The strategy is based on a growing amount of research that shows in increasingly granular detail what radio programmers have long believed—listeners tend to stay tuned when they hear a familiar song, and tune out when they hear music they don’t recognize.
The data, coupled with the ballooning number of music sources competing for listeners’ attention, are making radio stations more reluctant than ever to pull well-known hits from their rotations, extending the time artists must wait to introduce new songs.
This is why I ignore what’s popular. If you only listen to and consume what everyone else does, you never appreciate what’s next.
In other words, the long tail theory or ‘mass of niches’ that was apparently going to take over the digital space is dead wrong.
But it could be so right.