posted on Jun, 25 2005 @ 08:39 PM
I ran across this thread (and this message board) doing some research for my website that concentrates on this radio format. It's called a few
different names; I personally liked the name Variety Hits for it, thus my site is called VarietyHits.com.
But I'm not here to shill for my site. I appreciate the above post pointing out that wikipedia had info on both Jack FM and Bob FM -- I wasn't
aware of that, and I was able to add a few things to the wikipedia listing as a result. So to that end, I'm quite appreciative.
I respectfully disagree with those who feel that the Variety Hits format is an attempt by radio to copy the iPod. The iPod is a very personal
experience, catered specifically to an individual user's taste. Variety Hits, on the other hand, uses Top 40 songs from 1974-present, usually more
upbeat leaning (i.e. no Toni Braxton), that cover a wide variety of genres. It's hit oriented since hits=ratings; it's goal is to do well in the
Adults 25-54 demographic (in radio terms called P25-54, or "Persons 25-54"), but it's aim in specific is Adults 35-44.
The wider playlists are a refreshing change from the 300 song narrow playlists than many stations use (and some are even tighter than that which play
mostly currents). The format first caught on in Canada, and it was tried out on a rimshot signal in Denver, where it worked out very well. After
successful efforts in places like Norfolk and Dallas, it suddenly reached what Michael Gladwell would call "The Tipping Point" and it became the
next big thing in radio.
Oldies as a format is slowly dying because the core audience is aging out of the 25-54 demo, and once you pass 54, advertisers lose interest.
Satellite radio, both Sirius and XM, is now trying to fill that gap.
Because of the huge playlists (and even larger libraries of potential songs), I think the Variety Hits format has legs to last longer than fad formats
like Rhythmic Oldies, 80s, etc. But we'll see...