now i'st Eagles , Eagles , Eagles....sigh.
We're always running around 5 in share. Usually around 5th in ranking... sometimes up to 4th... sometimes down as low as 8th. In the long run we prove we can >reliably< deliver the pantyhose demo and buyers shell out for that.
But DANG...Do I MISS the OLD DAYS and REAL RADIO!!
BTW since I'm old and like 50's music I can really get into DooWop, Beach and early R&R. Right now I'm on a Tiki Lounge kick to the EXTREME of remodeling my attic into a bachelor pad/tiki lounge setting complete with thatched roof and bamboo/rattan furniture. Only gals like Sandy Warner in a sarong or bikini will be allowed and the musical wallpaper will be all be Martin Denny Exotica or Space Age Pop stuff. Check out the Retro Cocktail Hour on KANU Kansas Public radio and the net - netcasting. You'll have to Google, I'm too tired to find the link.
They didn't want my opinion. I've done the phone surveys in the past and got turned down when a friend told me how to go to one in person and get paid.
The station already knows what they want to play, they just want to justify it. They have expressed no interest in appealing to me as a listener.
To be fair to the stations, that's exactly what they're dealing with, particularly with adults. They listen to the radio, if they hear a song they don't like, they scan away. If they hear a song they like, they stick with it.