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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Who Is Right: Consumer Or Industry?

One thing I don't understand is why there is so much controversy over what is deemed suitable for airplay. There's so much argument over what is considered 'commercial' or 'mainstream' - but let's face it, that's what your music needs to be to even have a chance at getting airplay!

Some people describe commercial music as 'music that is designed for public consumption, usually not brilliant music'. But here's my take on "commercial" music: I think it's music that would be popular to the wider audience. Yes it could be construed as anything from pop to soft rock, but even go as far as hard rock. As long as it remains melodic with strong hooks and appealing to the masses - I think you could be considered commercial. So, when I describe something as "commercial", please understand that this is what I mean.

One would think that any music with a following and a tonne of feedback, including great reviews/comments and inquiries as to tours etc could be deemed as 'commercial' music and suitable for airplay?

The band I manage are considered 'Arena Rock' and could be described as brilliant music designed with a soul that people have latched on to en mass - hence, they more than deserve airplay as that will only broaden their fan base. Yet, when approaching radio programmers, I'm told that it's "cheesy". Trust me, you can't get any more "cheesy" than some of what's on the radio these days! I have stopped short of saying that to them. haha

I guess my point here is that - I gotta wonder why radio programmers think the way they do. If you run a radio station - don't you want to appeal to the majority? Therefore, when a band comes along that shows that they have the whole package - including a fan base and great songs that are loved by those that have heard them, then why don't they get really excited about that?

I know, I know, it all comes down to the politics games. But at the end of the day - what kind of business are you running when you don't stay true to the music?!


breakfree74 said...

I think you covered the gammet there well as to what "commercial" music really is, some rather hectic clarifications there (someone is obviously onto it).

I guess one way of staring clear of pigeon-holing ones music into the "top 40" format, as you say your artist is arena rock, which requires more musical skill than what you're most likely going to find on any commericial radio station. I remember reading a quote years ago from one of the Def Leppard guitarists (Phil Collen i think, but don't quote me on that), whereby he began to feel that perhaps they were too overqualified to be popular anymore. I think he truely had a point there.

One thing i would suggest is to target other forms of media as opposed to the "commerical" avenues, there are alternatives, which is where the internet has come into its own really....get on as many internet radio stations as possible and it's highly likely you'll achieve the same ends that you would if you had chosen to go the commerical route.

For my money i would always remain true to your artistic integrity, don't pander to trends and sell out just because you think you know what will get on the what you do and excel at it, that to my mind is something more worthy of praise than the popular vote.

As i have stated previously, your average radio hack knows nothing about songwriting, so trying to convince them of genius is a wasted effort that quite frankly that precious time could be put into other means of band promotion (see: internet related promotions, magazines etc)

Once again another thought provoking post there, keep them coming!