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Old 02-18-2005, 10:35 AM   #1
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Default Casual listener - Informal week long study

I think I may be seeing why I think there are more repeats than there possibly are (though I think there are still way too many.) Last week, I listened to Area 63 for only a certain time period each day.

Morning Commute: 8:40am to 9:00am.
Lunch: 12:00pm to 12:45pm
Afternoon Commute: 6:00pm to 6:30pm

That's a grand total of roughly 7.5 hours of music... not that much for a week. In that week, I heard exactly 67 songs and wrote them all down. So, in that week, the average song length I heard was 6.7 minutes.

During those 7.5 hours, I heard three songs that were repeated 3 times, ten songs that were repeated 2 times and 38 songs that were played just once.

1 plays - 38 songs
2 plays - 10 songs
3 plays - 3 songs

Now can you see where the problem is? Out of the 67 songs, I was hearing a repeat about 45% of the time, or nearly half of my listening time. So, for about 3 and a half hours of my limited listening, I was hearing songs I had already heard that week, sometimes even three times.

This is simply too much.

Now, that's for a casual user. I also did a more detailed look at what the repetition rates were on Area 63 and found the following:

On Thursday, 225 songs were played on Area 63. That's an average of 9.5 songs an hour. Now, of the 225 songs that were played:

1 play: 74 songs
2 play: 18 songs
3 play: 18 songs
4 play: 9 songs
5 play: 3 songs

So as you can see, we're talking some serious repetition. There are 30 songs that are played 3 or more times a day. Some quick math yields that those song plays account for about 45% of the play time per day. So, 30 songs are accounting for nearly half of the day!

Can you begin to see the problem?

This study may be off by a few songs and a few station ID's, but overall it's pretty dead on. I have clearly shown that if you listen to a station all day, you are going to hear 45% repeats. But more importantly, if you are a casual user listening a mere 7 hours a week, you will still find the same damn 45% repetition.

THERE IS A PROBLEM ON THE DANCE STATIONS WITH REPEATS.

I have sent this post off to programming, where I'm sure it will end up in the circular file, just like the rest of the valid complaints about repetition!!
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Old 02-18-2005, 10:56 AM   #2
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Were the repeated songs good songs? I'm sorry but this whole repitition thing is really dumb in my mind. Sirius plays a lot more mainstream and hits music. Since that's the case you're going to hear a few songs repeat. Nine times out of ten those songs aren't too bad.

And who listens to Sirius for 24 hours a day anyway? Repeating 3 songs on your commute for the week? I'd say that's good. I want to hear certain songs a few times a wekk. Most songs should be played everyday, and the better songs should be played at least 2 times a day.

I don't understand what the big deal is. If you want random non mainstream songs go to XM. Their music sucks, but hey, at least it doesn't repeat right???
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:03 AM   #3
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jrcart, it wasn't one song repeated 3 times during the week.. it was 13 different songs repeated during my measly 7 hours of listening. And personally, I don't care if a song is good or not, if you hear it all the time, it get's not good and fast.

My 24 hour thing is using the itsonsirius.com tracker.

Don't tell me to go to XM, I've been there. And don't pretend there isn't a problem, because there is. I don't want random songs popping on my receiver, I want dedicated program directors that care about listeners and don't simply load 500 to 600 songs in their computer every monday and press shuffle!
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:05 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrcart
Most songs should be played everyday, and the better songs should be played at least 2 times a day.
I somewhat agree with you, but look at my numbers. Dumb, as you so eloquently put, is not seeing the numbers someone puts in your face. You say a popular song is good once a day, even twice a day?

Well how about 3 times a day, 4 times? 5 times?!!? Yes, that's what we are getting on Area 63, multiple songs, 30 of them to be exact, that are played more than 3 times a day.
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeuroRip
Dumb, as you so eloquently put, is not seeing the numbers someone puts in your face.
I could have used a more elequent term, but didn't realize this was an english class.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeuroRip
Well how about 3 times a day, 4 times? 5 times?!!?
OK, well as you said earlier give me more facts. 5 times in a 24 hour period? So did it play at 12:01 am, 6:00 am, 11:30 am, 5:30 pm and 9:30 pm?

Cause I seriously doubt there is much less than 4-6 hours between a repeat. Once again.... if you are for some odd reason listening 24 hours a day, then yes, maybe the repitition is bad..... but come on. I would rather hear repeated songs that are good then get some random track from a band's first CD like XM does. It's all personal opinion I guess, but I prefer to hear good songs instead of crap. But that's just me.
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:32 AM   #6
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Well, let's take Seal's Killer remix. I love Seal, but this new remix isn't that different than his old stuff. Yesterday, it was played at 1a, 6:30a, 11a, 4:45p and 9:15p

As it was, I heard it three times. Twice at work and once when I turned on my home PNP while I was painting my office.

Made of Sun, another mediocre song, was also played 5 times. I heard it three, all within an hour or so of the Seal song.

Pound, a better song that I like, also played 5 times yesterday.. I heard it three times again... twice at work, once in the two hours I had it on at night when I was painting.

Reign, Swedish Egil remix... one of my favorites right now.. almost the exact same thing, played 5 times, I heard three.. all within an hour of each other.

These are just the obvious ones.. songs that were played 5 times yesterday.. there are plenty of others that were played 3 and 4 times, most of which I heard twice yesterday. But even if I like a song, if I hear it upwards of 15 times a week, it's gonna get old and quick!

Do I need to go on? Obviously, you are the typical FM listener that doesn't mind a song getting played over and over and you reach over a turn it up each time. But really, when you hear 4 or 5 songs a day three times each, just when I was listening, then there is a problem.
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:46 AM   #7
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What about the guy who wants to hear the new, hit song and can't? If he misses it when it's played the one time that day/week/month that many of you would have it be played, is he just SOL the rest of the day/week/month?
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casual Fan
What about the guy who wants to hear the new, hit song and can't? If he misses it when it's played the one time that day/week/month that many of you would have it be played, is he just SOL the rest of the day/week/month?
This is kind of my point.

I agree with Neuro that maybe 4-5 times a day is a little excessive. But at least two times a day on good hit songs is a good amount. Note I said good songs. If they are repeating crap on these other stations then that is a problem. But I have also noticed on Octane (a station accused of repeating all the time) that the songs that repeated 2 months ago aren't played much anymore, and neither are the ones that repeated a month ago. As far as the stations I listen to they are only repeating the new and hit songs. If that's not the case on other stations then I will agree that it is a problem... but as I said, for me, I love it.
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Old 02-18-2005, 12:03 PM   #9
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Casual fan, obviously, with Sirius' play rates, he won't miss crap. But just as an example, I DID use a casual time period. 7.5 hours a week.. an hour and a half a day. Really, if someone is that interested in hearing the latest greatest thing, then they are going to tune in more.

Really, I'm not asking for anything unreasonable. I've even offered multiple solutions in the past. I'm not just bitching to bitch here, people.

Put the absolute most popular songs (I'm talking Dance here) on a 9 to 11 hour rotation. That way they are played at least twice a day and they will naturally rotate to different time slots due to their offsets. That's a simple solution that would play out as follows (9 hour rotation.)

Day 1/Day 2
8am EST, 5pm, 2am

Day 2/Day 3
Tuesday
11am, 8pm, 5am

Day 3/Day 4
Wednesday
2pm, 11pm, 8am

Day 4/Day 5
Thursday
5pm, 2am, 11am

Day 5/Day 6
Friday
8pm, 5pm, 2am

You get the point. On an average commuters work week, they will hear the song during at least three commutes a week. This is rough, obviously.. but the 5 times a day songs are just too much.
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Old 02-18-2005, 12:07 PM   #10
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I could live with that solution........ as long as I can hear my favorite songs a few tiems a week I'm happy.... LOL
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Old 02-18-2005, 12:13 PM   #11
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i am not familiar with this particular station, so let me speak about the oldie station, which is the one that i used to listen to.

since all these songs are 40+ years old, there is no such thing as listening to the "new song". if you just go by the pop charts, just about everything in the top 20 should be played, as well as many in the top 100. there are also many songs that are popular, but were not released as singles, so they did not chart.

i am not talking about playing any obscure songs. they could literally at least quadruple the number of songs played, and stay within the "hits protocol".

it would indeed be similar to "shuffle", but there would be stars after the bigger hits, which then would be shuffled more often.
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Old 02-18-2005, 12:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeuroRip
Put the absolute most popular songs (I'm talking Dance here) on a 9 to 11 hour rotation.
The problem with your formula is that you end up going several days in a row without playing a given song in a prime daypart.
But I think you need to put this entire debate into proper context. Sirius is radio for people who don't like commercials. It doesn't promise that its popular formats will be less repetitive than regular radio (though most are at least slightly so). I GUARANTEE that EVERY major station of this format on regular radio is considerably more repetitive, with typical power rotations of 2 hrs and 15 miniutes, and some even faster. That's at least twice as repetitive as the powers on this Sirius station.
Dance is unique among formats in one area that adds to the perception of repetition -- the records are longer, so fewer are played in an average listening span. It adds to the notion that there is less variety. I can't offer a way to solve that perception AND still play the popular hits worthy of one spin per daypart (five hour period) every day, unless the industry cuts the records down to four minutes.
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Old 02-18-2005, 12:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNumber7
The problem with your formula is that you end up going several days in a row without playing a given song in a prime daypart.
Actually, at least once a day, one one time zone in the US, the song is being played in a "prime" slot. We need to get rid of this traditional FM mentality. I realize that we have had the same format for decades, but it needs to stop.

I listen to digitallyimported.com, or somafm.com and can listen to a channel ALL DAY LONG and not hear one repeat. To top it off, I hear lots of songs that I really enjoy. Heck, I can listen a whole week on either of those stations and rarely hear a repeat.

I can understand The Beat (66) playing hit dance songs, that's what it is billed to do. Area 63, Boombox and Remix should not be mired in this concept. There are well over 5,000 songs from the past 5 years that can play on Area 63. Why are we limited to the same 500ish songs each week?

I realize Dance is a smaller genre and we don't generate as many songs, but we also have a listener profile that isn't as dependent of fresh beats. Most of the time, dance music, trance in particular invokes thoughts and feelings in us. Memories of good times with friends, a trip you took listening to that song, or moments shared with someone. We don't need a catchy jingle or hook to keep us entertained.

And that is what the Dance programmers are lacking at Sirius. They are feeding us with FM crapola playlists and rotations instead of really devoting time to explore the scene, the genre.

I hate to say it, but when WiMax and comparable technologies are more prevalent, I'll be dropping satellite radio. Sirius simply can't cater to the more demanding of us that want an "experience," not a few hours of music to pass the day by.
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Old 02-18-2005, 01:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeuroRip
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldNumber7
The problem with your formula is that you end up going several days in a row without playing a given song in a prime daypart.
Actually, at least once a day, one one time zone in the US, the song is being played in a "prime" slot.
So the guy in the other time zone has to wait till tomorrow to hear the song he likes. Or go the FM station.
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Old 02-18-2005, 01:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeuroRip
Actually, at least once a day, one one time zone in the US, the song is being played in a "prime" slot. We need to get rid of this traditional FM mentality. I realize that we have had the same format for decades, but it needs to stop.
.. I hate to say it, but when WiMax and comparable technologies are more prevalent, I'll be dropping satellite radio. Sirius simply can't cater to the more demanding of us that want an "experience," not a few hours of music to pass the day by.
1) The flaw in your first point is that User X only lives in one time zone, not all of them at the same time. And that goes to the second point, 2) I think the issue for you is that Sirius is targeting (primarily) "radio users" as opposed to devoted "music lovers." You are clearly a devoted music lover, and therefore not a more typical radio user.
If Sirius, or any profit-making radio venture, is to succeed it has to reach for a big piece of pie. Sirius, more so than XM, is doing exactly that. So maybe Sirius isn't for you, and that's perfectly OK!
As for me, I'm a pretty big music lover and I've had to modify my expectations for Sirius, but I'm happy. I stick to the least repetitive rock streams (Spectrum, Vault, Disorder, Underground Garage) and sometimes flip to Outlaw Country or one of the Jazz or R&B channels, or even Classical. I still feel I'm getting my money's worth (both because I HATE commercials and because there are few stations like those on FM). I suppose it's unfortunate for you that Sirius doesn't offer a dance version of the Vault.
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