Monday, July 27, 2009

The iTunes Download

You probably don't have The iTunes Download program in your area. It has a admittedly small set of affiliates. the brand is good. Ipods are endemic, and since the device almost mandates use of the iTunes store, it's name is also very visible. The specialty show is an unusual experiment but in a world where fewer and fewer things work in radio why not try?I first became aware of the program last December. Somebody let me peak at their initial list of affiliates which went as follows: KKCK-FM, WCRE-AM, WPRT-FM, WNCI-FM, WSNX-FM, KTBT-FM, KSKU-FM, WBJZ-FM, WVKS-FM, WMSR-FM, WYUL-FM, WSSX-FM, WPIA-FM, KXSS-FM, WPFM-FM, KRSQ-FM, WKMX-FM, WWSR-FM. Station were mostly Clear Channel but not all, and most were CHR/Pop stations. Some of these no longer carry the program, such are the ways of fickle programmers and format churn.
It turned out Premiere Radio Networks has announced the launch of ”The iTunes Download” in August of 08. So now it is quickly coming up on it's 1-year anniversary. Premiere, being owned by Clear channel was able to centrally design the pilot to distribute to it's own stations. The playlist mixes flash in the pan singles with over-played hits from last year. Current Playlist here.

The three-hour program was designed around the 30 most downloaded songs from iTunes. It's an old-school taste indicator like the Cashbox charts of yore. It indicates something. But what? At the time Premiere Radio Networks President Charlie Rahilly said, “Being the first radio company to do a national show with iTunes demonstrates our desire and ability to explore unprecedented ways to reach, entertain and involve listeners.” He's made no recent statement on the program but I am curious how many affiliates they have presently.