Just out of curiosity, I recently joined the music advisory panel for one of the largest Christian adult contemporary (AC) radio networks in the US. When I received my first survey, this is what I found. I opened the first page of songs to evaluate. Every single one of the songs were from major label artists. That’s right, not one of those songs to be evaluated were from an independent Christian music artist or band. Well, I went down through the first page of the survey and evaluated each song. Out of the nineteen songs, I only gave two of them a 4 or 5 out of 5. I rated the rest with only a 2 or a 3. I’m sorry, but the rest all sounded alike to me … almost as if they were cookie-cutter songs.
I clicked on page two of the survey. Maybe they will have some independent songs on this page! Nope. This page contained eleven more songs. However, they were major label songs that were brought back from 10 to 20 years ago. Hmmmmmm. But, here is the interesting thing. I rated them much higher than those in the first page. Each song was more unique and in my opinion, better quality. It reminded me of the reason I listened to Christian AC radio then and don’t so much any more.
All of this got me to thinking. Are major Christian radio stations running of out music? If so, why don’t they start considering more independent music rather than bringing back some of the old music? Are the major labels putting pressure on these stations? If anyone out there has any insight into this then by all means, leave a comment!
Anyway … let’s move on. I contacted two friends who work in the radio world as song promoters. One works primarily with independent Christian music artists and the other primarily with major Christian music artists. I asked both the same question: In all of your experience and time working in Christian radio land, has there ever been an independent artist or band that has had a song played on the AC radio network that I had mentioned before? I received my first response from the promoter that works primarily with independent artists. His response was a one-word response … “None.” That’s interesting.
The promoter that works primarily with major label artists has been involved in the industry for several years longer than the other. I expected him to list several, but he could only think of three independent artists that were played by this radio network over the years. Again, that’s very interesting.
So, this all brings me back to my original questions. Are major Christian radio stations running of out music? If so, why don’t they start considering more independent music? I am really looking forward to your comments.