Why “Radio Music” Is Problematic and How We Can Make It Better

A feature in every car has to warrant some use…

By Izzy Harper

Staff Writer

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Image Source: cnet.com

Ever since music began to be shared over the airwaves, all of the top songs have been played for all the world to experience. It sounds good on paper, but there’s an ongoing problem in radio music selection; it relies on the fact that only songs that have received copious amounts of acclaim have been played. 

Only the ones that have gathered millions of sales and streams, with no room for lesser known artists in the spotlight. Since there are so few of these songs, they’re all played “ad nauseum” across pop music frequencies! Not to mention that songs as successful as these have been used in other media to an unending extent. 

Tastes in music are ever-changing, and more of the same songs are bound to get old. That’s why I ask for one thing when it comes to the radio: take your advertisement of “variety” seriously, and play some music by artists that aren’t already millionaires!

There are songs frequently used on popular social media sites like TikTok, Youtube, and Instagram that you would never hear on the radio, and they’ve been used thousands of times. So why refuse to play them? 

Big companies that curate radio music only look at numbers and not general consensus. They’re looking at what sells the most and not what actually sounds good. Their practices would seem like common sense, but they have to use these songs because since they’ve been bought and streamed so much, it’s what they think the general public likes! 

There are some artists that, because of their popularity, put out mediocre albums, and they still hit the charts because they are who they are, and quality is what everyone expects from them. But they need to learn that this isn’t always the case.

This is because most popular songs have certain formulas in them that help them fit the genre of pop – repetitive chord progressions, tempo in an average, medium range from 80-130, and always 4/4 time. It’s tried and true, but it just gets boring after a while. 

People crave atypical and innovative technology, so why not atypical and innovative songs?

The radio should not be continuously blamed, though, just the system. New songs come up every day and It’s hard to keep up. But when the internet sees something it likes, it catches on. Fast. 

Radio companies and such should look through the internet more thoroughly for guidance on what’s hot and good enough to listen to. Most better quality songs don’t always make the top of the charts. You’d have to search hard for songs like these. 

It’s easy to just play all the songs that make the Billboard Top 100, but if there was just a little more research put into curating songs to play, it would add variety and fun to listening to your favorite station.

People are now turning to streaming services to listen to music rather than leaving the radio on and listening to the same repetitive songs. 

To get the radio industry back into a popular setting, having it experiment with lesser known artists would be a great change. The variety may attract new listeners, and make “radio music” have a better connotation.

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