Since BTS is starting to promoting their songs on American radio, I decided to write this guide for ARMYs who want to request their music in the US.
This post breaks down five radio formats that are the most likely to BTS’ songs. I say “most likely” because radio is well…um…picky — that’s a politically correct word to use — when it comes to what songs are included on their playlists. Radio stations have a specific tone, with playlists and programming designed to attract a certain demographic. K-pop is still unfamiliar to American audiences, and there aren’t any radio stations that cater exclusively to Asian music.
I’ll also breaking down how these radio formats influence Billboard’s music charts and which demographic and niches they appeal to. Here’s a list of all of the radio stations that report to Nielsen & Billboard. So let’s get started shall we?
Top 40/Contemporary hit radio
Top 40 is one of the largest formats in radio and attracts a younger audience, namely teenagers. Airplay from Top 40 stations is used to determine rankings for Billboard’s Hot 100, Pop Songs chart, Dance/Mix Show Airplay (which ranks the most popular EDM songs on dance, pop and rhythmic stations), and Radio Songs chart (which tracks airplay from different stations across multiple genres).
Hot Adult contemporary
Hot adult contemporary (or Hot AC) plays a mix of contemporary pop and alternative music, but doesn’t play hip-hop, rap, teen pop, or hard rock.. This format targets mostly women between the ages of 25-54 plays and is steadily growing in popularity. Airplay from Hot AC stations is used in Billboard’s Adult Top 40, Radio Songs and Hot 100 chart.
Urban contemporary is a radio format that plays hip hop, R&B and rap music. This format was created to appeal to Black Americans, but also attracts white and Latino listeners. Airplay from mainstream urban radio is used in Billboard’s Hot 100, Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs, Hot R&B/Hip Hop Airplay, Mainstream R&B/Hip Hop (this chart only tracks airplay from mainstream urban and urban adult contemporary stations), Rhythmic Top 40 and Radio Songs chart.
Rhythmic contemporary is like a bridge between Top 40 and urban contemporary. You’ll hear more hip hop and R&B on a rhythmic station than you would on a Top 40 station and you’ll definitely hear more pop and EDM than you would on urban radio. . Airplay from rhythmic stations is used in Billboard’s Hot 100, Radio Songs, Rhythmic Top 40 and Dance/Mix Show Airplay.
Yes, alternative radio is often associated with rock music and bands like Arcade Fire, Coldplay or Imagine Dragons cross your mind. But times are changing as alternative artists lean more towards pop and EDM, Artists like The Weeknd and The Chainsmokers have managed to cross-over to alternative radio in the past couple of years. Airplay from alternative radio influences Billboard’s Hot 100, Radio Songs and Alternative Songs chart.
So, that’s about it. Hopefully, this article can serve as a guide for ARMYs whenever BTS has a comeback or when the members release solo projects.
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