Finding New Music

Is this a source you ever consider?


Did you see this summer’s hit movie, The Help?

It’s made over $140 million domestically since its release in August, so chances are a lot of your listeners, especially the women, have seen it. My wife took me. It’s good entertainment.

And as we sat watching the credits, my wife asked me to download the song playing over them as soon as we got home.

It’s called, “The Living Proof” by Mary Blige and you can hear it if you click on that link above.

Here’s my question: If you’re targeting adult women, why wouldn’t you play this song right now?

It fits your format.
It’s probably already at least vaguely familiar to everyone who’s seen the film, and that’s a lot of your listeners.
It provides a positive differentiation.
The lyrics are strongly emotional and positive, especially given the economy we’re all enduring right now.

Some of you probably don’t have the authority to add a song, especially one not even being worked by a record company. Your VP of Programming may tell you what songs you’ll add each week or let you choose from a list of acceptable titles.

If you’re a GM, and you make your PD get permission from a consultant before s/he can add new music, you either have the wrong PD or the wrong consultant. No consultant should ever tell any PD which songs to play.

Look, every current song you add is risky. For adult formats, unfamiliarity carries risk.

But to avoid great songs because someone might not like them is just as risky, because it makes your station sterile and predictable and boring.

The very best PDs I’ve worked with over the years all had the ability to break the unspoken rules for their formats and hear songs their listeners would love. And then they had the courage to play them.

It has become increasingly clear, based on our own listeners’ feedback, that their tolerance for discovering new songs is higher than we give them credit for, and while I know playing too much unfamiliar music can kill you, being bland and safe and predictable can too.


Lead your listeners to new songs they will love and watch your ratings rise.