Wednesday, January 23, 2013

NashFM 94-7 To Fill Huge Gap for Country Artists

Taylor Swift
Country stars are among the most consistent moneymakers in the concert industry. The genre’s growing sales are among the few bright lights of the music industry, writes Ben Sisario at

According to Sisario, NashFM 94-7 fills a conspicuous gap in the nation’s largest media market. It is also an indication of how strong the country genre has become, not only in music but also in the broader popular culture, led by telegenic young acts like Taylor Swift and the group Lady Antebellum.

“We’ve been begging the major broadcasters to jump in with us,” said Scott Borchetta, president of the label Big Machine, whose acts include Ms. Swift, Tim McGraw and the Band Perry.

“The market has changed so dramatically over the last 15 or 16 years since we’ve had a country station in New York City proper. I think our music is now in the best possible alignment with what can work.”

Blake Shelton
According to The Times article, New York may be the ultimate symbol of American urbanism, but it is a large market for country music. Last year, Nielsen said that more country albums were sold in the New York metropolitan area than anywhere in the United States — although as a proportion of all music sales in the region, New York ranks far below less populous areas in the South and Midwest.

Music executives say that having a terrestrial station in the area will be a major help in selling concert tickets and promoting new music.

Even with country’s broad popularity, building a steady audience in New York for a genre of music that has been absent from the airwaves for so long might take time.

“If you look at the other major markets that have a successful country station — Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit — those stations planted a stake in the ground and stayed with it, and now those stations are practically iconic,” said Mr. Borchetta, of Big Machine. “The country radio audience doesn’t spike. It grows in a beautiful, slow arc.”

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