My Dearest Music Lovers,
A couple of weeks ago, I planned on driving to my local bookstore (Chapters – the book conglomerate sister of Indigo), and before moving paired my phone to my car to play the latest Ed Sheeran album. Sometimes, I find the process annoying, wishing that the radio would just play music that I was interested in. Top 40 is played out (literally). The same rotation of Shawn Mendes and Selena Gomez is aggravating. I can only listen to ‘Shape of You’ so many times, and I’m speaking as an OG Ed Sheeran die hard. So why the hell do I hear the same songs all the time on different stations – and on occasion, at the same time?
Apparently, the onus is on the mass media owners of this country- so thanks mass media owners for those 3 songs that are stuck in my head. Companies like Bell Media, Rogers Media, and New Cap Media are the owners of those stations in Ontario that recycle top 40 music (i.e. Kiss 92.5, Virgin Radio 99.9, The Move 93.5, etc.). So you now you know who to send tweets to.
This consolidation of media allows companies to control the minimal variation of music we listen to in order to not only make “popular” songs popular through repetition and familiarity, but for the sake of advertising. The goal is to get as many people listening to their stations, that way they have a large audience listening to their paid ads. And how do they get your attention? By playing your favourite top 40 song in heavy rotation every 2-3 hours. Notice that a song you like will sometimes play again on another station right after it ends on another. That’s the tactic. As content managers and music directors of these stations do this, there’s a continuity of keeping the media moguls at the top – hence the continuation of the top 40 in heavy rotation. There’s enough market research done on this, and it’s only gotten worse. Between 2003 – 2013, there has been a drastic increase in airplay rotation that top songs will receive. For example, in 2003 5o Cent’s ” In Da Club” was played roughly 420,000 times, while in 2013, Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” was played 660,000.
So with all of that being said, I think I’ll be giving my Apple Music a bit more T.L.C. At least that way I’ll have more control over what I want to listen to, and when I want to listen to it.
A believer of the overrated song