CHR Format Crisis?

Do you have enough hits to sound different to AC?

CHR plays more Current Hits (= past 12 months) than other formats: sometimes up to 80%. The main problem: In 2009 many CHR hits (age 15+) can be heard parallel on your AC competitor (age 30+). And unfortunately no PD really knows today, how CHR might musically shift next year. Most hits for 2010 are not composed yet!

In 2007 best-testing CHR hits were dominantly “R&B”: Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Nelly Furtado, Kanye West, Rihanna, 50 Cent, Pussycat Dolls.

In 2008 CHR listeners additionally voted on more “PopRock & Rhythmic”: Leona Lewis, Madonna, Rihanna, Britney Spears, FloRida, Duffy, Linkin Park, Katy Perry.

In 2009 listeners finally pushed Pop-Dance/Electro & PopRock: Black Eyed Peas, Lady GaGa, P!nk, Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson, Mando Diao, Killers, David Guetta.

 My advice for CHR in 2010:

Make sure you keep your identity: it’s not a problem to hear the same song on several formats: what makes the true difference is what you will NOT play after such a “cross-format” song. The “perfect music mix” and innovative Sound Imaging makes all the difference, even if you have to play the same hits being played all over!

– Check how many CHR hits you also SHARE with AC formats in your market: you   might be shocked how many songs you already share!
– Package these “cross-format” songs uniquely for your younger target!-.) Don’t worry about each song you share with AC: but check each 20-min.-sweep and ask yourself: is this “my format” I want to be?
– Avoid “4 songs in-a-row” your AC-competitor plays as well: even if each of the songs tests great with CHR, “sloppy music scheduling” easily kills your own format image!


About the Author: 

Mario Colantonio (41), located in Berlin, working in radio for the past 22 years:

– specialised on Music & Programming Research

– re-focussing troubled Music Formats effectively against the competition

– actively supporting Station Managers to re-shape their market identity


Originally published on September Sound Bytes Issue (SOB Audio Imaging) by Mario Colantino.