After each TV awards show we get information about sales increases because of the TV exposure. I’ve been wondering if programmers were as tuned in with the TV performances and then translated that to their rotations.
Obviously Clear Channel had a huge impact on the chart position of the new Kenny Chesney/Tim McGraw song, as they played it every hour on their Country stations.
I am NOT taking any credit for this but weeks ago I suggested, in this space, that stations use this particular song as a way to promote the TV show and take credit for owning the song. First off, Clay Hunnicut is much smarter than me so he isn’t using my ideas and Clear Channel did something similar with the Madonna single around the Super Bowl months ago.
Certainly this song will perform better than the Madonna single that died a fiery death shortly after this stunt.
I do believe though that there is no media that responds like radio can, if programmers make the effort. How many stations were playing the winner’s songs on their evening shows? The program ended at 11 PM (or 10 PM CST) local time and stations could have done an ACM recap for the rest of the evening. That is, if they had live programming in the evening.
How many stations played the new music from the program the next morning? The Kenny and Tim song was available at midnight on Play MPE but unless the morning show is hosted by the programmer or music director, it is unlikely the song was available for airplay until later in the day.
So I looked at CD sales after the show and quite frankly I am not seeing the normal bounce. The big winner was the Zac Brown Band who saw a jump of 5000 CDs from week to week and a jump of 13 spots on the sales chart. Jason Aldean saw an increase of about 3000 from week to week with My Kinda Party. It jumped nine slots on the CD sales chart but the sales increase was not all that spectacular. It deserved more.
Other significant jumps were seen for Taylor and Lady A. Overall this was a poor CD sales week. The number one seller was, wait for it, Adele. 21 sold 88,000 CDs last week. Come on. Are there even 88,000 people who still don’t own this CD?
So let’s look and see if the performances had any impact on programmers and what they scheduled.
Only four songs had 400 plus spins: the aforementioned Kenny-Tim duet (which doesn’t count, because it wasn’t played at all the week before), Jason, Miranda and the Band Perry. All three had big performances on the show and two of them carted off trophies.
Looking at just Monday (4/2), the biggest spin increases were from Jason, ZBB, Miranda, Luke Bryan and Eric Church.
Some of the other memorable performances on the show went without sales or spin increases. The Rascal Flatts performance was fabulous. Spins were up but more in line with the growth of the record.
I have written that I think Luke Bryan is the next big guy and his performance was less hip shaking than the CMA appearance (read: that’s good) but it was not reflected in sales. Spins were up about 300, but the two previous weeks spins were up 500 each.
Sara Evans, who I thought hit a home run on the ACM show (versus losing attention to a near naked lady flying over the CMA Awards audience), had a steady sales week but does not have a current single on the chart to measure. Maybe that speaks more strongly for the show’s performance.
The Band Perry really was a double winner: up over 400 spins (with “Postcard From Paris”) and up 18 spots on the sales chart, albeit with only a 1500 increase in sales from week to week.
Toby had a big increase with “Beers Ago” even though “Red Solo Cup” was his show performance. Certainly there are enough Toby Fans that associate Beer and Red Solo Cups. I do not see an increase in digital or single sales on the song though. Apparently we already all have it on our phones and iPods.
We know that radio is the number one source for introducing and ultimately selling more Country music than anything else but TV must have something to say. Blake Shelton’s “Honey Bee” sold 138,544 digital downloads last week. He was on TV more than any other performer with the ACM hosting duties and The Voice.
With the incredible success of the ACM awards show, and the fact that this was one of the best-produced shows in memory, I would have liked Country radio to be more aggressive in taking advantage of this huge tune in.