Repetition - Getting worse (BAND not SONG)

ClubSteeler

Member
Oct 16, 2008
416
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Immediately after the merger, I was impressed with some of my favorite channels having deeper playlists. I've always liked Lithium. Post-Merger lithium, the first time I listened, in the first 5 songs I heard 2 that I never heard on Lithium before, and 1 that I never heard before... EVER.

Lately, I've been noticing the same big bands over and over again.

Not song repetition, but BAND repetition..

So I did a little test. On a random day, at a random time, I programmed my stiletto to record a 6 hour block of Lithium.

The results speak for themselves. Posted below are BAND names and # of songs I heard from that band during a continuous 6 hour block:

Sound garden = 5
Pearl Jam = 5
Nirvana = 5
Smashing Pumpkins = 4
Green day = 4
Offspring = 3
DMB = 3
Alice In Chains = 3
Stone Temple Pilots = 3
Chili Peppers = 3

THAT'S 38 SONGS BY THOSE 10 BIG BANDS IN JUST 6 HOURS!
 
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DaddyCanI

New Member
Jan 19, 2009
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Just out of curiosity - were you only keeping track of bands that were played 3 or more times?

I did a quick google and found out that radio considers an "average" length of a song to be 3m20sec. Not that every song is 3.3m long, but over a given length of time, the songs will average pretty close to that.

For six hours, that's about 110 songs, and you counted 38 by those big bands. In other words, you discovered that 10 bands accounted for 35% of the programming over that block of time.

Maybe it's just me, but that doesn't sound too terrible, especially when considering Lithium's rather narrow niche-like target (Grunge and Alternative Pop from the 90s). Don't get me wrong - if that were a station that had a huge playlist, like Deep Tracks, Real Jazz or the Loft, it would be inexcusable.

I know of one station that has a MUCH improved & deeper playlist since the merger - Boneyard/Buzzsaw. That station is freakin' awesome - it's become a sort of Deep Tracks for hard rock.
 

no1hedberg

Member
Oct 13, 2008
335
19
18
West Virginia
I see the playlists a totally different way. I think Lithium has gotten way worse since the merger. The whole point to me, in having all these different channels is that channels are tailored to specific tastes. Lithium was originally a 90's alternative/grunge station. Now the playlists are so "deep" it sounds more like 90's on 9. What I'm saying is these niche channels have gotten away from what they were supposed to be by trying to play more diverse songs. The net effect is....Instead of enjoying 8 out of 10 of the songs they used to play on Lithium, I now enjoy maybe 1 or 2. The merger to me has brought more programming for the masses just like terrestrial radio.
 

HecticArt

Administrator
Oct 19, 2008
40,649
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Toledo, Ohio
I haven't totally minded the shift from grunge/alternative to alternative/grunge, but I have really noticed the band repetition. It is too much repetition for me.
I can't listen for more than a few hours before I have to change stations.
 

ClubSteeler

Member
Oct 16, 2008
416
11
18
Just out of curiosity - were you only keeping track of bands that were played 3 or more times?

I did a quick google and found out that radio considers an "average" length of a song to be 3m20sec. Not that every song is 3.3m long, but over a given length of time, the songs will average pretty close to that.

For six hours, that's about 110 songs, and you counted 38 by those big bands. In other words, you discovered that 10 bands accounted for 35% of the programming over that block of time.

Maybe it's just me, but that doesn't sound too terrible, especially when considering Lithium's rather narrow niche-like target (Grunge and Alternative Pop from the 90s). Don't get me wrong - if that were a station that had a huge playlist, like Deep Tracks, Real Jazz or the Loft, it would be inexcusable.

I know of one station that has a MUCH improved & deeper playlist since the merger - Boneyard/Buzzsaw. That station is freakin' awesome - it's become a sort of Deep Tracks for hard rock.

I didn't even list the bands repeated twice: REM, Oasis and NIN.

OK so that's 44 songs from 13 bands.

Just for arguments sake, last night I recorded another 6 hour block and there were 89 songs.

So we are sitting just a feww minutes short of 50%!!!!

SO, EVERY OTHER SONG THAT LITHIUM PLAYS IS FROM THESE 13 BANDS!!!!

Every Other song!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

buckeye96

Member
Dec 1, 2008
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6
I noticed that as well. I figured that there was at least 1 song played from these bands every hour and its not even the deep stuff. It's getting to be too much to bear.
 

DaddyCanI

New Member
Jan 19, 2009
16
0
1
I didn't even list the bands repeated twice: REM, Oasis and NIN.

OK so that's 44 songs from 13 bands.

Just for arguments sake, last night I recorded another 6 hour block and there were 89 songs.

So we are sitting just a feww minutes short of 50%!!!!

SO, EVERY OTHER SONG THAT LITHIUM PLAYS IS FROM THESE 13 BANDS!!!!

Every Other song!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hmmm... interesting. I love this type of analysis, I wish I had the drive to do the same to a few other stations and compare. Better yet, it would always be a great metric for a 'before/after' comparison.

Just to continue playing devil's advocate, however: if 13 bands accounted for 44, then that means that there were (approximately) 66 bands that were only played once (~110 total - 44).

So during a six-hour block, Lithium may have played as many as 79 different bands (66+13), for an average of about 13 different bands per hour. Again, not being argumentative, but that sounds pretty varied to me, especially when considering the narrow programming niche of Lithium.
 

HecticArt

Administrator
Oct 19, 2008
40,649
12,082
168
Toledo, Ohio
With 10 years of music to draw from, there shouldn't really be the need to play the same half dozen artists on an hourly rotation. At least they DO play different songs. All I can assume is that SXM has some demographic information that's telling them that their typical audience is only listens for 45 minutes at a siting.

I don't think that's the case, and certainly hope that they aren't programming that way. That smells like . . . . no wait, not teen spirit. . . . . FM pop radio. . . . thats what it smells like.
 

ClubSteeler

Member
Oct 16, 2008
416
11
18
For comparisons sake, I recorded a 6 hour block of Octane.

Papa Roach was played 3 times.
About a dozen bands were played twice.
That's it.. a bit better.
 

Steel Cranium

Well-Known Member
Nov 12, 2008
1,004
49
48
NorthEast Ohio
Dave Matthews Band


On lithium???? Christ, they ruined that station since the merger. Nothing against DMB, but they get more than enough airplay on JamOn. That's where I turn for that type music. That's why I asked who DMB was, since I thought they would never get airplay on an "alternative"-format station.