Broadcast & Satellite

Top DJ Bobby Bones shares the dirty politics behind which songs get played

Nationally syndicated radio host Bobby Bones of the Bobby Bones Show recently dropped an industry bombshell, revealing major industry secrets behind radio’s top songs.

Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix

Nationally syndicated radio host Bobby Bones is pulling back the curtain on radio politics, and the music industry doesn’t know how to react.

Bobby Bones, the host of the nationally syndicated Bobby Bones Show, recently made waves in the music community for sharing industry secrets about radio’s top songs. According to Bones, the decision about who gets to be the number one artist on any given day or week is made entirely by music’s biggest labels. Along with leading radio broadcast companies, those companies work together to pick and choose who becomes tomorrow’s next star. Listener input is minimal.

“Here’s the truth about Number One songs on the radio: It’s basically politics,” Bones said, strolling through a sunny park in a clip that had more than 36,000 likes a day later. “They trade them out like baseball cards. A record label will talk to another record label and go ‘Ok, I’ll give you this Number One on this date, you give me that Number One on that date.’ Which really, it should just be the song that’s the most wanted, the most listened to, the song that people demand. That should be the only Number One song.”

But Bones didn’t stop there. In a series of videos originally shared to his TikTok account, Bones describes the day-to-day operations of most radio stations, including the thinking behind what songs get played and how often they appear in rotation. It’s the honest look at radio you never knew you needed, and it’s likely to make you rethink your music industry goals.

In this Music Biz update, host James Shotwell shares Bobby Bones’ comments and offers additional insight into the inner workings of the music business. He also shares a fresh perspective for young artists who feel the revelations in Bones’ videos make it less likely that they will succeed. Check it out!

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James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company’s podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.

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