Radio Can’t Create Hits

While radio can prevent a song from getting airplay and thus diminish its chances of becoming a hit, I submit that the reverse is not true.

Some examples:

Miranda Cosgrove (Kissin U)

Kris Allen (The Truth)

The Script (The Man Who Wouldn’t Do Something — I can’t ever remember what)

Each example played out a little differently, but the end result was the same: no hit.

KU — We all know that they played it to death, but sales were dismal.  TT — It got some prime adds early and was immediately ranked high in station playlists, but it dropped like a rock.  TMWWDSICERW — Tons of early and big adds, lots of promo, poor results.

Am I totally off base here?


10 Responses to Radio Can’t Create Hits

  1. planetangst ( Studio57) says:

    I don’t think you are off base, but I do think those are the exceptions rather than the rule. Very few songs make it past the top 20 on pop radio with low Itunes positions and the examples you gave are pretty much the only ones I can remember recently ( Orianthi and We The Kings also). Also, The Truth and TMWCBM were both more HAC songs, with a much smaller audience IIRC.

    • samantha says:

      Thanks for the feedback, angsty.

      I agree that The Script song is more suitable for HAC, but it went for adds on Top 40 first.

      This is the update for The Man on 6-22-10 (one week after going for adds):
      58 44 THE SCRIPT Man Who Can’t Be Moved 573 278 295 2.297

      Compare that to Adam’s 6-22-10 update (after 6 weeks of working its way up):
      36 38 ADAM LAMBERT If I Had You 716 544 172 2.324

      After only one week, The Script had basically the same AI as IIHY. Radio embraced that song right off the bat. But, in my opinion, it didn’t belong on Top 40 and listeners weren’t happy with it. JMO YMMV TMNBWYT

      Oh yeah — It made it to Twenty-Something on Top 40 before starting to drop. Then it went for adds on HAC on 7-26-10. Where did it go? Radio couldn’t make this song a hit, because it wasn’t hit material.
      *insert acronyms of your choice*

      • jtfacts says:

        Actually, The Man was successful on HAC way back in the winter/spring of 2009. It had long since come and gone by the time it hit pop. I remember seeing recently sold around 400,000 or so copies and I assume a chunk of those sales came from its HAC run.

        I despise the Script (OMG, I actually typed the Fray first by mistake!), but the song might be hit material in some countries ’cause I’ve read it did very well in the UK.

  2. jchang365 says:

    I know that we often cite Orianthi as having poor sales with large airplay, but let’s not forget that her single did go platinum and was in the 20s, maybe even teens. It probably should have gone a lot higher considering her Top 5 airplay, but a platinum single is still a platinum single and will still be considered a hit. So in a way, I think radio can make hits. I’m kind of surprised that Kissin U didn’t sell more. I liked it more than anything Selena Gomez puts out, but maybe Selena has a bigger fan base.

  3. planetangst ( Studio57) says:

    I hated KU. What teenager would sing the words ” when I’m kissing you my senses come alive”? IDK, that always sounded disingenuous and bothered me and I constantly mock it when I am in the car with my daughter, who kinda liked it, lol. i can’t stand any of the Disney kids, but then again I’m not exactly her target audience.

    Re: Orianthi- I still consider that song ( personally) a flop because songs that usually get that high on CHR are usually 2x or more platinum, aren’t they? I mean- I think WWFM at the very peak just barely got over 6,000 spins ( for like a day, lol) and this song I remember had a lot more but can’t recall exactly how many.

    • jchang365 says:

      Well, you’re not a teenager, so in the words of many teenage daughters out there, “MOM, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND!”


  4. jtfacts says:

    Gonna echo studio and say these are the exceptions not the rule. And like she said, the Script song and particularly TT got more HAC than Top 40 play and the AIs in that format are lower than pop or rhythmic and as a result HAC just doesn’t move a lot of singles. TT didn’t make it to Top 40 in pop so it’s actually a good example of a song getting limited pop airplay and few sales (plus it’s a cruddy song).

    Also, I wouldn’t say a song that fails to make Top 10 is “played to death” these days. At least not on a nationwide basis, even if some scattered local markets are playing a song to death. Just look at the AI and spin numbers of the top 5 or so–now those songs are getting played to death! KU never got those kinds of spins.

    I must admit Selena Gomez’s music is a guilty pleasure of mine. Cosgrove not at all, although I thought she was great in School of Rock!

    • jchang365 says:

      For a weird moment, I thought you meant Camp Rock, which is like a Jonas Brothers movie and wondered why you had even watched that. Haha.

  5. samantha says:

    jtfacts says:
    September 14, 2010 at 1:47 am

    LOL, no. I might be emotionally and intellectually immature, but I’m not that immature!

    But do you like Taylor Swift? LMAO

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