An ‘Intro’ To Country Music’s Issues

No Comments 28 February 2012

An ‘Intro’ To Country Music’s Issues

Last week in Nashville, the Country Radio Seminar took place. This yearly affair is where executives from the Country Music business meet with executives from the Country Radio business.

I’ve been a part of this conference many times in the past 15 years. In full disclosure, I’ve also spent time serving on both the agenda committee as well as the marketing committee. I did not attend this year as I’ve shifted my business focus to my multi-genre label DigSin. Given what I read about the discussions there, I wish I’d have stopped by. It seems the normal labels vs. radio discussions took a new turn that has a high likelihood of stagnating the country music business at a time it needs to move forward.

Regular readers of my blog and my book Futurehit.DNA know that I’ve been a big proponent of short intros. I’ve regularly shown that songs where vocals start in under 7 seconds have a greater chance of succeeding. Country music hits have had longer intros in the past few years than pop music, but that’s mostly because they make few songs with short intros. However, per capita, those short intro songs tend to do better. Taylor Swift’s biggest selling single last year was the zero-second intro “Mean”. 2 of the top 5 selling Country singles of last year had vocals start less than 5 seconds in. One of those songs (Luke Bryan’s “Country Girl”) didn’t reach #1, which means it outsold 90% of the songs that did.

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