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The Lack of Quality Music on the Radio - Who's to Blame?

  1. KevinTimothy profile image87
    KevinTimothyposted 4 years ago

    Recently I learned that the directors at radio stations usually determine what get's played day in and day out.  I used to think that it was the record labels that had this power.  Once upon a time I pointed the finger at the recording artists themselves.  Until I placed myself in the artist's shoes - after all they're just trying to eat (a lot).

    I never really added the directors to the equation, but since my recent discovery I have been disappointed.  It's upsetting to know that it's possible that someone local (the directors) have so much pull and influence on what we hear. 

    Who do you point the finger at?

    - The record labels
    - The station directors
    - Recording artists
    - The consumers (or listeners) 

    Tell the forum, please. And let us know why.  Thanks

    1. Shinkicker profile image91
      Shinkickerposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I love BBC Radio 6. Unfortunately I don't know if you can get it online in the USA.

      Great station with diverse and interesting music, archival material and new tunes but not chart-dominated. It has cool DJ's and of course no annoying commercials as it's the BBC :-)


  2. Cagsil profile image83
    Cagsilposted 4 years ago

    Depending on what type of Radio Station will depend on what type of music is played.

    Rock stations play rock music. Country stations play country music. Some play just top forty and some play top 100 and then you will some which cover decades worth of music for whatever genre they play.

    It's solely based on consumer driven factors.

  3. Reality Bytes profile image95
    Reality Bytesposted 4 years ago

    The consumers for buying whatever rubbish their favorite station is selling.  If the radio is playin it, it must be good!

    1. Cagsil profile image83
      Cagsilposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      For some people this is what they believe. lol hmm It kinda makes you laugh and be sad at the same time.

    2. KevinTimothy profile image87
      KevinTimothyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Yea, much like fashion...if a celeb is wearing it, then it MUST be cool.

      Reality Bytes,

      I'm gonna follow you just because of your take on this. smile

  4. vmartinezwilson profile image84
    vmartinezwilsonposted 4 years ago

    I don't often listen to the radio, but when I do it's a station that plays whatever the hell they want and that's how they sell it. smile

    From the 80s, 90s, 00s and the now. I never know what I'm going to listen to and when I do feel like listening to the radio, this is the type of gamble I like.

  5. talfonso profile image89
    talfonsoposted 4 years ago

    I think they are the consumers to blame. Times are changing, as well as musical tastes, you know. Kids back then used to listen to the oldies played on the radios in their parents' cars. As a kid, I listened to the radio playing them while riding the bus. The driver sometimes played the music of my time, like Britney Spears (in her early days) and Celine Dion, but it was mostly music of days gone by.

    Nowadays, so many youths listen to current artists. Preteens love to listen to a hot boy's voice singing, "Baby, baby, baby ohhhhhhhh/Like baby, baby, baby, noooooo..." (if you know what I mean). Teens in high school prefer songs about adult themes that often have profanity in them. Try exposing them to the oldies - some of them would shrug it off as "Grandma music."

    So don't blame the artists - blame the consumers. They want more than just dusty music on the radio.

    1. KevinTimothy profile image87
      KevinTimothyposted 4 years ago in reply to this


      I noticed you made a key statement up there, "Times are changing." Everything is all relative, right? Who's to say that our parents didn't think the quality stunk then, too.

      1. vmartinezwilson profile image84
        vmartinezwilsonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Oh they did.  I still remember my mom wondering what crap I was listening to when I put on The Smiths.  She told me music from Motown or salsa music was much better.

        Dammit mom, I still love The Smiths. 

        Oh yeah and I think I'll date myself even more while I'm at it.  I remember listening to New Edition on the radio and having my mom's acceptance, but only because they sounded like the Jackson 5.  She also liked early New Kids on the Block for that same reason.  It reminded her of her generation. 

        But, I agree that the kids nowadays don't listen to older music as much as kids in generations before.  That has more to do with the parents than the kids.  In the car, my daughter listens to what I want to.  She doesn't have a TV and very rarely does she get  to listen to her own, because the damn thing is too loud.  Most kids listen to whatever they want in the car, at home.  For that reason, my daughter is listening to Depeche Mode and The Cure along with Adam Lambert and Lady Gaga.

        1. KevinTimothy profile image87
          KevinTimothyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Agree - the parents do count in this.  Our 5 and 7 year old daughters already know quite a few Journey and Aerosmith songs. And I'm sure that has a lot to do with what we (the adults) choose to ride around and listen to.

  6. Marble Sweets profile image60
    Marble Sweetsposted 4 years ago

    Thank you, Kevin for your great comment. I recently graduated from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting with a certificate in radio/TV broadcasting. What was so disillusioning to me was seeing how completely corporate and cookie-cutter-format over 90% of radio is these days, and even at the school that was reinforced. Basically, the music director at the radio picks out the songs, and pretty soon it will just be a computer doing it, I would imagine. And when you'd say to the DJs, "This is why all radio sounds like CRAP today" they'd say "Well, don't think you will ever change it".Like you, perhaps? I grew up in the great days of rock n roll, R & B, soul, punk, which we could not get enough of on the radio....specifically referring to radio in the 60s, 70s, 80s....Now it is SUCH GARBAGE, it is all about the commercials only. Its like "let's maybe interrupt these 10 nonstop commercials for one song that you may like." To me, radio, and MTV/VH1 have completely sold out, and I hate them for it. Thanks for letting me vent...

    1. KevinTimothy profile image87
      KevinTimothyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Oh, now I'm glad you brought it out. It's the kind of reply I hoped to see in this forum.

      1. Marble Sweets profile image60
        Marble Sweetsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Want to continue to watch these replies/comments on your hub because I am so against the corporate interests in this ...."rage against the machine"...not the group, the sentiment smile You may want to try to view an indie film about actual "Radio Pirates" out there in the USA who set up their own radio stations, and fly under the radar of the FCC..

  7. wilderness profile image96
    wildernessposted 4 years ago

    Modern "music", it seems to me, has just three things going for it:

    1.  Shock value.  If you can't shock and disturb the generation ahead of the listener the sound won't be financially successful.

    2.  A VERY strong beat.  Much like 50 clubs striking hollow logs in unison.  Without this there isn't any interest and the sound won't be financially successful.

    3.  Some idiot that couldn't sing if their life depended on it screaming into a microphone at the top of their lungs.  Without such a fool the sound won't be financially successful.

    Notice the financially successful part - the people buying this noise are the only ones that are actually responsible for the dearth of music today.  What used to called a musical concert has become nothing but circus like entertainment with lots of noise but people buy it because it has those three things.

    1. talfonso profile image89
      talfonsoposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      The third one is one of the big factors that make radio music appealing but lacking in caliber. Have you heard of the "autotune?" It's a processor with software designed to alter the pitch of one's voice. Although it helps artists rack in the dough, it also masks their true singing voices, which can sometimes mimic bad karaoke vocalists.

      Here's a good question. Which one thinks is most appealing to the listeners nowadays? The late New Jerseyan Frank Sinatra crooning "Strangers in the Night" or Black Eyed Peas belting out "I Gotta Feeling?" The latter song obviously uses autotune.

      1. KevinTimothy profile image87
        KevinTimothyposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Auto tune technology is at least 20 yrs old, though.