From The Chicago Sun Times " Calling it a 'redefinition' of its alternative rock music format, WKQX-FM is expanding its playlist from 200 to nearly 1,000 songs and reaching back over 25 years in the genre. Starting at 10 a.m. Friday, the Emmis Communications station will declare that its music is 'on shuffle' -- evoking the jargon of iPods embraced by its primary target audience of listeners between the ages of 25 and 34."
"The format adjustment comes just days after Q-101 posted an all-time low 1.4% audience share in the latest Arbitrends."
"Mike Stern, vice president of programming for Emmis Radio Chicago... emphasized that the playlist expansion has more to do with changing lifestyles and new technology..."
"'As consumers become used to having a wide variety of choices available to them, radio has to find ways to step up to that challenge and remain relevant to our listeners' lives,' Stern said..".
"Q-101 tested the 'on shuffle' playlist concept last weekend and reported overwhelmingly favorable listener response."
HYPEBOT: We've been reading about these kind of expanded playlist formats and recently listening to a more "classics" version of it in LA (JACK-FM formerly The Arrow) and we have to admit that it's fun to hear a broader mix of songs and that the random or shuffle concept leads to some interesting combinations. But we've heard nothing about how these formats will mix in new music; and isn't it sad that a random computer can mix music more creatively than the jocks and PD's?
These new experiments are interesting and even fun; but they are not the "great radio" needed to keep people tuning in. The seeds of our bet on the future of broadcast radio can be heard (without commercials) on some of the better XM channels and on a few Internet stations like RadioParadise where the purposely play the Stones next to a new alternative band with some world music in between and make it all make sense. It is in sharing these kind of moments of discovery that lies radio's best hopes for the future. Just like in the early days of AOR; listening to radio needs to feel like joining and exclusive club again.
Read the full article here.