Is 2011 going down in country radio history as the year that "country boom years" (1989 to 1995) titles and artists move from mainstream country playlists to classic country libraries?
A&O's 8th annual "Roadmap" perceptual study was conducted in January and February by more than ten thousand listeners to 80+ radio stations across the U.S. and Canada of many stripes.
For the first time, listeners to the mainstream stations rated the early 90's era the lowest ever, while users of classic country stations ranked that music 42% higher.
Should mainstream country stations defend aggressively when they start to hear a classic country station they duplicate cume with move newer?
Only if they want to play lower testing songs with their 2011 target listeners.
.. and, only if they want to expose music that today's 25-44 year old country fans don't enjoy anywhere near as much as they do today's country.
The better new country music does with 25-54 and 18-49, the more exciting the potential becomes for classic country stations to move into the rich vein of songs and artists from country's biggest decade ever, the 1990's.
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