2019 A Look Back

The timing for the previous year in review is probably past in some ways, and I had written a blog about the past year a couple weeks ago, but as a writer I have those moments where I just don’t like everything I wrote.   I have sat on that one for a couple weeks, thinking from time to time about how to tweak it and I could publish it, but decided in the end it was easier to start over.

The past year was one of significant gains all the way around for me and the stations.  From a personal perspective entering in to what has become an amazing situation living with someone very special and eventually realizing i want to be with them forever.  That relationship helped to grow the Brand KB Radio and the KB Family of Stations beyond anything I could have anticipated on January 1st 2019 when I officially relaunched the live shows on KB Radio, updated KB Country and add the other two stations. 

KB Indie & KB AOR

We have seen friends go away and new ones develop and still the music is the main focus.  I set high standards for how I want things operated, and try to live up to that every day.  We upset people along the way who think because I have a radio station or 4, I should play every single song that comes in to us.  But I think we have shown consistently our plan, the business model I have developed and based on the growth I assume it is working still. 

With 4 full years now under my belt, I also believe we have shown we are here for the long haul and are not going anywhere.  We continue to grow with other shows and programs looking to air on our stations, and us offering our programming to others as well.  The Indie Music scene has grown into an incredible voice around the world and while we don’t and can’t play every song that comes to us, more than 1000 per month on average, the music we do play we do our best to offer our best in promoting those songs through our stations playlists and more.

I have lived my life with no regrets, because where I am now as I say, I am extremely happy.  You can’t get there without problems, and things just happening in life, in business, in friendships and relationships.  But its how we take those events and use what we learn.  So as I sit and write this, being as happy in so many aspects right now, how can I regret anything.  Without all those past events I wouldn’t have gotten to this exact point in my life.  Can I do better, personally and business wise with the stations?  I am sure that I can and will strive to do so.  We start 2020 with some goals and opportunities that should make it a very exciting year.  We hope you come along for the ride, but if for whatever reason you can’t, that’s okay too.  We all have our own lives and hopes and dreams.

Cheers and thank you to everyone who was a part of the past amazing year.

Al

https://www.kbradio.ca/

https://kbcountryradio.ca/

https://kbradiocanada.wixsite.com/kbindieradio

https://kbradiocanada.wixsite.com/kbaor

 

 

Getting Added to the rotation; What exactly does that mean.

I have written this blog mostly as an attachment for email responses to music submissions, but also general information.  Many of those who read this already know that I do things differently than most other internet based radio stations.  When we get music submissions, you will get one of two emails, either one thanking you for sending in your music and we cannot use it at this time or the better is one saying we can use it and letting you know which stations it will play on.

If you happen to get one that says we won’t be playing or using it, please don’t ask why.  I don’t critique music as a rule.  I look for tracks that will fit with the sound on any of the 4 stations I operate.  the reality of the situation is, last year, being 2019 we received over 10, 000 tracks of music.  I applaud other stations or podcasts that will play all of those songs if they get the same number, and wish them success in their endeavors.  However I program the same as terrestrial or broadcast stations, and due to this there are limited spaces.   Even if I didn’t and played every song submitted on KB Indie Radio as an example let me do some math as an example.

There are on average 16 songs per hour played.  If we were to take those 10, 000 songs, rounded off, it would take 625 hours to play them all back to back.  That works out to about 26 days of non stop music to go through that entire list.  Now of course they all didn’t come in at once and that changes things, but lets not get all technical.

Although we don’t program every song that comes in to one of our stations, those songs that do get added will see multiple plays, and an increased recognition factor with our listeners.  Lets face it, its common sense.  If I could add a song as 1 of 10, 000 and it played once a month for 12 months, yes that’s 12 times for the year, but it doesn’t work that way.  As new music comes in, they would get added because there is still only so many hours in the day.  As our listener numbers climb and the popularity grows we are getting 300 plus songs a week submitted for possible airplay.  That would equate to 20 hours of new music every week, and to play those, you can’t play the others.  I hope this makes sense math wise.

What we do is take songs that fit the sound of each station.  Its how I programmed my first broadcast station I was in charge of in 1989, and its how I do it now.  Again its my methods and let other do things with their methods.  However if I add as an example 100 songs a month to the programming, that is 25 a week, split into different rotation profiles.  Now your music is heard at least once a week, mixed with mainstream tracks and potentially as many as 3 or 4 times in the rotation, and even more if it makes the chart.  I looked at all of the songs in our year end Top 50, in the top 10 positions anyway, and every single song there has played between 90 and 100 times in 2019.  Plus due to popularity among listeners is permanently in rotation on KB Radio.  These same songs got approximately the same number of spins this year on KB Indie Radio.  So would an artist rather get maybe 1 play a month or maybe 200 across 2 different stations.  When a song plays 100 times in a year, it would have played on average 4 times a week for 12 to 16 weeks, being in a high rotation due to its popularity.  The balance of the 100 is made up of extra plays on the chart countdown and it still being aired for the remaining months.

This is for KB Radio, and each of the other 3 stations have their own independent programming and rotation.  The idea for each is to spotlight the newest and most popular among listeners.

So for those who are submitting, if you are told it is going into the rotation it means we want to promote that track and will usually keep your song spinning for 60 to 90 days on the starting station(s).  From that point there are other possibility’s  about where the song can go, but ideally what we like to see is after a couple months a new track from the artist, so we can look at starting the same process again with another song.   This is where WE rely on the artists to help themselves.   This may sound strange but its amazing how many songs we get from an artist or band, start to play it and never hear another word from them.   Than you get the follow up email 10 months or a year later saying “we haven’t heard our song for a while, or something along those lines.”

I truly wish I had the time, not really,  to set a reminder to email everyone that its time for new music.  Call me an ass, but to those of you who think you send out the music and then sit back and wait to become famous, you’re wrong.  It takes hard work and dedication, and if you can’t do your own follow ups with emails, well I am not about to do it for you.  My job is to play them!  LOL   I will say the same thing to everybody and anybody, read our blog about submitting, and although its not required it will help both you and I with your submission.  When you are one of 300 every week, you want to get your music heard, not get an email back saying, there is a problem with your submission.  P.S.  most other stations aren’t that courteous.   There are songs we don’t play on any of the stations.  I don’t think I have ever listed them all in one spot, but here it goes;

  1. Rap – You won’t ever hear rap on my stations
  2. Hip Hop – Now depending on the person defining this can sound very different.  So consider submitting if you think it will work.
  3. Foreign language – We play English language music.  I’m sorry I know this pisses people off because I get your hate mail.  I program with listeners who speak English.  End of discussion.
  4. Instrumental – It just isn’t the sound we are looking for.  We do play some with the Synth Wave show, so its very limited and selective.
  5. Cover Songs – Lets put it the way it is.  We want original material.  I am playing you with mainstream tracks.  Do you think I should pull the original version that was a big hit to play your version of the same song?
  6. Thrash –  That screaming whatever the heck sound it is music.  Its just not happening.

this may seem like a lot, but its not and as I said from the start I am looking for a sound.  When you put on one of the KB stations, you will hear a consistent sound from song to song.  That is at least our intention.

Thanks for reading

al

 

Year End Countdowns: Tabulation and rules

As with all of our charts the majority of the results come from the fan and listener voting. However some artists have bigger fan bases etc, while this is great for them, it gives them an advantage over others. Our systems are designed to attempt to make it so its not a popularity contest, as mentioned in a previous blog. So whether its for KB Radio or KB Country Radio, the year end polls will be calculated exactly the same.

There are some variations to the weekly polling, starting with the fact that weekly we take into consideration the previous weeks chart. Since this is a years worth of activity that would be hard, in the manner we do it normally to use, so it is not a factor. The other slight difference is that fan voting represents 75% of the total. A friendly reminder this doesn’t mean you get 75% of the votes that came in. What it means is that if you finish in 1st in the voting, you will get the highest amount of points. As an example 1st in voting gets 200 points, 2 in the voting gets 198 points, third gets 196 and so on. Again this is only an example and because the total polls have different sizes the number are different for each poll.

So what ever position you finish in those are your points, and they account for 75% of the total. This means, that if you finished 1st, or 5th or 25th in the voting, that is not your final position in the year end necessarily. Like the weekly voting the other 25% is made up of different groups and areas. For the year end we have a panel of people who assist us with each and every song that is voted for. They are given the criteria, and they take the time to score each song. We also have a couple areas we rank the songs on from the past year. We take all of those number from everyone and everything and take 25% of that total.

Our goal is to have the very best for the end of the year, and to present it as transparent and open as possible, so everyone understands how we do things.

We wish everyone the best of luck in the final week of voting and watch for the results coming soon.

KB Radio Year End Top 50 countdown Wednesday December 18, 2019 8PM EST www.kbradio.ca

KB Country Radio Juke Box Top 25 year end countdown Friday December 20, 2019 8PM EST www.kbcountryradio.ca

Any questions as always please ask.

al

The idea of releasing the same song over and over and over…..

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.

Thanks

al yardy

The Charts.. its not a popularity contest!

We have talked about the Top 25 and Top 15 on KB Radio and KB Country Radio respectively,  but it seems that there is still a number of people who get upset with the chart because they don’t grasp how it works.  Yes I said it, the problem is lack of understanding on their part.  Hopefully this doesn’t offend anyone, but than again I would rather say it like it is than sugar coat some bullshit kind of explanation in an attempt to explain.

The charts are very simple;  they are based around the older, standard versions of charts where new music is released, and it breaks onto the chart and tries to climb as high as possible.  Back in the day, they used things like requests, record sales, and referenced other stations playing the same format to calculate the chart.  Things are different now, and the charts you find on Billboard etc, are nothing like they used to be.  That is fine, the same as other stations that strictly do a weekly most votes kind of chart, and your Top 10 can be completely different week to week.   the point is that there are different variations, but in each case if you want to play the game, you should really understand the rules. 

We attempt to bring the Top 25 or 15 songs that are most popular each week, using fan voting as a jumping off point.  But don’t let that fool you.  This is not a popularity system,  and if you finish in 1st week after week, with 200 more votes than the artist in second, the vote totals mean nothing.  Finishing position has a point assignment,  but from there,  just because you have more fans voting doesn’t mean your music will be sitting at the top of the chart and staying there. 

Let me explain it this way.  I can give you right now 25 artist or band names that have incredible fans who vote like crazy.  But if that was the only factor those 25 would be the top 25 all the time.  The listeners don’t want the same songs every single week.  Everyone involved, loves music.  But think about this, people get tired of songs.  Sometimes they just need a break from them but they have favorites, and they change.  So why would you want to push one song week after week at them.  Now let me clarify that statement.  Promote and push, but understand when its time to move on to your next track. 

This is why the calculations and points assigned put the onus on the fans to vote, however, that is not the only thing.  I won’t sugarcoat this, we don’t want the same song on the Top 25 for 52 weeks. Its the same reason we don’t want multiple songs by artists or bands on the chart.  If its strictly voting, and we had 2, 3 , 5 songs on the voting list by one artist, they could theoretically control the top of the charts with their music.   I built KB Radio around how things used to be, and the chart is no different.  Yes there have been anomaly’s over the years with songs that stayed on the charts (Billboard) longer than normal.  But lets not try to compare anything here to those famous tracks.  I don’t have a number that says after so many weeks a song is gone, there are a lot of factors that go into the chart, and its not based on one persons opinions. 

 

I want people to remember as well, I am running a radio station (4 actually) and we strive to have as many listeners as possible. The Charts are designed to promote the music and the radio station.  To do this I want the best sound possible, and we work very hard on many levels to try and achieve this, and improve on this.  One of our draws is fresh new Indie Music.  So take your music, and push like hell.  Ride it up the chart, and when its peaked let fall gracefully.  Songs that make it to the top spots on the charts stay on  the station permanently.  So it will always be here.  But if a song starts to get tired sounding, and listeners start saying, how long are you going to keep playing this track, I have to believe its been too long.

The final thought is that this isn’t driven by any one person or comment.  So if you are concerned I am singling you out or something like that, not at all.  Its a blog I have avoided and tried to do in a different manner previously, but maybe I just wasn’t clear enough, or maybe people don’t read or care?  lol  

I am always open to questions and willing to explain any of the system in more detail if required or asked.

 

al