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We have a station here in Edmonton called Sonic and when they first debuted on air im guessing they were given some sort of temporary or provisional license and they just played music (with no ads) and had no dj's or hosts at that point. There was something unique about the music they were playing, in which they weren't repeating the same song all day and while they did play alot of new music, they still threw in a unusual but welcomed amount of 90s, early 2000 rock music.

That went on for a while and then finally they put their station together and debuted shows and all the normal stuff a radio station has. Then all of a sudden something changed...along with the addition of ads (which i completely understand and knew where coming) the music started to get very repetitve and they started to only play / push the new singles of a handful of bands for the majority of the day.

Is this type of move brought on by the advertisers who push for them to play the latest singles to keep the station and their ad's sounding relevant and fresh? Is it because the record labels are paying them / swaying them? Or is it because the station doesn't think they can sustain a listener unless they play the same 'Disturbed' or 'Jimmy eat world' single all day.

I am aware how i am probably coming off sounding, but im really interesting in knowing. What is the logic behind a radio station and what type of music they choose to (or are aloud to) play?


Also, on a slightly related note, there is a new station that was just approved coming to edmonton in the new year which promises to move at the speed of the internet and play the newest, latest unreleased/leaked music. (http://new107fm.com/) I was wondering what type of licensing deal radio stations have with the record companies and if they don't play something that isn't officially released will they get in trouble? I know sometimes im listening to Radio 1 in the UK and their dj's will play something theyve just heard on the internet which has leaked and not officially released by the artist.
Is this Station going to have to secretly get the rights to play a new track from the label before they can say their leaking it on air?

For some reason, this kind of behind the scenes stuff intrigues me. Thank you to anyone that can point me in the direction of these answers
 

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Steps to Lodging Broadcasting Complaints in Canada

My advice is to send a friendly email to the station itself and hopefully you'll get a satisfactory answer. If you just get a form letter or email back from them, try a few more times by replying to their messages with your questions and points. Keep it polite and dignified, as you'll see below.

If that still proves unsatisfactory, you can look up the station's license application at the CRTC web page: http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/dno.htm

If you feel that the station is not living up to the requirements of their license, contact them again with your points but this time referencing their CRTC license, which will almost always wake them up and get some communication going. ;)

If at long last there is no positive outcome for you, lodge a complaint with the CRTC. The CRTC will want to know to what extent you have complained the local station in the past, and you can send them a file with all your above-mentioned correspondence so that the CRTC can decide how to proceed with the issue.

Also, you can watch for when the station's CRTC license is up for renewal and lodge an intervention to that process. Several of us at this site have entered interventions on a variety of broadcasting issues in the past.
 

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Hi boxcarracer (great band),

Sonic hasn't changed that significantly since launch.

Most people will feel that a radio station is getting more repetitive as it ages, but usually what they're hearing is long-term repetition (the same 90's songs they launched with are still in rotation today) as opposed to day to day repetition. They're still only about 25% current music, which is close to what they were at launch.

As for the music they choose to play...well...bigger hits get bigger ratings every time. Hits are hits for a reason. They are getting significantly out-rated by The Bear. At any given time, the Bear is playing a bigger hit. Sonic may have trimmed their playlist slightly to regain some ground against them.

Repetition, as long as it's the right songs, actually tends to increase time spent listening. There's a breaking point where that equation gets inverted, but Sonic's nowhere close to it. (Sirius' Alt Nation, for example, repeats the new music almost twice as much as Sonic.)


There's no CRTC rule as to the specific type of music they have to play, nor era or repetition.
 

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If there's no CRTC rule on formats, why can't I find any Rhythmic Top 40 or Hip Hop/R&B stations in Canada? That's supposed to be the #1 music format.

For examples try www.ksfm.com or www.1035thebomb.com Sacramento. With Listen Live links.

This is probably why there is less listenership of Canadian radio as opposed to online or sat. radio.

Ratings is the answer to the thread question.
 

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Because Canadian cities are demographically very different from the American cities that have hip-hop stations. We also have fewer stations per capita, giving niche formats (which it would be here) less of a chance.

Country and AC are the biggest music formats in the US.

Satellite radio and internet radio listenership is proportionately about the same here as the US.
 

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Radio stations in Canada can play whatever they want;provided they play 30% Canadian content every hour.
A potential station makes a presentation at a CRTC hearing about a specific format and they obtain their license, they can launch with any format they choose provided they adhere to the above rule.
Almost ALL stations in Canada have only 700 tunes in their library;which means they repeat the whole playlist every 3 days.
 

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If there's no CRTC rule on formats, why can't I find any Rhythmic Top 40 or Hip Hop/R&B stations in Canada? That's supposed to be the #1 music format.

For examples try www.ksfm.com or www.1035thebomb.com Sacramento. With Listen Live links.

This is probably why there is less listenership of Canadian radio as opposed to online or sat. radio.

Ratings is the answer to the thread question.
Here's a link to music sales in the US up to 2006. Looks like rock and country are the top 2 which is why so many stations follow those formats.

US Music sales by genre and year

I imagine hip-hop sales in Canada are lower than in the US.
 

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Radio stations in Canada can play whatever they want;provided they play 30% Canadian content every hour.
There's the problem right there. I'm all for Canadian music and musicians but enough already. I'm tired of being force fed Canadian artists. There are only so many songs to fill that 30%. Lower that percentage and I'm guessing the repetition will seem less.
 

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generally, it's 35%, in some cases. to up the ante and hopefully the shot of getting a license, some players applying for new stations will offer 40% canadian content and are in my belief, going to be the death of this industry. as a long time radio broadcaster and in management for many years, i am as responsible as any other broadcaster managing a successful canadian radio station, for overplaying some canadian artists. and correctly, the bigger the hit, the more people that will listen to it at any given time and that is the game if you're in a rated market. for example, if i have a rock station that plays new rock, what's going to get more listeners...the nickelback hit library, or 20 different canadian indie bands that no one has ever heard of? and if you think it's the indie bands, your kidding yourself. nickelback are what they are cause they have a long track record or recording hits. and if you think things have changed, they only have in terms of how many radio companies are out there. if you were a rated station in 1971, you were always figuring out song by song, which songs would have the most appeal to the most people at any given time, cause that's what you're competition was doing. the station that plays that most hits, wins the most listeners. simple. that's why a hit is a hit.

to the notion that most canadian radio stations have a 700 song library? incorrect. most canadian radio stations play as many as 1200, 1300 songs. a "tight" library in canadian radio where you're playing a blend of new and old music is about 800 to 900 songs. there are not a lot of stations in canada playing 700 songs because there simply aren't many "top 40" stations in canada that are designed to play only current music. in the u.s. k-earth los angeles for example, an oldies station that can play any oldies category song it wants to, used to brag about playing "only the biggest 300 oldies". and that was true.. a 300 song library, imagine how small that is..but you knew every song, and every song was a huge hit. KISS in los angeles, biggest radio station in LA aside from possibly a hispanic fm station, used to play the top 6 new songs of the day..every hour, 24/7 , starting off every hour. the order only changed day to day when the music director mixed em up and added in a new hit once in awhile..you could go for 3 weeks hearing the same 4 to 5 out of 6 songs at the start of every hour!
 

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if you were a rated station in 1971, you were always figuring out song by song, which songs would have the most appeal to the most people at any given time, cause that's what you're competition was doing. the station that plays that most hits, wins the most listeners. simple. that's why a hit is a hit.
Showing my age here (57+), I remember when everybody thought that "AM Radio" stood for "Anne Murray Radio". I STILL remember "Snowbird"; bleagh.

in the u.s. k-earth los angeles for example, an oldies station that can play any oldies category song it wants to, used to brag about playing "only the biggest 300 oldies". and that was true.. a 300 song library, imagine how small that is..
"Good times and eight oldies" bleagh. As a real oldies fan, I absolutely detest those stations.

Was it true that that the CRTC was responsible for "boss jocks", by demanding "foreground content"? I used to do a lot of DXing in my youngers days, growing up in Winnipeg. It got to the point where in 10 minures, I could tell whether I was listening to a Canadian rock station or a US rock station, even without them identifying themselves or the city they were broadcasting from. The US rock music stations actually... played rock music. The Canadian stations were populated by bozos suffering from verbal diahrea. The best way to describe them is to drop down to a deep bass voice, and go... "Hey there everybody, this here's your friendly neighbourhood {BLEEP}head Jack, comin at ya with much more yakk". Nothing personal against DJ's, but I tune in to music stations to listen to music, dammit.
 

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when i started on fm radio in 1980, it was the first fm station in my hometown and people were ticked when we launched playing things like van morrison, phil collins, barbara streisand, steely dan..they thought that fm stations had to be "classical" or they weren't fm, by god. boss jocks were a u.s. phenomenal, not canadian..tended to be loud and high energy..but the crtc was responsible for a lot of verbal diarrhea thanks to foreground content..can't remember the exact rules (it went away in the late 80s basically) but we had to do x minutes of talk every 15 minutes i believe..like 3 minutes or something like that. some of it was actually interesting if the jock had any talent and was into the research or did a good interview..but there was a lot of crap for sure:)
 

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The CRTC had some strange rules for FM back in the 1970s. Rock stations had to play a certain number of hours per week of alternate music such as classical and jazz. Virtually every FM station played classical and jazz on Sunday, after playing rock the other six days of the week. As mentioned, spoken content and several minutes of news were required every hour. Cancon was only 5% then, which was a refreshing change from AM. Since FM was a relatively new medium there were far fewer sponsors and commercials. Many existing radios were AM only then so the listening audience was limited. This meant music went on for up to a half hour without commercials or interruptions. (Revived in the 1990s as "rock blocks.") Low keyed talk was fairly popular on both US and Canadian stations, as were studio guests and informal DJ studio parties. Some of those sessions were quite hilarious and sometimes led to staff firings. :eek:
 

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Good Day;
The good thing about those tight playlist radio stations that play Nickleback every hour on the hour is that Canadians get to hate Canadian music fast. For me it means that the 30% can-con rules prevents me from buying any current Canadian music because i am sick of it. I do understand that the whole idea of cancon is to promote Canadian music;but i personally find it to be too much.
Regards,
Andrew
 

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well if you don't like use a cd player or somthing to listen to music or if you want radio get sat radio. radio stations do not listen to customers
 

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Good Day Mickk;
That is exactly what i have done.I purchased a Centrios internet radio.It solves the whole can-con issue for me.
Best Regards,
Andrew.
 

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"You may have heard about the exciting new changes at CBC Radio 2 but did you know that in a typical 24 hour programming day, on average 60% of the music you will hear on "The New 2" will be Canadian? That's almost DOUBLE what the commercial radio stations are required to play. " CBC Blurb.

You can imagine how bland and boring this is. The next BBM ratings come out in April and it will be interesting to see how many people like 60% CanCon.
 

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well thats because CBC is suppose to be an all canadian station hense why its owned by the goverment. all the cbc is good for is the people who rather listen to news instead of music which you can always tell the age brackets are
 

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well thats because CBC is suppose to be an all canadian station hense why its owned by the goverment. all the cbc is good for is the people who rather listen to news instead of music which you can always tell the age brackets are
Maybe you are thinking of CBC Radio 1 which is more news/talk oriented rather than Radio 2 which is definetly aimed at the music listener.

I find Radio 2 quite good at music, despite any cancon ratio rules. But I listen to radio to hear new stuff I'm not familiar with rather than songs I've already heard before.

I think a lot comes down to where you live and how good the local stations are. I'm fortunate to be able to pick up atleast 5 virtually commercial free stations on FM in my area, all with different and mostly interesting formats.
 

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The New CBC2 is some excellent programming that is quite compatible (and designed around) Canadian Content. It's still a niche format, so it will never have huge ratings success, but that's not the goal.
 
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