You are both right, when the music flow is hitting all cylinders and covering the enormity of the artist, the tempo, the song style and appeal along with the imaging components, talent breaks and even the production style of the commercials. Remember audio processing: Great processing begins with punch and competitive processing that makes you louder than your competitor. Make sure the streaming sound is processed too - Post processing of the program signal or the RF audio feed to the stream.
Marketing and promotions add fuel to the fire; Concert ticket giveaways, local attractions and life group styled promotions always tend to keep the noise level up. Social Media production topicals and on air mentions of the media. Kris Daniels mornings at Q-103 Louisville tells me Facebook is becoming a whole different media. She says she can do trivia, contests and more on FB and get a lot of response. This can all be done during a music sweep on a music-intensive morning show. Kris says it's like a whole morning show going on Facebook and not on the air.
Bringing all of these elements togther helps drive the sound style and pop of a winning Country station.