Hit Songs Track Similarly Whether Broadcast, Digital

Coleman Insights looks at new music consumption on radio, streaming other digital platforms
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Coleman Insights is exploring new music consumption on broadcast radio and how that compares to consumption via streaming, downloading and other digital platforms.

“We originally created this analysis to give clients of our new music research service Integr8 additional insights into how listeners consume new music,” commented New Music Research Manager Matt Bailey, who is writing the blog posts. “With digital music platforms making claims that they are months ahead of radio on new music, we thought our analysis would be helpful to the larger radio community.” Its media clients include CBS, Emmis, Disney, iHeartMedia and other broadcast brands.

When modern music research first emerged in the 1970s, radio stations began holding onto hits longer than they did in the 1960s when they realized listeners still loved and listened to songs weeks after they stopped buying the record. Ever since, the question comes up every so often whenever changes in music consumption or audience measurement emerge, such as the advent of PPM or the emergence of streaming media, according to Bailey.

Coleman clients typically ask how long they should give new songs to catch on; when do new songs peak and when is a song no longer as popular?

In new research, Coleman compares the vintage of the biggest radio hits versus the vintage of the songs listeners play most using on-demand streaming services. (Vintage refers to when a song first enters public consciousness and enters the Billboard Hot 100.)

The research firm found that typically songs grow in the first eight weeks, most of the biggest songs are between 9 to 20 weeks and they typically decline after that.

“While there are definitely a few differences between what consumers play using on-demand digital media platforms versus what they are hearing on radio, the differences aren’t as dramatic as some are reporting,” concludes Bailey.

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