Monday, 25 April 2011

Rock Radio Playlist

I am a member of a couple of facebook groups where there has been discussion of the Rock Radio playlist. Some people seem very grumpy about what is and isn't being played. Me, I'm more relaxed.

Obviously, I'd like them to play more Rush but it's a radio station, not my iPod: to a certain extent you have to take the rough with the smooth. As long as there is more that I like than there is that I dislike, I'm happy to stick with them. Certainly, there is no other radio station I can receive in the car that I'd rather listen to on a regular basis.

However, it got me thinking... so I decided to collect data about what tracks were played over a a few days and then do a wee bit analysis just to see what was being played. I'll present here some of the more obvious conclusions now but there's loads more I could look at, so I will probably return to this data again in future posts.

Data Collected

I decided to concentrate on the Breakfast Show and the Afternoon (drivetime) Show. I focussed on these shows because I guessed that they are the two most listened shows and that they probably best reflect the station's playlist. The tracks played on both shows are published on the website but unfortunately (unless I'm looking in the wrong place) they are not archived so you have to collect the data each day or you lose it! I was aiming to collect data from 14 April 2011 to 22 April 2011 - seven week days, 14 shows. Unfortunately, I missed the Breakfast Show data for 18 April, so I only have six days of Breakfast show data.

First Observations

Over the thirteen shows, 427 tracks were played altogether, that is an average of 32.8 tracks per show. They played tracks from 185 different artists and 361 different songs. Inevitably some songs will get more airplay at particular times, just as they do on my iPod, but 361 different songs over a seven day period is not bad.

The list of artists played more than three times is shown below:

Artist Plays
Ac/dc 14
Aerosmith 11
Def Leppard 9
Bad Company 8
Foo Fighters 8
Free 8
Guns N Roses 8
Mr Big 8
Deep Purple 7
Kiss 7
Led Zeppelin 7
Pink Floyd 7
Rolling Stones 7
Michael Monroe 6
Thin Lizzy 6
Van Halen 6
Who 6
Foreigner 5
Queen 5
Ramones 5
Red Hot Chili Peppers 5
Saxon 5
Sixx A.M. 5
T Rex 5
Whitesnake 5
Doors 4
Eagles 4
Jimi Hendrix 4
Joe Elliot 4
Metallica 4
Rainbow 4
Rush 4
Steve Miller Band 4
Tom Petty 4

The full list can be found in a public Google Doc I've created called RockRadio Artists.

Mostly, it is no surprise who is at the top of the pile and the data confirmed my suspicion that, while it could be argued that some bands get more than their fair share, there is a fairly good spread. There are, however, a few oddities some of which can be explained but some I find more puzzling. For example, Joe Elliot was interviewed on both shows and the station was promoting the gig where he was supporting Paul Rogers so Def Leppard and Joe himself both feature strongly (as do Free and Bad Company presumably for the similar reasons) but I'm not sure why Mr Big had the same track played eight times!

So, at first glance, I'm encouraged. What do you think? There are a few more things I want to look at and report on but is there anything you'd like me to investigate? (I also have data on what songs were played.)


The Apostle said...

My question to Tom would be why no Michael Schenker Group and why only one UFO? I'll need to get on his FB page and noise him up. Some interesting info on the spreadsheet there David. I'll need to put in more requests for Rush & MSG asap! Thanks for the info!

GeoBlogs said...

If you get the WunderRadio app you can tune into the Rush Radio station of course and fall asleep to a never ending playlist of..... Rush !!
Also like the Drive (Chicago) and the News from Lake Wobegon....

Less than a month to Time Machine !

David said...

Hello Apostle

Never hurts to ask!

Hello Geoblogs

One of the best things about radio though is hearing stuff that you might not come across otherwise. For example, it is thanks to Rock Radio that I discovered Apocalyptica, Stone Sour and Coheed And Cambria.