In some two years of using Radio Airplay (formerly Jango) I have noticed one overwhelming trait that I think artists SHOULD be aware of. Now, as someone of fairly advanced years for a recording artist my main focus tends to be on building a following for my songs and hoping that someone prettier will eventually go through the appropriate channels and record them commercially. As a composer with a catholic taste, there is no way anyone could accuse me of recording the same song 15 times on one CD as pop stars do. Every single one is different and for that reason targeting is an ongoing mystery that I am only just getting to understand. Then in comes the Spring Break or the Summer Vacay – or Christmas.

Now, why should that be a problem? Having gotten used to pop scores in the range between 80 and 95 on a fairly regular basis, I will suddenly see my popscore plummet below 55 during vacation periods. This is becoming such a regular feature for me, that I am starting to wonder if other Radio Airplay users see similar? The songs are the same, the geo targets are the same (although they do sometimes go a little screwy!)  More worrying is that even profiling for age has relatively little effect on the plunge.

The other issue is that popscore plunges in vacation times EVEN WHEN NEW FANS INCREASE FAST. Yes, I am telling this correctly, you may get twice as many new fans in the week as usual and still get a drastically lower pop score. Now that leads me to consider two possibilities; either there are simply more kids – huge numbers of them – on Radio Airplay signing up and voting for other more mainstream bands OR kids cruising the site and DOWN VOTING older looking performers. The worrying thing is profiling kids OUT by using premium targeting has no effect, so I believe they may be using parental accounts to do this down voting.

I don’t think this is a trend we need to worry about, as it restricts itself to those times of year when teens and kids are off school, but I do think that artists who notice a sudden plunge in pop score need to be aware of the demographic that may be causing it….

Persimew also writes as Photahsiamirabel and profiles Radio Airplay as a useful resource for independent musicians in this article:

Flying To Meet The Sunrise (album) and St Francis Prayer (single) are her most popular CDs.