At some point or another in all of our lives, we've wondered how this song gets played on the radio and not that one. This week on The What Podcast, Brad and Barry talk to one of the guys who actually makes those kinds of decisions. Troy Hanson, head of rock programming at Cumulus Broadcasting, is our guest on the show that takes a deep dive festivals in particular, but music in general.
Guest: Troy Hanson
For decades, radio has been the way new music is discovered.
From record stores to mixed tapes, from satellite radio to digital service providers, radio has endured at every turn.
If you want a hit, it goes through radio.
Who picks those hits?
Who programs these stations?
Who makes these decisions?
One of the most influential people in all of rock music, our guest today, Troy Hanson,
on the What Podcast.
Whether it's your first time or your first time back, it's the What Podcast, Barry Courter,
Lord Taco, and Brad Steiner, and Lord Taco's best friend, PBR.
Yeah, how are you?
Look at that!
Look at these fresh faces!
How are you guys?
Nice to see you again.
That's all I got?
How do you guys?
Is that all I got?
Uh, best ever.
Best day ever.
You have turned into a millennial hanging out with us, haven't you?
Never to be repeated.
I can't even tell you about it.
It's so great.
So, uh, I hate to, uh, I hate to do this, but you won't believe who I've been hanging
out with the past couple of days.
Here it comes.
Um, nut butter fellow camper, Mr. Bryan Stone, the host of the biggest podcast in the history
of podcasts, the Stone On Air podcast.
Tell me he's behind you.
Tell me he's going to come out from behind the curtain.
No, he's too angry at the world.
He can't, uh, he can't leave the, uh, he can't leave the bathroom.
He's crying into his own hands.
So I'm very excited about this week.
Over the last couple of weeks, we've been, uh, you know, a part of the Consequence Podcast
Network, but what we said to them at the very beginning is, Hey, we want to sort of expand
what this podcast should be.
Now, of course our roots and our history will always be at Bonnaroo.
And most of our conversations will start and end with Bonnaroo because that's just what
we love and what we feel deep into our loins.
But, um, you know, as we expand into other festivals and expand into the industry, uh,
there are some topics that I want to dive into.
And one of the topics was what we started last week with Mike Daly from Hollywood Records.
He was terrific.
A and R and A and R guy.
What's the R for?
Say it again.
I mean, guys like me who have been in radio for a long time and you'll talk to Troy about
And I bet if he's honest, he'll say the same thing as I do, but most radio guys feel as
though they could do A and R tomorrow.
You know, we all feel like, Oh no, we've got the best year.
No, we know the next best thing.
We know the next guy that's going to blow up.
This job is incredibly hard.
You know, those A and R guys have the hardest gig in the entire industry.
So if you haven't already go back and listen to part one on how to make a hit with Mike
Daly and destroy is good of a face that he puts on it.
And you can have that when you're sitting at, you know, like a million dollar pool,
which he was in front of, you know, some wonderful landscaping, but it's, it's a stressful job
because it's about production, Barry, it's about all about production.
Here's my takeaway from that.
And I, I kind of had this in the back of my head before talking to him and he really,
he personally didn't dispel it, but I still feel this way.
It's a great job at the front end, but it's a tough job to keep.
Oh, you know what I mean?
I mean, you know what I mean?
You, you're going to find that superstar band and you're going to be the rock star A and
R guy, but you got to find another one.
You buy a front end, another one.
And then the next one.
Well, see the other thing too, that there's, there's a, there's the, the one part that
we didn't talk about with him is there's multi and I tried to, we didn't really get there,
but there's multiple levels of A and R. There's the young kid who is on the street trying
to find, you know, the talent, but then there are, you know, guys like him and the Sam Rybacks
of the world who, you know, are running major labels and are constantly on the phone with,
you know, Ariana Grande, you know, and they're crafting the entire sound of, of an album
of, of, of an artist.
That's the kind of level that, you know, only the, the Clive Davis is of the world really
And, and let's be honest, we only scratched the surface.
Oh my God.
We just scratched the surface.
I said this, I know I said this to him in the interview.
It was like, I, I had dinner with Sam one time and he literally just had to tell me
to stop talking about it because I can't not talk about this.
This is such a fascinating topic.
And even as somebody who's been in this business for 21 years, I still get confused as to,
you know, how a lot of these things work and right to sort of untangle that web.
I wanted us to do this series, how to make a hit.
So part one was A and R finding the band, nurturing the band, maturing the band, then
putting it into the world, maybe on a festival lineup and watching that career grow.
Well, one way to get onto a festival lineup, one way to get a career to grow is to have
hits and AR guys got to create hits.
Well, who plays the hits guys like me.
So I don't want you to talk to guys like me.
I want you to talk to the best guy like me.
His name is Troy Hansen, the head of all rock for cumulus broadcasting.
Now, I'm going to say this before he gets on the show here, but there are three big,
big radio companies.
There's I heart, there's cumulus and there is intercom slash Odyssey.
Now Odyssey full disclosure, I work for cumulus and I have for like the last 16 months, 14,
15 months or so.
Well, the guy that pulled me out of Chattanooga and dropped me into New Orleans is Troy Hansen.
And with all of the things that go along with being a radio guy, figuring out how to hit
is one thing, but running an entire company's rocks portfolio is a major, major job.
It's a major deal.
You're not just running a radio station, you're running an entire company's format.
So when I say he's one of the five most influential people in all of rock music, I mean it.
I can count five people who, if you want to get on the charts, if you want to have a hit
and you want to get commercial success, he's one of the five.
And I don't think he'd say it because he's too humble, but you don't have a hit on the
radio and you probably don't have a Spotify hit unless you have, you know, some major
support of some of the five, if you know what I mean.
And I don't mean to, I can't wait to talk.
It bothers you a little bit.
It bothers me a whole lot.
And you and I had long conversations about all of this, but what's interesting and what
I think we'll get into it.
I just saw a headline probably two hours ago.
One of the biggest stars in the world a year ago was Billie Eilish.
She didn't have such great success with this new record, right?
No, I mean, it's only been out.
It's only been out a couple of weeks.
Well, I'm just saying, so the headlines are already different and I don't mean to pick
on her because as you know, I'm a big fan.
I like that first record.
I like that record a lot.
It's just so weird.
The album is not out.
I mean, she's only had a few singles come out.
This is only the second single.
But already I'm seeing these headlines, the sophomore jinx or the sophomore this or that.
And I don't mean to be, that's why I even hesitated to bring it up.
Well, here's what I'm going to do because I don't want to come across as, you know,
trying to purport that I know more than Troy.
I'm going to pretend like I'm not a radio guy whatsoever.
I'm going to try and pretend that I don't know anything about this.
When we talk to him?
Yes, because I don't want it to, I don't want to come across as, yeah, but Troy, when I
really, this is the conversations that guys like me and him have all the time.
We just sit there and argue about what we think is, you know, totally subjective.
So I'm going to try not to do it.
But as far as like what, what app, what song this or that, or just music or in general,
yeah, for instance, yeah, for instance, you know, he would be, he would be pretty open
You know, when, when a guy like me is playing the black pumas a thousand times and the next
station behind me is playing a song 400 times, Troy is going to call me and like, what in
the world are you doing, man?
What are you doing?
This is my point in bringing it up not to throw Billy Eilish under the bus or anybody.
It's why this one versus that one.
And that's, so that's what I'm hoping to get into.
It's a good question with you two guys.
I mean, that's, and we got into it a little bit with Mike seriously as a fan.
And I consider myself a fan more than I do, you know, music entertainment reporter, whatever,
why this one over that one?
You know, I mean, we all know.
We all have that record in our collection that we adore and love and wonder why it didn't
And then we all have, we, that one that blew up and we're like, I hate that thing, you
know, but it got a bazillion plays on the radio.
So that's what I'm anxious to hear.
You know, the, the one thing that here's here, me too, first off I am too, but here's something
I've never done in 21 years.
You know, I've, I've, I can probably, you know, go down the list of people that I've
I've never once interviewed someone who does this too.
You know, I don't know many times, Mary, have you interviewed another news reporter?
I've been in the room with them and I'm not impressed.
I'll put it that way.
Now they would all say the same about me, but I've got to be honest, especially like
I pretty much have the exact same feeling that most radio people, which is why the one
I call this Troy, the movie critics are the worst.
I'm not impressed.
That's a whole nother story.
They're never impressed.
They're impressing each other.
They're writing for each other.
They're not writing for the fans.
They're trying to think of the next clever sentence to describe a movie that's that the,
their guy next to him that is going to be impressed with, man, you know what?
I didn't think about it this way, but that might summarize a lot of the radio industry.
You know, it are some of us programming radio stations and playing things because everybody
else we're just trying to show the other guy down the street that I, Hey, I know what I'm
doing versus what an audience actually wants to hear.
I believe that 100%.
I mean, well, look, I want you to, I want you to have, take, take the gloves off.
You know, if you want to beat up radio, beat up radio.
This is your opportunity to do it.
I would love to hear what Troy has to say about it.
Look, you're not going to, and I'm going to sing Troy's praises because I truly do feel
He's one of the best radio minds in all of the world.
He has got it.
He just knows he, me and him have a very different ear.
We like very different things, but when it comes to a radio guy, he's, he's right up
there at top of the heap of the best that you're going to probably ever meet.
So with that being said, uh, before we get into the conversation with Troy, how to make
a hip part two, we probably need to do last call on our ticket giveaway.
How long, uh, when are we going to call the winner or when we choose?
I mean, I guess, I guess this has gotta be the final week.
Do you guys want to make this the final week?
Last calls last seven days for it.
I think so.
If you wait too long, people won't be able to make plans.
90 days, depending on when you're hearing this.
We're within 80 to 90, 80 to 90.
Well, there you go.
Let's just make it.
Let's make the call.
The last seven days, uh, this time next week, the next episode we will have, because we
don't have anything else planned.
I guess the whole show is going to be about our, uh, Bonnaroo winner.
In fact, we can have the Bonnaroo winner.
There we go.
That's our next episode.
I'll even do this.
I'll even throw in, um, a t-shirt and maybe a koozie and a sticker.
Maybe 12 or 20.
Anything that I can get out of this basement.
Depends on how close you are.
That's why we say, make sure you follow us so that we can DM you if you win and then
we can get your contact details and get you on the show.
Well, first off, Barry, would you be willing to drive the box of t-shirts over to a listener's
Uh, if it's, if it's reachable, yes.
Would you be willing to help them fix their toilet?
Uh, it wouldn't be the first time.
Because such a thing, because we might have a winner in New Orleans, Louisiana, who really,
really, really, really needs you to stop by.
Done that before FaceTime me.
I'll show you how to do it.
The hashtag, hashtag the what podcast on Instagram and Twitter, the what underscore podcast on
So if you do hashtag the what podcast will find your tweet, your Instagram, your posts,
your, uh, your video, whatever.
And we will either retweet it.
We'll, we'll write it down and then we'll draw a winner from all of the people that,
that hashtag is right.
Is that what we're doing?
I've got a list and we've got a lot of entries.
I'm very excited about that.
So one week from today, we will have a, a bond room winner to sold out bond room.
Mind you the, the world of festivals completely sold out.
You know, I wonder if we're going to see aside from the big ones like the law of Palooza is
the ACL is the Bonnaroo's how well these tickets are going to move.
You know, we got the news of firefly sold out, but does anyone anticipate music midtown
Does anyone think that that's going to sell 35,000 tickets?
I can't wait to find out, man.
I have no earthly idea what to expect.
I think we talked about at the end of last episode, I can't wait for November, December
to sort of rehash all of this stuff.
Cause it's going to be, I think it'll be an interesting conversation to see how everything
And how much money was actually lost or gained through the whole thing.
Who did well, who didn't, you know, everything.
You ain't going to get any of those numbers.
I had just said, I know, I know, but we'll, we'll have anecdotal, you know, we'll know
from our, from our own eyes.
It was good or it wasn't.
So when we, when we come back after Troy, we'll go through some of the news of the week.
And other than that, let's do it.
Troy Hansen, the head of all rock programming for Cumulus radio, Cumulus broadcasting.
I don't even know the name of my company is the Cumulus communications, Cumulus broadcasting.
I think it's Cumulus broadcasting.
There you go.
From the what podcast, which bears this year that matter.
How are you?
Let me introduce you to Barry Courter for the Chattanooga Times, New Press and Lord
Taco from a unidentified Volkswagen bus.
We don't really know where he is right now, but it could be anywhere actually down the
road from you right now.
You're a, are you, are you sticking around Nashville for a minute?
I'm around the four 40 Nolan's bill.
I've been here since November.
Are you going to be there for Bonnaroo?
Are you going to come to Bonnaroo with us?
I am as a matter.
In fact, I think this year I'm actually bugging out of Lollapalooza early.
And because of that, I'm going to be missing Dave Grohl in Chicago, but we'll be able to
see him obviously down in Manchester.
Now you have done Bonnaroo before you have done Lollapalooza plenty of times being the
program director of WKQX in Chicago.
What are the two to you feel like?
What is the differences between the two?
How do you, how do you see them?
Two very distinctly different styles of, of festival.
What I always loved about Lollapalooza when I didn't live in Chicago was it was the ultimate
place to just get a four day hotel set up, go and hang out all day in the field and just
take in as much music as you can.
Much of the ambience of that great city as night drops, you have the amazing backdrop
of Chicago as a skyline and city.
Then you can like go back to your hotel and wash the yuck off of the day.
And then go and have an amazing meal in Chicago, one of the finest cities in America, in the
world to have a meal at.
Conversely Bonnaroo, you're trapped man.
You are trapped.
So all of the creature comforts that I just explained that make Lollapalooza so great
are part of what makes Bonnaroo its own unique bird and beautiful.
Are you telling me, are you telling me that spicy pie, spicy pie is different than a VEC?
Yes, I am.
But you get some great mud bucks down at Bonnaroo.
I mean, I've been part of, you know, Red Light Always throws a great crab boil.
And there are two distinctly different styles of both front of stage and backstage with
both of those festivals.
Do you actually, you mentioned being in the field because we talked about this last week
with Brad because he's never seen the field.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no.
Chicago Lollapalooza is all about the restaurants and the occasional backstage show.
Yours is actually watching music.
I think people believe that there is a place in the in the world of festivals to actually
partake in the music.
I think we've identified why you're where you are and he's where he is.
Yeah, that's a good point.
I mean, I've been to I've been to I think I've been to five Lollapalooza's and I don't
think I've made it to five shows yet.
I don't think I made it.
You're doing it right though, Brad.
You're doing it right.
So before we get into this whole thing, what were your thoughts on the lineup for Lollapalooza?
I mean, when it first came through, it felt well, I just I won't put words into your mouth.
What did you think about the lineup this year?
Well, if you are loyal to a festival because it was part of your formatic DNA, those don't
So you have to go to festivals with the open thought process of taking in everything else
that has, frankly, nothing to do with the music, because you're going to get such an
eclectic mix now, regardless of name of festival, that you're not just going because it's an
alternative format or a hip hop festival, alternative form, alternative festival, hip
hop festival, blues festival, whatever.
I think all these promoters that are putting on these festivals have have realized that
with the advent of the streaming universe, formats are out the window now.
And it's just about creating a great, amazing experience throughout the course of the day.
Well, I mean, you say formats, but I mean, it's a good segue into this conversation.
Does that go for radio as well?
I think that both you and I probably think and Barry knows this as well.
Musical choices these days are not broken down by some sort of well, I'm a country music
Nobody has those sort of guardrails on themselves anymore.
So do you feel as though that is transferring itself into radio or non radio success?
I don't know.
I don't know so much about that.
So much as I think festivals adapted to where the streaming services started to see a lot
of their quote unquote metrics come from, which is a cornucopia of different styles
of music instead of.
Yeah, there's channels for whatever it is you particularly have a taste in.
But I think they're scattershot now as far as how festivals are booking stuff.
I mean, when they add an additional day to Lollapalooza, we were like as consumers, we
were like, thank you, because it was almost like too much.
There is so much such a thing as doing that amount of bands and that amount of days.
I know I don't know about you guys with Budu Fest down there.
On the Monday after Lollapalooza, we sleep.
Yeah, I mean, it's Thursday.
Yeah, Bonnaroo is just like Bonnaroo has not become a weekend festival anymore, at least
Yeah, it's a whole week.
We get there on Tuesday.
We get there on Tuesday and we don't leave until Monday afternoon.
And you know, for those of us who have pretty easy jobs, that's fine.
But for actual professionals or kids who, you know,
who had to drive 14, 16 hours to get there.
I mean, this has turned into a 10 day entity.
So let's start generally here when we talk.
So the whole point of this is how exactly a hit is made and then turns into a star which
finds themselves on a festival lineup like Lollapalooza.
So broad brushstroke here, what is the state of radio and specifically in your view, the
state of rock radio?
That's an open ended question because the state of radio is an ever evolving one that
is trying to encompass as many facets and forms of audio as we can.
I think to just use the term radio as in what we're traditionally unknown for doing, which
is tuning in on your cars or having a car stereo at home, everyone's this is my stereo
at home now.
And so the traditional sense of that is fundamentally changed.
So to just say what is the history of radio or where is the state of radio?
The state of radio right now is trying to be a part of every ecosystem where audio can
be shared and experienced wherever you can.
And that the fundamentals of radio are still the same today as they were in 1950, 60, 70
So we're just trying to make great, compelling sounding audio, which is exactly what you
guys try to do here when you make your podcast every single week is to just try to create
compelling audio that people find engaging, interesting and thought provoking.
Whether that comes from the music space or the spoken word space, the brilliant, the
beautiful part for my part is bringing both of those together.
So let me ask it this this way, and maybe it's not fair because I think you've answered
it, but a couple of years ago in here in Chattanooga, where I live, I was having a conversation
with a musician who had just moved here, a well known musician, and he asked the question,
who's driving the train?
And I thought that's a brilliant question, especially at that time.
First of all, is there a train and is there someone driving it or is it a bunch of trains?
Because that's what the answer my answer to him was, is it felt like for years we had
somebody driving the train.
And now we have a bunch of trains with a bunch of different drivers and they're not at that
time they weren't all going the same way.
You know what I mean?
I'll tell you why I like that statement.
And it's also scary to I think technology has been driving the train for the last 10
to 15 years.
What we're starting to see on our end is hopefully your artist friend is seeing there's a plethora
of ways to get he or she's art out there.
And then it's all in the power of the consumer and how they want to consume this stuff.
Sure we have radio worthy, whatever the, however you want to put it, gatekeepers, if you will,
of the conduit to turning people on to new music discovery, but there's a plethora of
ways now for people to be able to do that.
So the consumer has more power than they have ever had before to be able to have an on demand
experience in listening to, excuse me, whatever it is they want to listen to.
But I also believe that the artists have more power now at their disposal now to have their
art heard on so many different ways, so many different platforms.
And they're not necessarily as beholden to any old guard.
There's still our systems in place that are helpful to musicians and to artists on the
radio side, on the festival touring circuit side, some of the things that have all been
in place for forever.
I think there's just more opportunities to have your product, if you will.
I know Brad has a follow-up, but before we leave that for your point of view, does that
feel like you go in every day and you still have a handle on things?
Like you know, what's trying to get on or do you walk in and every day is just completely
I think that's what actually continues to reinvigorate me about my gig instead of others
that may find that they get stale or complacent is the audio ecosystem is changing at such
a rapid pace every 90 days, almost like the cell phone business, right?
Yeah, or the newspaper business.
That part of the thrill for me now is keeping up with that chase.
That's become part of my new chase.
The music's all there.
The music is coming in in more doses than we've ever been able to handle it before.
Not all of it's great, but the ability to learn and adapt to where stuff is going with
how people use audio is, I get a charge out of that every single day.
Do you feel as though when you do put all these things, I actually really love that
analogy of how many trains are there, right?
Do you feel as though radio is the one that's going to be left out?
If you put everything on a buffet, that's the one that's going to be chosen least?
Well, I'm going to answer that question by getting back to the question I didn't get
a chance to answer you on.
That was just kind of where is the state of rock radio?
Part of my belief system in the earlier part of the decade was we started to notice that
rock radio really kind of narrowed itself down.
You take a look at streaming numbers, you started to see that a lot of the quote unquote
new metal, new rock bands were just not getting the type of consuming metrics that say the
more broad-based alternative bands like the Imagine Dragons of the world and 21 Pilots
It was starting to narrow cast and limit itself.
I think if rock radio continues to do that, it may not never eliminate itself.
I'll write like you mentioned there, Brad, but if it doesn't allow itself the ability
to broaden its palette by playing multiple versions of quote unquote rock, it's going
to have itself in such a narrow box that it's going to be difficult to find ways to make
money off of that.
That will scare companies away from wanting to be all in that side or that slice of the
That's where radio could become very challenged with some of these uber niche type of formats
that active rock has kind of boxed itself into a little bit.
The smart rock playlist people out there and smart rock programmers out there have found
a way to start to bring other sounds into the bouillon base instead of it being three
chord dirge that just after you spend 20 minutes of that, you're kind of like...
I know that band.
I don't know.
Every time I try to draw a bath, I turn on some Five Finger death punch.
I don't know about you.
Five Finger does quite well for the audience that they have, that band does extremely well
in that space, but somewhere along the way, there were some rock radio folks who thought
that that band couldn't exist in the same sphere that 21 Pilots could exist.
I respectfully disagree.
I'm going to ask this and please forgive me if it changes the direction too much, but
it just occurred to me.
Do you think you could book a festival?
I do it twice a year.
I'm about to say.
I can imagine.
Sorry for asking an ignorant question.
It's a big question.
How are they different?
That's why I ask.
It seemed like you're very good obviously at the radio and given what we've talked about
for 15, 20 minutes, it sounds like they might be different, but maybe they're not.
That's why I ask.
Well, in a way though, Barry, you're correct because what I do try to do with one of the
two festivals that I do in the spring is I do try to get it back to what the original
catered to format concept is, which is I live in the alternative space.
I try to focus on bands that are in that alternative space for the particular festival that I try
to book and put on, but that's not necessarily where the Live Nations and C3s and the Ashley
Caps of the world are with how they do it.
Think about how Bonnaroo started, guys.
It was a jam band festival.
Because they would camp.
Because those sweaty people would camp.
Did we ever think you two would show up in Manchester?
Paul McCartney Wright, exactly.
That right there just goes to show you just how broad based and how big money these festivals
I sometimes want to go back in time and ask the 2002 Bonnaroo guy who shows up in their
tents and their patchouli and ask him, are you excited for 2019 when there's going to
be a guy with a face tattoo rapping on the main stage?
As long as I get panic.
As long as Trey is there, man.
I'm all good.
Yeah, that's a great point.
Real quick about the festival thing, about what you book, you wouldn't necessarily, I
don't think that you are in this, you correct me if I'm wrong, in this business to be a
You don't really want to be a show promoter.
Is it just a necessity of the job because that is the best way that you can connect
with an audience or are you doing it because it is a money making entity?
Brad, part of our gig, as you know, dude, is not only to create a great, compelling
product can be sold for a ratings purpose for advertising, but it's also to look for
revenue generation vehicles.
And one of the most tried and true sound ways for us in our place, in our position to be
able to generate revenue is to be able to connect the dots with the very product that
we push out every single day.
And with our fortunate great relations that we've done with the music community over
the course of the years, whether it be our good friends on the management company side,
our friends on the agency side, or our friends on the record label side, looking for those
opportunities to create exposure moments for their clients.
And at the same time, look for exposure opportunities for our clients and finding ways to bring
And anytime I can do things that are monetization vehicles that are wrapped around music, as
opposed to trying to sell hamburgers, I'm all in.
Yeah, that's like I say all the time, it beats digging a ditch, right?
It still work.
To, to, to say, Hey, man, for me, it's all about the music.
I keep the money out of it is to not live in reality.
There is a world where art and commerce both exist.
And I'm a person that tries to be the bridge or the conduit to both of those things.
Because everybody who's on the creative side of any aspect of it, creatively putting on
a show, creatively creating the music, recording the music, whatever that is, they're doing
that as their occupation and they love it.
But at part of that occupation means wanting to earn a living.
So I never, never shy about having to talk about the monetary part of the creation of
Let me, this is, first of all, thank you.
This is amazing.
So to, to maybe draw a line.
So Bonnaroo 2002, the music industry was radio and some online stuff and Napster was happening
and nobody knew where things were going.
Bonnaroo comes in and all of a sudden festivals are a thing.
And it happened because of literally, like you said, it was a camping festival.
They got fish every year.
So we did a show two weeks ago where Brad and I discussed at length the idea that George
Strait is a great pick for ACL because he's such a country act.
Does that mean we're going to have country acts?
So you're tying the two things to Brad's point.
You know, if we'd asked 2002 Bonnaroo guy, are you looking forward to George Strait at
all on the farm in 2021, where do you got you in the industry see festivals going?
You talked about at the beginning, it's now so wide open because nobody's iPad is one
Nobody has an iPad or whatever your, you know, your listening thing is, is just one thing.
It's all over.
Boy, that was the most dad thing I've ever heard.
Whatever listening thingy you have.
Whatever your, whatever streaming service, whatever, you know, how you listen to your
Where can it go?
And that's a hundred miles, you know, down the road to get to one question.
And I know very, but it's a great question because I think this year is going to test
is going to be a great witness test because think about how many festivals that are all
in a role here by necessity of the pandemic, of course.
But in the months of September and October, the sheer volume of festivals themselves will
really test the regionality concept of a festival versus the people who are willing to fly into
bottle rock or the people who are willing to fly into firefly or Coachella or stuff
Because a lot of these festivals are starting to populate with the same lineups and it's
going to become.
I've often wondered in the last year or two with Lollapalooza, why are you guys waiting
so long to announce?
I get when it was, or you should have waited, but that was when there was about six or eight
less festivals than there are now.
Now by the time fill in the blank headliner announces at Lollapalooza, they've already
cleared seven or eight other festivals where they're headlining.
And I just think that where it, this isn't a for sure answer to your question, but I
fear more consolidation in the festival business because how often are you going to have that
same name headlining that many festivals and that one entity be it Live Nation or AEG will
probably be able to control that a little bit.
Yeah, then it becomes, do I want to see my favorite band in Chicago or on a farm?
I mean, that's why, that's why I've forever thought that the regional based music festival
world is sort of where this is going to end up in a boutique slash regional sort of thing.
And there's going to, you know, I can foresee the, the, the big three sort of sticking around
and trading off the same sort of identities, but with the top line being just a little
But backwards for a second, when you were talking about, at least where the, the, the
radio space is going to go.
And it even goes into programming your own music festival for as a radio guy.
You got to find a way to, to, you got to find the guys first, right?
You got to find the artists first.
You've got to program a radio station first.
How are you determining, what is your determination?
What is the factor that gets something on the radio for you?
How is it that data is a totally data driven entity now, or are you going on your gut?
Like, you know, the guy in the sixties was doing, well, there's a, there certainly is
more data at our disposal than we've ever had before to kind of gauge human behavior.
And you want to try to bring as much of that into your decision making as possible.
At the end of the day, a great song is a great song and my interpretation of art can be
completely different from yours.
We all know the ditties.
You can hear a great cookie track.
Any one of us can.
Van Gogh could hear it.
He only had one ear.
He could hear when, when there were, when there were great hooks in some of these.
And, and again, I got more misses than hits on my belt.
Boy, I've heard a lot of great songs that I just loved and couldn't figure out why they,
they didn't work.
Well, well, that's, that is the, the, the crux of the question and the crux of this
So why didn't it work?
Boy, if I knew that I would be doing A&R probably at Columbia Records.
I don't know.
There's, there still is some good old fashioned gut that goes into, and man, that is a hit
Listen to that.
That is, what does Mr. White say?
I want something peppy, something catchy.
But we do have a bunch of analytics that can give us some research, if you will, before
songs even sometimes even hit the air that allow us to kind of get engaged on people's
initial taste on something.
There are bands and artists that just get a formula down and they become hit making
And then I'll start it back with Lenin and McCartney and worked its way up to guys like
Chad Kroger from Nickelback and the kid from Imagine Dragons and how they're just able
to churn out catchy little ditties that are earworms for people.
Yeah, but okay.
So for somebody who doesn't, and Barry might be able to ask this question better because
he's not as in it.
Why does the data matter for you?
Because at the end of the day, data is almost like the Trumpers and how they feel about
You know, when they didn't pull me, nobody's ever called me and asked me my ideas of songs.
So why do people like you get so, why do you lean so hard on data when everybody knows
that data is flawed in some form or fashion?
Can I just real quick throw in a joke because I just heard it today from a musician that
I was having coffee with, A&R guys on an airplane with earbuds.
Guy sits next to him.
What do you do for a living?
He pulls his earbuds out.
He says, I'm an A&R guy.
I'm listening to a brand new song.
The guy says, is it any good?
He says, I don't know.
No one else has heard it yet.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you A&R.
Well, data points to behavior.
And it's easy for any person who didn't take part in a survey to go, well, they didn't
talk to me.
And if they would have, and me and all my friends agree that that's the number one thing
that I, that Brad, you and I probably hear when we're hearing somebody complaining about
a song or something that they don't like about our organization.
Me and all of my friends agree.
And we all think that all of our friends are everybody.
Data points to behavior patterns.
And more times than not, when you lean into numerics that tend to point to a trend, you
start to have a better batting average.
We like to play money ball over here.
And it's not unlike what Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill were doing in money ball.
It really is.
A song still needs to stick up at the end of the day, but record labels utilize data.
Industries of every technology utilize data to try to get an understanding of how their
consumers use their product.
And we're no different from that.
We want to know how people use us.
And our product at the end of the day is music.
I've asked this question of Brad several times and as a fan, as just a don't know anything
about it fan, the question I've always wondered and always heard is why can't the local band
or whoever with the song that I just love get played on the radio?
And I'll let you guys both answer.
The answer that I think I understand.
I am not the expert on this episode today.
I am no radio expert.
But what I think I've gathered is there are 24 hours in a day.
There's only so many minutes in an hour.
There's so many slots to play a song.
And so to just throw in random ABC song is more difficult for the industry than one might
Like from my naive point of view, it's like, why not just throw it in there and see how
That's not how it works for you guys, is it?
Not in every situation, but that does happen in some towns across the country.
Not as much as it maybe once did because of the consolidation of radio.
But I think the cheeky programmers are the ones that find a way to weave in some type
of hometown opportunity.
My situation in Chicago, I'm able to benefit off of hometown artists that fortunately are
Do I have an exposure hour for them?
Yep, it's in a nice safe area where I won't get too dinged and where the entire market
I have no idea what it is that's being played right now.
I'm going to leave and go listen somewhere else because the concept of playing it sounds
a lot better than the end result.
No, stop right there.
He didn't interrupt, but why is that?
Explain what you mean by that and I'll shortcut it.
It's familiarity, correct?
Yeah, familiarity is a big part of what keeps somebody wanting to listen to something.
New music discovery is part of why somebody ultimately tries to find us a curation, if
But we like to try to serve up a familiar blend of music that people know that they
are familiar with.
And how we serve up new music discovery is in slow, small doses.
So you are not getting 60 minutes of music you've never heard of before, of which usually
that's what local music is because a local music scene is rather small compared to a
And you believe this because the data tells you so.
The data tells you that the more familiar something is, the more likely you're going
to succeed in the ways in which you've been asked to succeed.
But it necessarily doesn't necessarily breed careers though, considering that the more
familiar you are, the more successful Troy is going to be.
But the more familiar the station is, the less opportunity it is for someone else to
have the career of familiarity.
Does that make sense?
It doesn't mean that you're not playing new music.
It's how you serve it up and what you put around it.
You have to be able to play new product, but you're just not going to spend a full hour
playing absolute brand new unfamiliar product.
I think what you said a second ago sort of explains it.
It sounds better than it maybe is in reality.
It's a good...
You're going to be the guy who's going to introduce somebody, but if people are turning
the station, no money, no mission, right?
We want to be a curator of quality and the reality is in every single local music scene
across the country, there are a few artists that are rather strong and then there's a
crop of artists that are just not very strong.
If you're throwing an hour of just that particular scene up against the wall, you're probably
going to have more misses than you're going to have hits.
At the end of the day, as cool as it sounds to say that you're supporting that, the greater
or larger group of people that you want spending more time with your brand are not going to
That's the reality.
I can think of just real quick, I've had this argument for 35 years with people that they'll
say, we need a local club that plays local bands.
I'm like, no, you need to bring crowds to that club and then they will play local bands.
They're not going to just give you a night for you and your girlfriends and boyfriends
to sit for no cover and not make money.
It's the same thing.
I get what you're saying.
Seven nights a week of just nothing but local music is a tough business model because somewhere
in between there, you got to have cover band night and you got to have national.
You got to have a trivia night.
Pay the bills.
Barry, you asked a great question a little while back about just where the model of festivals
is going and one of my fears about where the live business is going with regard to the
festival situation is I worry that we're creating a world where there are so many festivals
that that's all that bands have the ability to sell ticket wise is being a part of a festival
and then they're asked to go out on their own and either headline or be part of a club,
a theater or next level up type of venue that they can no longer just sell tickets on their
own name because they become part of a festival scene so often that they've become reliant.
They're literally they're living their live business has become only a festival base.
Does that make sense?
I mean, that is a great point and boy, I mean, the King Gizzard, Lizard Wizard of the world,
I mean, they are they are right there.
You know, you it's such a good point because I'll go in the reverse.
You know, sometimes at this job and I'm trying not to be radio guy today, but at this job,
it does frustrate you to look at a lineup like Bonnaroo or Lollapalooze and say, why
can't this work on a radio station?
I mean, Troy has beaten me up how many times for playing vampire weekend.
Very rough countless times have been about kicked me in the shins.
Somebody's there to well, he like in there.
There's certain bands that you see working so well at a festival and going from festival
to festival festival and just can't what you just said a second ago, you get dinged from
Now explain it.
All is a great example.
This is for the rest of their career.
This is a great example to work on the radio or whatever.
So so a couple of things and we'll let's get into the weeds here for a second, just
for a second, not to bore Barry, but explain the problem with Tame Impala as a major artist
in in this in the overall hemisphere of music, especially in America.
First off, their problems in their first half of their career connecting with your business.
And secondly, what they're trying to do now to try and correct that and actually become
a workable U.S. artist.
Yeah, I mean, and Kevin makes no bones.
He wants to make his he's not like trying to act like he's above it.
He would welcome mainstream play in all facets.
And he's and he's a guy that managed to it's great band.
Tame Impala is a great band and and they've struck out at a time when the festival circuit
in general just blew up.
They kind of caught that wave of of of blowing up on on a festival side to black.
He's kind of benefited from that as well in the two K.R.
They were the benefit of some really cool festivals that really helped push them out
there in the forefront in America during I saw him at a cafe stage at Bonnaroo in the
So but but but to the Tame Impala point, a great example is, you know, I might be one
of the only guys in the country that will play the less I know, the better every now
Why is it that that song doesn't work, but something they put out now does work?
How does one work and the other one not?
Man, that's a great question.
And I wish I knew the answer to that, Brad.
I really do.
I I love Arctic Monkeys.
A great song.
That you look great on the dance floor.
I can't get that song to test with my terrestrial crowd the way I can get.
Do I want to know the test to completely different albums?
And I always thought that A.M. would open the door for us to be able to go back and
peek into early Arctic Monkeys.
And the world is just kind of continued to give it me the Heisman on that.
And I think Tame Impala is you could write the same story and just this is this is fascinating.
I I this frustrates Barry, by the way.
This really frustrates Barry.
I love this conversation.
There's a world here that I think radio people sometimes forget.
And it's not you.
But guys like me forget that, you know, there are people so frustrated by radio.
They just don't they don't understand what in the world these guys are doing, because
again, all my buddies really like, you know, this band, but nobody's playing them.
It is and what you say is so interesting.
And I bet it I bet it made people just like, say, what are you talking?
When you say testing, you can't get it to test well.
So when you put these tests together and then you give them to your terrestrial audience,
how often do you say to yourself, all right, I want to grow this terrestrial audience and
how do I grow the terrestrial audience so that these some of these things can get a
little wider net when it comes to testing?
Well, you asked a double edged question, because one of the things that you have to be careful
about is thinking that you can go out and try and improve your product by going in and
talking to people who don't use your product in thinking that they're suddenly going to
start using your product because you've changed it to adapt to them.
That actually can be a recipe for doom industry because what you risk doing is blowing off
all of your customers who came to your store because they like the food that you're making.
Yeah, but you want so bad for the customer who's not coming to your store to come in.
So but I really want to Popeye chicken sandwich.
That's the I was thinking restaurants.
No, no, no, no, I want to go over and talk to you and they go, oh, that's nice that you
want to talk to me.
I mean, I'm not going to your restaurant, but that's very nice.
Yeah, we we've been selling cheeseburgers by the millions for years, but we really want
to sell shrimp.
We love spaghetti.
We love to get in the business.
Yeah, so we're going to.
But what you're but you're advocating here is almost the opposite of what radio has always
You're almost saying narrow casting is the way to go aside from broadcasting.
No, no, I don't think I am.
What I'm talking about is just making sure that you are staying true to what your brand
You know, every brand has a sonic sound to it.
I'll stick in the radio lane because that's that's what I'm talking about here.
And the brand that I have has a has an overall sonic sound.
And I want to be able to appeal to a mass group of people.
But I don't want to expand my mass and become so broad that I stop becoming the key people
that are really spending a chunk of time with me.
And that's that's the misstep.
Any type of brand, regardless of what it is, clothing brand, food product, whatever it
is, in trying to expand, you have to be very careful that you don't go so far that you
become trying to be everything to everyone and you become nothing.
It's a great point.
I get I think the restaurant is the perfect analogy.
Well, Barry, Barry, you know, you know, the wife's tea shop.
We own a tea shop.
Yeah, Troy knows this.
But but one day a guy walked into the tea shop.
It's an herbal apothecary.
You know, it sells tea.
Tea is a tea shop.
I walked in one day and he said, you guys got ice cream?
You should start selling ice cream.
I think the restaurant is a perfect analogy.
You specialize in hamburgers.
Don't offer spaghetti.
You know, if you're killing it.
But I wanted to go back a little bit because your thought about the festivals expanding
so much and doing so well that what does it do for bands?
I actually ask a venue owner here if he was worried about October and September, will
there be enough touring acts to fill his dates?
A little bit to your point.
And I think Brad and I, we talked about this last week a little bit.
You know, the festival lineups are so full and everybody's out to play.
Will there be live music touring acts?
I think that was a great.
The agents I've talked with are having trouble finding rooms because everyone is playing
shows trying to make some type of money in 2021 before everything gets back into full
blown big shed tours, big arena tours in 2022.
So they're trying to find as many places where some bands are probably going to be doing
smaller clubs and theaters than they used to.
I know stand up comics are doing that.
They're like, you know, the Brian Regans of the world are taking a step back from the
types of theaters and arenas that they could normally do and doing smaller places just
to be able to get some, some stage time, get some, some
And also her hearing if it would sounds contrary to what I just asked, but if they were doing
40 days a week, now they're going to do 60 or 70.
Just to get out.
So, uh, one of the things that you said that, that I had to write down when you're looking
at a playlist, especially when you, you talking, you were talking about the local artists,
you said signing matters.
What does signing matters mean?
What does, what does being signed to a record label mean in the overall concept of a construct
of what you do for a living?
For me, it's a, it's a considerable note that this is something that is being pushed out
on a national platform.
It's one thing to play a local band who's unsigned and you play it regionally, but to
know that you're playing something that is going to be worked across the country or even
globally, and it isn't something that you yourself are just out, just on an island championing
yourself because I love this and this is my own little thing.
We want to be a part of what others want to be a part of.
I think the days of, of having this thought that you had this song or this band that was
just yours and you love it and you don't want them to become big and huge because you want
I don't want that.
I want as many people to enjoy as much music as possible because that just lifts up the
sales for the artist.
Doesn't want that either by the way, because you've got a limited pocketbook.
Didn't Ali mentioned that Brad in our conversation with the booking agents and said, if you can
do 200, I need you to do 400 the next week or the next month and we need to see the growth.
So, so we, so Troy, you're currently, uh, you know, as you, as you traverse the country,
you're currently in Nashville, which has a band that is, that is, you know, fighting
this very thing, repeat, repeat the, um, the band that wrote the theme song of this, of
this, uh, podcast and very good friends of ours.
And they are, they were this close, you know, and you know, trying to maneuver through whatever
this world is going to be, those level acts are having a very hard time breaking through,
Um, because like you say, signing matters, representation, all of those things matter.
Do you think that there is a world where that is becoming less important considering representation
now is tick tock and it's, and it's the YouTube stars, uh, that, uh, of the generation previously.
Um, do you see a post record label world where hits are being found on street corners and
then find themselves into viral videos?
Not so much in street corners, but I don't think having to be signed by a major label
is as required as it, as it once was.
There's more power in artists fingertips now to be able to put the power in their own hands
to hire teams that can help them work their, uh, work their music on a regional level or
on a national level that don't require the, the Sony's and universals of the world, uh,
to do that anymore.
Um, I'm not, to me, tick tock is like the voice.
It hasn't actually created an actual star yet.
It's created moments, but it hasn't actually created a, an, uh, an amazing artists career
And, and I watch as everybody else does the different social media platforms that get
built up and then just get torn down.
And you know what I'm wondering?
What's the next tick tock?
Because I guess we were all saying that when we were all in love with Snapchat and that
became tick tock.
Some of us are still love a Snapchat.
I'm sure of that.
Am I right?
I heard you're still in love with Friendster.
So big fan, big, big fan.
Um, find all my music on my space.
Leave me alone.
Yeah, but I'm not, but I'm not convinced yet.
I do know that record labels are certainly making money thanks to tick tock.
And that's part of what has become an amazing resurgence over the course of the last five
or so odd years is there was a point in the post Napster world where we were talking about
recorded music being dead.
And the only way to make money in this business was through the live, uh, through live performance.
And now this one 80 has happened where thanks to DSPs and thanks to vehicles like tick tock,
they are finding a great monetization vehicle and recorded music that just, uh, again, I,
I, uh, to, to think about how like universal is in 10% increments is selling off parts
of universal music group for billions at a time.
When I think at one point during the load, the load days of post Napster, I think they
maybe put a lot of that together for maybe a billion.
So now the fact that they're selling it in 10% increments for billions are just like,
it's mind blowing.
It, it, so with that being said though, and this will be the final thing that I, that
I ask of Barry's got something else.
When you, when you then sit down at, at the desk and it's time for you to pick out which
songs you're going to put your weight behind.
Again, and I said this with you, not on the phone, you're one of five, you're one of the
five most influential people in all of rock music.
I mean, if you want something to be played and put on the radio, there's five of you,
you know, there's really five of you and you can, and I throw Ali Hagendorf in that, in
that conversation as well.
So oftentimes do you, Mike Kaplan, Lisa warden, Ali Hagendorf, serious XM feel like you're
part of a marketing campaign because things are so label driven?
We are marketers.
You're a marketer.
I'm a marketer.
That's, that is what we do in radio.
We, we market our airwaves to our clients and we market our airwaves to our listeners
So yeah, I think anyone who tells you they're not, I market music, I market personalities,
I market images.
Really what people take away from it is credibility because that's what I try to bring with my
brand and what I try to push out there so that when someone is being marketed to that,
they feel like the curation is sound, whether that's music or that's, you know, personalities.
Are you telling me those commercial free hours are not really commercial free?
I, I am a feeling you're trying to tell me that there's always a commercial around the
You caught me in a lie.
I, I, I do have one more and it's a complete, it's a complete dad question, but it's one
of the things that I hear a lot.
We all hear the only real music was made and depending on what year you are, you know,
whether it's the sixties, the seventies, you've got 1971 currently on HBO, which is terrific.
I, I, I bristle when I hear people say that, cause you just sound like an old buddy that,
you know, yeah, there's a lot of really good music.
I'll stop you there.
You sounded old when you said the word fuddy buddy.
As soon as I said it, I was like, dang it.
I told you as a dad question, there's there.
I can point to two key music movement moments that were huge with pop culture as a whole.
And that was like the late sixties when music was really moving a generation through the
You had the Beatles going through their breakup.
You had amazing music by artists like the doors and Zeppelin and stuff making that.
And then you can look at the early nineties and, and see what came out of Seattle and,
and how the more mainstreaming of alternative music came into play.
And what connects both of those two timeframes is how much music had a deep influence on
pop culture and the lifestyle of what was happening with people around us.
And that was all sans social media and sans internet type of stuff.
That was all happening today.
Music is still music.
It just doesn't have the, I have a, Brad hasn't been into my office up in Chicago, but I I've
actually got a quote on the wall from John Mellon.
Wait, it's a Brad Steiner quote.
I didn't even know.
This is so impressive.
It's a, it's a, it's a John Mellon can't quote.
And it says something about remember when music used to move a culture.
And I think that those two different genres that like 1988 or 89 to 94 time frame and
that 1966 to 71 timeframe were just two incredibly instrumental music periods that just.
Were incredible moments in time.
I totally agree, but I would add a third.
I would add Bonnaroo in 2002.
Is that right?
I think, I, I think for a lot of people myself, maybe it's, maybe it's too personal, but Bonnaroo
reintroduced live music, I think to the nation.
I think we were stuck in Napster.
We were listening to the MP3s.
I think Bonnaroo made festivals and the whole discovery.
We talk about that a lot on this podcast.
It turned people on to discovering new music versus, you know, being the, the snob, the
I don't think that it may not be to your point to those two levels.
I totally agree with your point.
But for me anyway, it really, it was pretty big, pretty monumental change.
I'm a lifelong fan.
I mean, I, well, I think, I think, I think Barry gives me a very hard time because when
I first met Ashley Caps, I sort of stepped in it and crapped my pants when I said to
him of Ashley, you saved life music.
Well, the point that I was making in that was that what you said earlier, Troy is exactly
why I love festivals and why I love Bonnaroo is because people like the black keys got
a shot because they were put on these tiny festivals and that festival loved them so
They gave them the next shot and then the next shot.
Now they have a much easier path that radio does to give somebody a shot and a chance
on a stage that may or may not turn into anything.
You know, that 15, 20 minutes set is a lot different than, you know, us having to play
a song 75 times in the course of two weeks for you to even realize what it is.
That's so true.
There's a kid playing Bonnaroo this year, Bristan Maroney.
Yeah, we love him.
We've had him on the show.
I went and saw him at Third Man last Wednesday and watched him perform his new record live
in its entirety.
I was so uber impressed and I can't wait to see him hit on a stage on that size and take
that next step as his career continues to develop.
He's a guy like him.
I would never have.
Several things happen.
Spotify, I mean, a lot of streaming media and all that.
It was a confluence of a lot of things.
But for me, that Bonnaroo 2002 was the third pillar in what you're talking about, I think.
And Bristan's a great example.
I would have never I mean, I can my morning jacket I would have never discovered without
a live festival.
I'll tell you the guy who's made probably the best points on this call here today.
I got to give it up to you.
He's got to say, honestly, the topic that gets him going the most is a thing called
OK, I got some right here.
Yeah, that's my man.
Well, to your point, Troy, he hasn't said anything wrong.
He's hitting 100 percent.
Are they by chance a podcast sponsor?
Because he's bringing it.
I'm trying to get there so badly.
Never wrong about marketing.
So Russ and I this is how Russ and I are different.
I say everything hoping to land something.
And Russ says.
So it's the other thing that I love, too, is, you know, he's got a very excited about
When Troy tells me that he has a quote of John Mellencamp on his wall, I was going to
spin the camera around and show you the quote of sucking on chili dogs outside the Tasty
Freeze that I have hanging on my wall.
Monumental really is.
Yeah, I'm not going to show you the rest of my room.
I can't I can't thank you enough for this.
This is actually me and Troy have worked together for a year and a half.
We have a mutual love of the same radio person, Ron Bennington, who is my radio, my my radio
Everybody who has the guy that I've always wanted to be.
And me and Troy are.
We enjoy our buddies, but this is the longest we've ever talked.
I try to I try to limit very as you and Russ both know, I try to rush as you should.
Yeah, a good plan.
Troy, thank you so much for this.
The perspective is amazing and it's a it's a master class in how the radio industry works.
So thank you so much for being here, buddy.
Thank you so much.
Thank you very much for having me.
The What Podcast, which bands this year that matter part two of how to make a hit what
you're hearing now, the very sexy, sexy, soulful beats of Middest, M.I.D.I.S.T.
Check them out on Bandcamp, Spotify, follow them in all the platforms.
Give them some love because they're so gracious to let us use some of their their sexy beats.
Nick calls him fellow camp nut butter.
I Nick Turner, who's part of Middest, calls them study beats.
I call them sexy beats.
I could definitely study to them, though.
That's what's that?
That's a long past for me.
The whole is that is that what we're calling it these days?
Studying are we going to be studying?
I could I could definitely sexy to this for sure.
Could you study to it?
It's good stuff.
I haven't studied in a while, so I don't know.
Yeah, well, now I'm getting this confused.
Which is which?
What is study and what is sexy?
I can't figure out which is what you said.
What a great show.
Very, very very look.
You walk into every conversation that I have with radio with your eyes pinned to the back
of your head.
You just you bristle at radio.
It bothers you much like it bothers a lot of the audience because they don't really
understand what they're doing half the time.
They don't know what radio is doing half the time.
Make it clear.
And they wonder why insert thing here doesn't work on whatever local radio station they're
I hope that showed some context and how something goes from nothing to something and how radio
eventually works its way through the whole the maze of this industry.
It's a love hate.
Let's be very honest.
It's a love.
I love radio.
I mean, I like everybody grew up listening to it.
How I discovered a lot of bad radio.
So you got to love it.
Now I have all the other streaming services like everybody else.
And I have as you see behind me, I have my own collection.
I still love radio.
It's still the primary discovery method.
But yeah, I, you know, as you said, I have lots of questions and I've had them since
I was a kid.
I mean, I can't put it any more simple.
Why didn't the song that I love by the band I love get played?
And that was very helpful.
And frankly, I think that his Tame Impala answer is spot on because yeah, there is a
at the radio station that I work in and had even Troy being the guy that calls me and
asked me what I'm doing with some of these things.
I'll say, look, you know, Tama, the less I know, the better is legitimately one of the
great songs that was released in the last decade.
And he'll say straight up, he's like, I know, but nobody cares.
I mean, I mean, how many of those can we all, I mean, going back to LCD sound system, you
can't find a radio station in the country that plays LCD sound system, except for me
on the off occasion once a week.
And his point, and you've said it to me before that the time thing, the slot, that whatever,
you know, you hear it once and maybe somebody turns a channel.
I mean, I get that.
Your job is to keep them tuned into you all day long, if possible.
And to add a little bit of context, the other thing about radio is that it is a frequency
So the reason why you hear things over and over and over and over is because the higher
frequency that we hit, the more likely it is that you're going to start familiarizing
yourself with it, which is why radio sales still to the dollar, the most effective form
of advertising, right?
Because you can get it really cheap and your message can just get hammered over and over
and over and over.
And you're hoping that the more the more that you're putting this message into somebody's
head, top of mind recall, oh, that's why I'm going to go buy that Kia because I've heard
that commercial 1500 time and I buy the Kia, but subconsciously that's the place that you're
going to go to one, two, three on the list.
That's sort of the reason why certain songs don't work versus others.
The local music comparison that you made is a perfect one.
You can't play a song once on the radio and expect it to work.
Just like if you have a business, you can't expect to put one ad on the radio and expect
it to work.
It just doesn't.
That's just not how the business, the consumer is built.
And not, I mean, not to get too far, as you said, into the weeds, but you explained something
to me early on in the pandemic and I think it really does sum it up because we all figured
out what really matters and what did well was things that were familiar.
People turned to, they wanted whatever radio station they were familiar with, whether it
was oldies or classic country or whatever, because it felt normal.
It felt comfortable.
Yeah, it's comfort food.
Yeah, it's comfort.
When you, so when you break that out, it makes perfect sense.
There you go.
We've had a pandemic, but even in normal times, you go with what's comfortable.
So we're saying the same thing.
So that was very, very, very interesting.
I mean, Troy's the best.
And there's a reason why.
Like I would not put on contemporaries of mine and present them to you who I love and
adore and want you to gain something from.
I would not put contemporaries on if I didn't think that they were the best.
He was great.
And Troy's the best.
So there you go.
Anything else we need to get to?
We wanted to get through some news, but we've ran so completely out of time.
We've taken up most of your day.
So is there anything else that we should get to before we go?
Give those tickets away next week.
Last chance to get tickets.
There you go.
Russ, great job as always.
Russ, great show today, buddy.
Great job, Russ.
Barry Courter, Ross Jackson, Lord Taco.
I'm Brad Steiner.
I'll talk to you next week on the What Podcast.
Love you all.