There has been a growing trend over recent years for artists to take songs that someone else has done, and re mix them with a new sound, or some changes of some kind or another. I am not talking about a band taking a song they recorded and going back to clean it up a bit. Better recording studio, better equipment, whatever the reasons may be, this is something that is completely understandable. What I am referring to is the idea that an Indie Artist will put out a song, and another artist will take that same song and do a remixed version, or 12 remixed versions.
There seems to be no end to the remixes that some like to do with their music. Now don’t get me wrong, it is their music and they are welcome to do as they choose with it. I am looking at it from the perspective of my stations, and terrestrial stations and any other station that programs in the same manner. Since i am programming the music, like new releases mixed with mainstream, the old school style I sometimes call it. I am looking for new releases to add to the mix. When I get an email from an artist that offers me the same song, only a new mix to it, of something I played just weeks, or months ago, I immediately go past it.
Enter the moment when everyone doing these remixes has just got a little bit pissed off. LOL Think of it this way, when your favorite mainstream band, and lets use Bon Jovi as an example, released Wanted Dead or Alive, they didn’t have a run on the charts, and than 6 weeks later come out with Wanted Dead or Alive: The Emilio Mix. I am just making up a name there, but you get the idea. Now I am not saying this never happened with songs, there have been extended mixes, and other versions, but they were never released to mainstream radio, because they wouldn’t get played. The average listener will get tired of songs over time, if they are played too often or for too long. This is the key statement in all of this is “the average person”. The idea of traditional radio is to appeal to a target audience or demographic. With that target audience in mind, they attempt to appeal to the average listener in that demographic. I laugh as I read this because I have often talked about the fact that I operate the same way, and another Internet Station has changed part of their station notes to reflect they don’t target demographics, just play good music. The idea of target demographics is obviously lost on them, and if anyone is interested I will gladly explain, but it has to do with getting listeners, and keeping them on.
Other stations offer up similar and higher listener numbers than I do, but do they offer the stats to match the claims, and if you were to ask them about how long each of those listeners stays tuned in, I would be curious about those numbers. I promote no RAP, because it doesn’t appeal to the demographic I target, because I know, the second a Rap song came on, they would turn my station off. Its very simple logic. This same logic applies to playing new music. We don’t play covers because we also play the originals, (that’s funny though in that a lot of those were covers that were hits) and focus on a mix of new Indie Tracks mixed with mainstream tracks from past years on the main station. A newer song will get played more times than an older track. So if I for example played a new Indie song for 3 months, and it played about 60 -75 times in that period, than its time for the song to not get as many plays. Much like the mainstream tracks not everything played on KB Radio stays in the playlist, some move to the Indie Station while the songs that have done well with listeners and on our chart will remain.
With this in mind, here is my example to ponder. I received an email from an artist promoting a new song. Its of course a remix of the original. This kind of email is not unique, however for this one song, I actually started playing it in 2017. Its a permanent fixture on the station. So how do I take that one off, and play the new version? I won’t play them both at the same time, and the listeners love the original. Its just one of the many that come in, and while I do think the new version sounds good, I just can’t play it on my stations. I would be more interested in new material from the artist. Than you will hear a couple tracks from that artist. this gets into the entire aspect of the rotation and promotions again and we don’t need to go down that rabbit hole.
So while I appreciate the efforts that go in to creating these tracks, for me it isn’t something I can play or promote for the artists. It is just something I wanted to bring to light and hopefully once again everyone understands. The idea of my operating 4 radio stations is to do so to the best of my ability, drawing listeners and presenting good products, but remember we aren’t a promoter or promotion company. The ability to promote Indie music and artists by playing their music while doing this, is the second part of the combination, not the main objective. I won’t even get into online stations that also do promotional campaigns for artists, which is a total conflict of interest. But doing both things objectively only leads to more listeners, longer listening time, and stations that get over 1500 new songs submitted to us every month. Plus good feedback and support for those Indie Artists.