Familiarity and Burn of Recurrents and Gold

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Familiarity and Burn of Recurrents and Gold

Post by rogerwimmer » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:14 am

This is Kurt from Austria (again, after a long time). There's a question I've been asking myself which I though you maybe can help me with.

Since I never had a job in professional radio, I don't have access to real research data conducted by radio stations. I can still get a limited amount of public data by looking at All Access (but Mediabase only involves currents and, for some parts, recurrents) or other sites where I can get estimates how much an older song still gets played, or how it got rated (though I’m not sure when the ratings were done and by whom).

So since you're conducting research, I'd like to know how songs generally behave regarding their callout data when they leave current status and become recurrents or even gold (or silver / bronze), which means they get dropped from the playlist because they never tested so well to keep them in rotation.

So what happens to a song leaving the hot rotation as it decreases in spins? Do its ratings slowly go down, or do they stay the same? Does familiarity slowly go down? And is burn reduced?

The ideal thing for me would be a formula by which I could estimate how familiarity and burn are affected. I know it's probably vastly different for different songs how quickly they lose their burn once leaving the charts, but I suppose there must be some kind of average among all songs, or experience how they behave. Then you could say "I want to play each song so that the burn percentage doesn't exceed 20%" or something like that. But I don't really know an acceptable burn level for a gold song. Can you help me here? I don't think this question has been asked before. - Kurt


Kurt: These are excellent questions and I don’t have the answers for you because I have never tested them. The calculations wouldn’t be difficult and wouldn’t include any sophisticated statistical analysis. However, this involves having access to several music test data sets and I don’t have the data. Maybe another reader may know the answers and I will post them if I receive any help.


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Roger Wimmer is owner of Wimmer Research and senior author of Mass Media Research: An Introduction, 10th Edition.

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