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July 2017

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New From the MusicMaster Blog

Artist Separation in MusicMaster

by Marianne Burkett - One of the most common support calls I’ll get with a new user is a sudden issue with Artist separation. There is a difference between the Artist field and the Artist Keyword field in MusicMaster. The Artist field is used to describe the artist or artists that are on a song, all in one line. This field is not typically tested in the rules. As an example, I will use a group of established rock artists that gathered in the late 80s and recorded a few albums together: The Traveling Wilburys. Among the members of the band were Roy Orbison, George Harrison, Tom Petty and Bob Dylan. In the Artist field on a Traveling Wilburys song, you’d likely just put “Traveling Wilburys” or your paper log and on-screen display in automation would read like a novel. However, the Artist Keyword field would have multiple entries on different lines as shown in the illustration:

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Time-Saving Music Log Reports

by Drew Bennett - Today, it’s tough to juggle everything you need to juggle at the station. Even the music department can be something you explore to find ways of saving time. One of those ways is to build reports and run them against a log you scheduled to make sure everything looks good before sending it on to automation. In today’s tip, I’m going to talk about the reports you should run before sending any music log to air.

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Quick Tip: Auto-Platoon and Filters

Auto Platoon is a great way to move music in and out of your active categories. Most users pick a number of songs that they want to move, but there is a way to make Auto Platoon even more targeted by using Filters. When you set up the Platoon you'll see a Filter option. This looks like the Filter you use in Library Maintenance. The benefit is that you can now cherry pick which songs move. For instance, you might move songs that are a certain tempo or by a certain artist. If you use this option, be sure you have reviewed the Primary and Secondary categories to make sure you have enough songs that meet your Filter and Schedule settings.

Using the Keyword Separation Wizard

You have an instinct for how “the math” affects your rotation and balance. Still, you shouldn't have to redo the math every time you add or remove songs from your categories or set up your separation rules. That’s why we’ve given you the Keyword Separation Wizard. This feature, unique to MusicMaster, displays the ideal separation for any selected keyword based on how you’ve set up your clocks. With one click, you can apply any or all of the recommended values. Go ahead, get creative with your library and let us crunch the numbers! Watch this video for a brief overview of the Keyword Separation Wizard. Find more in-depth information in our blog.

Why Radio Needs To Think Like Cirque du Soleil

After a long, successful 146-year run, the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus performed its final show this past spring. I’m betting that most of you reading this blog have been a happy attendee of that circus at one time or another. Readers of a certain age have no doubt taken their kids or even their grandkids to witness “The Greatest Show On Earth.”

But like so many other traditional entertainment products, the circus did not keep up with new technology or the changing mindset of the consumer. And along the way, Ringling Brothers became financially unsustainable. As today’s savvy media executives might observe, the circus no longer scaled. And along with protests that haunted the circus vertical, starting with the elephants, the circus simply couldn’t survive in the 21st century.

Yet, the problems besetting Ringling Brothers (and other circuses) went well beyond PETA protests. The high cost of travel – by rail – and the sheer number of people, animals, and equipment that needed to be moved from town to town made the circus model unsustainable.

For older Americans reading the news about the demise of Ringling Brothers, the death of the traditional circus seems unthinkable. In spite of the costs and the problems, millions of people paid for an afternoon under the big top every year. Yet, financial realities have come home to roost, and the circus has finally left town after nearly a century and a half of existence as part of the American entertainment fabric.

And at the same time the traditional circus fell on hard times, a different type of entertainment model was emerging, born with some of the same DNA. Cirque du Soleil, started in Quebec in 1984, by reimagining the old school circus. Using data and new thinking that not only generated massive profits, Cirque has created a theatrical version of the traditional circus – and a highly successful one at that.

When you consider how Cirque du Soleil has pulled it off, it’s an allegory for how traditional entertainment verticals – like newspapers, radio, television, and direct mail – might rethink their “givens,” and develop smart alternatives that are more in-line with the changing consumer mindset. Or become Ringling Brothers.

In Cirque du Soleil’s case, they utilize some of the same basic skills and thrills we enjoyed all those years from Ringling Brothers – acrobats, costumes, lighting, music. But by blowing up the circus model and finding different ways to present a show that elicits the same “oohs and aahs,” they’ve created a franchise as powerful as the circus was more than a century ago.

A few facts about Cirque du Soleil that illustrate the point:

1. They have a mission. While barely more than 30 years old, the purpose of Cirque du Soleil “is to invoke the imagination, provoke the sense and evoke the emotions of people around the world.” If Ringling Brothers had a positioning statement, it might have read pretty much the very same way.

2. The shows are anchored to theaters and casinos. And that eliminates the impossibly high cost and challenging logistics of moving a highly complex show from city to city, week after week. Cirque du Soleil is the destination, just like Broadway shows. We travel to it, rather that it traveling to us.

3. The brand is associated with both quality and unpredictability. Whatever Cirque show you see, it is always stunningly produced, and different from the one you saw last year. And the attendant marketing is often as breathtaking as the show itself.

4. It is mass appeal. Because music is at the core of Cirque du Soleil shows, their magic transcends language barriers, making these performances as popular around the world as they are in North America.

5. They take risks. As the CMO of Xerox, Christa Carone, pointed out in a Forbes story, the CdS team isn’t afraid to roll the dice. And not everything has worked, including Michael Jackson’s “Immortal,” and in ill-fated “Banana Shpeel” that closed after only six weeks in New York City. But risk is part of the DNA of Cirque, and it has almost always paid off.

6. They have rate integrity. A Cirque du Soleil seat is not cheap, often costing more than $200 per person. But with those prices come high expectations, and these shows always deliver. As Carone notes, they are “consistently remarkable.”

7. Employees have input. In a LinkedIn story by Kelly Luo, she explains how CdS has created an annual workshop where 5,000 employees from around the globe can present their ideas and concepts. Instead of the same thing year in and year out, Cirque always delights with new twists and turns, often driven by their own workforce.

8. They use data to evaluate performers. CdS has a database that contains metrics on each talent member’s assets and liabilities. When they’re staging a new show, they use this data to build a cast that utilizes the necessary skill sets. It is all about talent, so connecting the right performers to specific shows goes a long way toward optimizing their success.

9. Their CEO is a former performer. Guy Laliberté, founder of CdS and now its boss, knows precisely how to stage a show and cast it. As someone who spent years on stage, he has first-hand knowledge about managing talent and maximizing Cirque shows. He has both empathy for his talent, but also knows how to push them to get even more.

10. There are no animals. Cirque has created a unique market space, rather than trying to design a better circus. There’s a “Blue Ocean Strategy” angle here that brands like Spotify are trying to perfect. CdS is circus-like, but it’s also a whole different thing based on a different financial model. It has carved out its own entertainment niche.

Interestingly, many digital brands have tried to create a better form of radio – rather than inventing something totally different. SiriusXM, Pandora, and Spotify are all examples of radio-type brands that use different models – playlists, algorithms, subscription/commercial-free – in order to differentiate themselves from radio.

Yet, radio still has the larger audience. That begs the question of whether a vertical like broadcast radio couldn’t take a Cirque du Soleil approach to reinventing its model by blowing up some of the conventional wisdom and “givens” that have been common to the business for decades and decades. Just like Ringling Brothers.

Like railway transportation and elephants, radio has its own “givens” – a business model that has not radically changed a whole lot over the years, whether it has to do with talent, marketing, or sales.

And yet, rethinking those “we’ve always done it this way” rules of radio might lead to changes that could reinvigorate a business, rather than see it eventually replaced by new media entertainment and information models.

The circus has left town, and many tears have been shed.

It is a sad set of circumstances for the thousands of employees and performers who enjoyed wonderful careers under the big top, not to mention the millions of fans who still cherish the family experience.

There’s no reason why radio should ever have to follow that same path.

We don’t need the elephants and trains to be successful.

This article was reprinted with permission by Fred Jacobs. You can find more insights like this on the Jacobs Media Strategies Blog.

See You In Minneapolis!

This month, members of the MusicMaster team will travel to Minneapolis for the 42nd annual Conclave Show. In addition to hosting a full Genius Day on Wednesday, July 26th, our staff will be present throughout the convention to meet our users, share updates and field any questions. Just look for our table in the convention area or contact Shane Finch (shane@musicmaster.com) to set up an appointment. You can also catch MusicMaster Founder and President Joe Knapp, who will be kicking off the presentation by Paul Jacobs on "Ratings & Revenue: 4 Questions Facing Everyone In Radio" (Thursday, 1:30pm - 2:15pm). Given our Midwestern roots, this show has been a long-standing tradition for our team. We look forward to seeing some of you in Minneapolis and enjoying another memorable Conclave together!

This Month - Conclave Genius Day

MusicMaster will be kicking off Conclave 2017 in Minneapolis with a Genius Day. This FREE workshop will take place on Wednesday, July 26 from 9am to 4pm, on site at the Conclave convention hotel (Doubletree by Hilton). Bring your questions and ideas, sharpen your programming skills and learn from MusicMaster President/Founder Joe Knapp and Corporate Trainer Drew Bennett.

We are also excited to welcome a special guest speaker to this event: Haley Jones from Nielsen Music and BDS Radio. Haley is also a featured panelist at the Conclave, and will be joining our Genius Day to talk about Nielsen, BDS, programming and how to properly apply research scores to scheduling.

While our Genius Day is guided by the needs of our participants, here is a basic agenda of just some the topics we may cover:

Don't miss out on this valuable learning opportunity. Register now and spread the word to anyone on your team who could benefit. Guests of all MusicMaster experience levels are welcome!

Click to Register

Genius Day Returns to Christian Broadcast Show in Orlando

MusicMaster is returning to Orlando for our third Genius Day at the Christian Music Broadcasters annual Momentum conference. The workshop will be held on Wednesday, Sept 6 from 9am to 4pm in the Coral Sea I room at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort - Universal Orlando Convention Center, where the CMB Momentum Event is taking place. This year, the workshop will be hosted by MusicMaster Scheduling Consultant Marianne Burkett. The focus will be on advanced programming strategies in a highly interactive format. Bring your questions and ideas. We’ll solve your current challenges and help you discover brand new ideas for improving your programming and workflows.

Among other things, you'll learn about:

To RSVP in advance for this FREE event, click the button below. Please pass this along to your colleagues. This workshop is not specific to any format and everyone is welcome, no matter their experience level with MusicMaster.

Click to Register

Celebrating Summer Music Festivals

“Where words fail, music speaks” - Hans Christian Anderson

It’s officially summer and MusicMaster stations are planning or already celebrating the success of huge outdoor music festivals. Gathering to celebrate summer through our mutual love of live music, cherished friends, mouthwatering food and spirits, creates a special sense of community and some lifelong memories.

Here are some music festivals already in the 2017 photo album:

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Stagecoach Festival is an outdoor country music festival held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. Over 55,000 country partisans attended this year’s bash, featuring Shania Twain, Dierks Bentley, Kenny Chesney and others. Held in the same location and known as a cousin event to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Stagecoach was started in 2007.

Many MusicMaster radio stations participate in the annual festivities and all share the sentiment of increased revenue, ratings, and heightened awareness for the format.

One of the many special aspects of this three-day event is the diversity of talent; from Cam to Jerry Lee Lewis. Always an outdoor party master, Willie Nelson brought rave reviews and plenty of media attention.

Boasting thousands of happy campers, hundreds of acres of Tennessee nature, 150 epic performances, 10 stages of music, dozens of comedians, and four of the best days ever, Bonnaroo didn’t disappoint in 2017.

The beauty of Manchester, Tennessee comes alive with this annual invasion and the economy follows suit. Manchester MusicMaster client stations 93.9 The Duck and 101.5 The Rooster enjoy the musical excitement, promotional opportunities and boost to the bottom line.

Station Manager Joe Anthony states, “This is our first year involved with Bonnaroo as station owners - and what a fantastic partner. Organizers have found creative ways to show us direct and indirect financial streams. Not only was it great for us during the five days of the actual event, but the halo effect continues the other 360 days of the year. It’s a huge business advantage to call ourselves ‘Bonnaroo Radio’, the official station. Much like a college town is boosted by students, our listening area is invigorated by Bonnaroo. It’s a fine line to have the infrastructure needed for this type of event without losing the charm that makes this area so attractive. We’re already looking forward to Bonnaroo 2018.”

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Bonnaroovians sang, danced and partied to U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Weeknd, Chance The Rapper, and hundreds of other performances.

July, August and September still offer many cool music festivals for the dashboard drummer in us all. From the Hodag Music Festival in Rhinelander, Wisconsin to Bumbershoot Fest in Black Rock, Nevada, our listeners can’t wait to embrace outdoor fun. Are you crowd-surfing with them? Is your station promotionally invested?

Sunday Baroque Celebrates 30 Years

Congratulations to Sunday Baroque, which is celebrating their 30th Anniversary. The four-hour show is syndicated and heard on public radio stations across the United States. The show began as a Sunday morning Baroque local program on WSHU Fairfield, Connecticut in late August, early September, 1987. There will be various celebrations to mark the occasion. Host and creator Suzanne Bona will perform a concert (she plays the flute) and there will also be a listener trip to Germany in October. To commemorate the anniversary, Suzanne made this video:

All of us at MusicMaster would like to thank Suzanne for using our software to bring Baroque music to so many listeners. Learn more about the show here. P.S. We also are envious of her work outfit.

Chris Malone - Program Director - The New 97.7 R&B, Boston, MA

Chris Malone is a rare major market millennial Program Director, with over 10 years of programming and music scheduling experience. His market APD/MD/PD stripes were earned in all top 50 markets such as Memphis, Raleigh-Durham, Greensboro-Winston Salem, and now Chris Malone serves as the Program Director of Entercom’s newest Urban AC station in Boston.

Chris shares: "MusicMaster is the magic sauce behind the success I've seen in my role as Program Director of The New 97.7 R&B in Boston. In just six months we've achieved explosive cume growth and an average time spent listening that has us ranked among the top 10 station in the Boston market. When listeners say "I love the music, it's so refreshing", in my mind I'm saying 'thank you MusicMaster!'

"Fortunately, I was able to be a part of Entercom Greensboro’s big migration project to MusicMaster, which allowed me to really sink my teeth into every aspect of the schedule to ensure that we knew exactly how to best use the software, and most importantly, how to create a modernized music scheduling process with zero disruption to our product. Credit to our MusicMaster representative, who made the transition seamless and taught our team ways to get the same result by using more sophisticated tools.

Using MusicMaster daily has made life easier. Since I’m a pure radio guy and no mathematician, the Rule Wizard is a wonderful tool to help point out rotation problems and with a simple click resolve the issue. Another favorite tool within MusicMaster is the ability to create saved list, which can be built into the clock for special programming. I've got several saved list for different occasions on standby, ready to load in for the special occasion.

I've used past music scheduling systems that didn’t work well with radio automation and let's just say 'a pain in the neck' is an understatement. Thankfully, WideOrbit & MusicMaster are well integrated and the programs work well together.”

Jesus Rodriguez
Music Scheduling Consultant
Dallas, TX

Jesus Rodriguez, who has been a MusicMaster Scheduling & Sales Consultant for five years now, says he most enjoys "helping our clients win." Jesus began his radio and music career very early: at the age of twelve, he was working as a Club DJ. By fifteen, he was producing and hosting a mix show in Dallas. During college at The University of Texas at Arlington, Jesus worked as a Morning Show Sidekick and Producer at KDGE 102.1 Dallas. By age 23, he had earned an RMA (Radio Music Award) for alternative morning show of the year. Jesus's talents took him next to Univision Radio, where he worked as National Music Director, doing daily logs for eight bilingual CHR formats simultaneously. These included: KESS-Dallas, KQMR-Phoenix, KLLE-Fresno, KVVF-San Francisco, KGSX-San Antonio, WPPN-Chicago, KKRG-Albuquerque, KRGT-Las Vegas.

Outside of his work at MusicMaster, Jesus continues to share his talents as a club/event DJ and mixshow artist. He has provided mixes to radio stations for syndication in many formats, including CHR, Urban, Rock/Alternative, Latin Formats and Country. Jesus also just might have one of the coolest home offices we've seen (pictured below).

Jesus's advice for people in the radio industry is to "Learn how to do it all, from placing a bumper sticker to the business of operating a station and everything in between: scheduling, production, on-air, sales, etc." To check out some of Jesus's DJ and mix work, visit www.JesusIsADJ.com.

Industry Events

  • Jan 25, 2018 - South Carolina Broadcasters Convention, Columbia, SC
  • Jan 25 - 27, 2018 - Salon de la Radio, Paris, France
  • Feb 5 - 7, 2018 - Country Radio Seminar, Nashville, TN
  • Feb 21 - 23, 2018 - Rock Radio Convention, Las Vegas, NV
  • March 6 -7, 2018 - Great Lakes Broadcasting Convention, Lansing, MI
  • March 13 - 14, 2018 - Radio Ink Hispanic Convention, Miami, FL
  • March 18 - 20, 2018 - Radiodays Europe, Vienna, Austria
  • April 9 - 12, 2018 - NAB Show, Las Vegas, NV
  • April 19 - 20, 2018 - Oklahoma Broadcasters Convention, Tulsa, OK
  • May 2 - 4, 2018 - Worldwide Radio Summit, Los Angeles, CA
  • May 9 - 10, 2018 - Canadian Music Week, Toronto, ON
  • May 15 - 17, 2018 - British Columbia Association Broadcasters, Osoyoos, BC
  • May 30 - 31, 2018 - LAB/MAB Convention, New Orleans, LA
  • June 26 - 28, 2018 - Broadcast Asia, Singapore
  • July 3 - 4, 2018 - Loaklrundfunktage, Nuremburg, Germany
  • July 25 - 27, 2018 - Conclave, Minneapolis, MN
  • August 1 - 2, 2018 - Texas Association of Broadcasters, Austin, TX
  • August 20 - 23, 2018 - PRPD, Austin, TX
  • Sept 5 - 8, 2018 - Christian Music Broadcasters Convention, Orlando, FL
  • Sept 14 - 18, 2018 - IBC, Amsterdam
  • Sept 25 - 28, 2018 - NAB Fall Radio Show, Orlando, FL
  • Sept 27 - 30, 2018 - CCBE, King City, ON
  • Oct 16 - 18, 2018 - Wisconsin Broadcasters, Madison, WI
  • Oct 25 - 27, 2018 - College Broadcasters (CBI) Conference, Seattle, WA
  • Nov 5 - 8, 2018 - WABE, Vancouver, BC
  • Are you planning to go to one of these events?
    We would love to meet you there! Contact your MSC or send us an email to let us know.

    MusicMaster Genius Days

    To be announced in 2018
  • January 23, 2018 - Cleveland Genius Day, Cleveland, OH

    For international dates, visit ON AIR Website

  • sales@musicmaster.com