Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sony's Overton: If You're Not On Country Radio, You Don't Exist

Gary Overton
That's what Sony Music Nashville Chairman and CEO Gary Overton tells his staff several times a day when gameplanning how to promote one of the label group's artists. In this age of dueling streaming strategies and creative delivery models, Overton said country radio is still the straw that stirs the drink.

Overton explained that philosophy as a scene-setter for the arrival of hundreds of country radio programmers and executives in Nashville this week for the annual Country Radio Seminar.

Overton talked with The Tennessean's music business reporter Nate Rau about the importance of CRS, country radio's essential value in turning an artist into a superstar.
You can ask people in the building, and I can be quoted several times a day, "If you're not on country radio, you don't exist." Again I can't think of one star, much less superstar in country music, who wasn't broken by country radio. It's just a fact. That's where the active audience is. That's where they go to listen to it. People talk about, "It's a media act. It's a groundswell. We're going to build it virally." That's all nice, but I defy you to tell me one act that made it big without country radio. And they're great partners. To me, I think country radio as a format is very healthy. You can look at their numbers, their ratings. ... Now if you look at the personal people meter, and the Mscores, the metrics that work, it shows how strong country is in all the markets out there. We're very fortunate and we work very hard to keep our relationship with everyone in country radio. And there's 164 monitored stations that make up the charts, but I think there are almost 2,000 full-time country stations. That's the biggest radio genre there is besides news and talk. We work very hard with our relationship and they're very forward-thinking folks in radio.
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1 comment:

  1. It saddens me to say this. It has taken Nashville music power brokers more than 50 years to manipulate, dictate and control and delute so called "country" music to bring it to this point..."crossover" air play which is another way of saying it can get more airplay on more stations. It's nothing more than pop, rock, rap and hip hop with a twang. Country stations no longer have program directors who have the courage to make decisions on what is played and what is not. When the music power brokers in Nashville say play this...you play it and that's it. It's called "group think". It's no wonder why Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and many others said good bye to Nashville.