» Portland Radio

Why are so many top 40 stations broadcasting their music faster?

(43 posts)
  • Started 9 years ago by KevanGC
  • Latest reply from zekromlover1949

  1. KevanGC

    KXJM and KKRZ do this. They'll get new music and then turn the speed of the music up a little and then play it on the radio.

    I just moved to San Antonio at the first of the year and there are 3 top40 / hip-hop stations, and 2 of them speed their music up and one does not. I'm just wondering if any of you guys know why they do that.

    Posted on February 2, 2011 - 01:14 AM #
  2. semoochie

    The long time theory is that it makes the competition seem slow by comparison. Some believe that the reason is that it enables stations to air more spots.

    Posted on February 2, 2011 - 01:25 AM #
  3. the_radio_guy


    Many program directors are stupid, especially the ones that speed up the music on Oldies stations.

    Posted on February 2, 2011 - 01:42 AM #
  4. KevanGC

    I didn't know they speed up music on oldies stations too. Why the hell would they do that?


    Posted on February 2, 2011 - 02:04 AM #
  5. the_radio_guy

    They usually don't speed up the music on Oldies stations, but the genius PD of "Oldies 106.7" decided to do just that. Very uncool.

    Posted on February 2, 2011 - 03:45 AM #
  6. bleedingroid

    Kevan (and others), we all know this nonsense has been going on for decades. In the 60's engineers would tweak turntables to 46rpm or 47pm and play jingles claiming "More Music!" That way your ear/brain thinks you're getting more so they can wedge-in more commercials. When I reluctantly listen to Portland FM I hear these juvenile antics up and down the dial, like these brain damaged managers think they've reinvented the wheel. When I try to listen to "The Brew" I hear tweaked-up tunes, and absolutely nothing about beer. Is CC aware that their station is in Beervana?? Dunces abound.

    Posted on February 2, 2011 - 08:17 AM #
  7. Alfredo_T

    Speeding up the music makes it sound "peppier" and gives the station a more lively sound. By contrast, radio stations playing their music at normal speed, as well as the listeners' own records, would sound "sluggish." In the early days of Top-40 radio, program directors discovered that this could give them an edge over the competition (and possibly encourage listeners to use the radio more and listen to their records less).

    Posted on February 2, 2011 - 09:32 AM #
  8. kahtik


    Having programmed myself at more than a few stations, I am one VERY AGAINST pitching the music. The combination of music, staff and imaging (station jingles and voice guy) should stand alone. One reason I back off the "slow" tunes, which has always resulted in excellent TSL (time spent listening).

    It's true about the theory of other stations playing at normal speeds, which can make them sound slow. However, there are a few that believe by pitching music from 3 to 4%, you can get in at least one more song in a two hour rotation.

    In my career, I've worked with a few MD's that think that. I would always laugh and tell 'em, "QUIT PLAYING THREE SLOW SONGS out of 10 to 12 possible an hour" as we always had a full spot load.

    It's FANTASTIC when you can keep your music at it's normal sound, your staff positive, imaging tight and the sales staff isn't scared to raise the rates a bit and cut back a pinch on spots. It's only happened at two stations in my life, and it was OH SO WONDERFUL! Why? Because both times it showed in the ratings! :)

    I would send a note to the guys that keep the same tempo and tell them "thanks for keeping my favorite music playing like it should be, at normal speed". I bet he/she will save that email or letter for years and even show the GM and GSM.


    Posted on February 2, 2011 - 10:44 AM #
  9. scowl

    Speeding up makes ballads and slow songs sound ridiculous.

    Posted on February 2, 2011 - 01:21 PM #
  10. Phil Harmonic

    Many who programming music these days are not real music people, they tend to see the music as a commodity, so making it go faster doesn't seem all that significant. I think they're wrong, but, it's their station/ratings.

    Avoiding the slower tunes is always a favorite with the sales dept., however, in the hit music world, the very biggest, broadest appeal tunes, tend to be the slow ones, so it's probably not a good move for your ratings.

    Non programming people like both of those moves, because it gives them something to "do" to the programming and they've heard of doing it before, might as well try it now. "Let's try this, and see if the sales improve." As long as you don't think about music fans reaction and your cume, it's no problem.

    Posted on February 2, 2011 - 02:37 PM #