Monday, June 28, 2010

Pop goes the Country - Sales outlook and perceptions

Country Music Radio really has spun off it's redneck and toothless disposition. The music base is so pop-contemporary that it's really hard to use the typical slurs and jargon, typically hurled at CMR and it's listeners. The old: I married my cousin syndrome.

As the format continues to dance with Love and Theft, Rascal Flatts, Glorianna, Carrie Underwood, Uncle Kracker, Taylor Swift, Lady A and The Band Perry, the wedge gets driven deeper. The noin-CMR listeners are going to have a hard time calling this redneck music. Now this could be good. Agencies who love working with CMR because of the giant 25-54 appeal and more importantly, the attraction the CMR lifegroup has to the products they advertise. 

I remember signing on WCTO Allentown with an 11.3 (AC was a 7 share) and #2 25-54 in it's first book (Fall 1997) and the agencies thought it was a fluke. The late Guy Ackely former personality and agency head in Allentown and I had a great conversation about his agency buying this station for auto campaigns and remotes. He never called the station a redneck station, it was a full-fledged personality, entertainment based station that played Country Music. With no local TV in the market and our first initial crush - We controlled the auto remotes in the market. 

Jaye Albright wrote in her blog last week: The result: some format's advertisers are more consolidated among certain types of advertisers than others. For example, country stations get most of our total ad revenues from three categories -- entertainment and amusement, automotive and food/beverages. If you add department/discount stores plus travel in the station I just looked at, you're seeing more than three of four dollars being billed by country radio's monitored stations in the largest markets.

Country Music Radio has hip, new IPOD like TV spots and we are promoting New Country - Are we making an effort to convey this to more mainstream businesses and not just feed stores. Jaye sums it up perfectly: Tip to management: It might be worth looking at next year's account goals as you budget for 2011 with an extra bonus for diversification, just in case there's still another post-mid-term-election economic downturn that affects one or more of the "big five" categories of business for your format!


  1. Great post Chuck! thanks for always saying what others think!

  2. Am I the only one that liked it when country was country?

    I could care less for bands like Rascal Flatts, Gloriana, Love and Theft, The Band Perry to be played on country radio. There's still a way to market REAL country artists on a national level without giving up what made country the music it used to be and should be again.

    Take Darius Rucker for example. He's a guy who spent so long as a pop-rock guy, but his lyrics, his attitude, his personality IS country. Brad Paisley is a real country guy who's got the looks and personality to be able to put on every single tv show, why not do that?