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How to improve the SST playlist.

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    StreamingSoundtracks.com Forum Index -> Miscellaneous
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Would you like to contribute to a more consistent playlist when requesting?
Yes, I would give it a try to be a better DJ!
33%
 33%  [ 3 ]
Yes, but I think my requesting is good enough
44%
 44%  [ 4 ]
No way! I request only the things I like for myself
22%
 22%  [ 2 ]
Total Votes : 9

Author Message
Netherlands Dutchbat
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 7:05 am   Post subject: How to improve the SST playlist. Reply with quote


Following the discussions on the fora and the moderator page on 24seven.fm I looked up an article about the aspects of keeping audiences to a radiostation.
I stumbled upon this article after the first signs of downturn in listeners in 2013 (was it shortly after a crash, I don't know for sure)
As most of our online members don't have a clue about the technical aspects of radio programming (what in fact is being done by requesting) I will try to give a little insight in the importance of a balanced playlist/queue.

First important point I found were the findings of two Danish researchers, Dennis Christensen and Peter Niegel, from their minute-by-minute analysis of listeners' attention span.
Their conclusion was that in order to keep attention any radio program needs to 'mentally' reset their listeners every 4 minutes.
This is mainly done by dividing the database into categories from which music is played/requested according to a, so called, Music Scheduling Clock.



When you would take the opportunity to check any established radiostation you'll find this is being done very conscientiously by the programmer.
No need to say that longer listener's attention (TSL) is from major importance for any station and their advertisers.
Former BBC1 and MTV programmer Chris Price says that streaming stations can profit by adapting the way broadcast radio works.
His ten golden rules for setting up an online radio station are considered the standard protocol.
Rule #5 is regarded the most important one: Respect your playlist
This can be done by using a predefined music scheduling clock.
The most difficult preparation therefore is defining your 1.Key music and 2.
the categories it can be divided in.

I've been working on such a clock for SST based on an average track time of 2,5-3 minutes => 20-24 tracks p/hour



The most fitting categories for SST could be:
1. PR Premium category ( Top composers or albums < 2 years old)
2. C Current category ( Popular albums > 2 years old, tracks with request ratio >20)
3. EX Exploring category ( new updates, TV themes, tracks with request rate < 20)
4. RC Recurrent tracks ( miscellaneous <20 years old)
5. RG Recurrent Gold ( Top composers or albums >20 years old)

For a station that needs to grow their numbers of listeners it's considered important to have more recognizable music weighing heavier on a 60:40 or 70:30 basis.

How can this be done while using the requesting module?
Of course the fulltime requesting times can not be programmed track-by-track but the fun thing is that when more than 4 people request
or fewer requestors use the full scope of our database a major percentage of the scheduling clock is achieved automatically.
Also SAM can be programmed that way and when just 1 or 2 requestors are active it would be for the benefit for the station and its listeners
to keep an eye out for diversity in the train making, most preferably according to the music scheduling clock.
Don't forget that for all offline listeners (and they outnumber the online members!) all they hear is SAM.

This is just a general idea on how a perfect playlist would look like.
It's not a must, but maybe some requestors might wanna consider diversified requesting for the sake of the station.
This schedule might be a nice tool to guide you.

Please put your questions here if you have any.
I'll try to give more in-depth info if someone requires that.
But I didn't want to give to many technical aspects here.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:00 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


I'm not sure if I got everything right, but it looks like we would need to tag all tracks in our database according to that scheme: PR/C/EX/RC/RG and maybe even add more than one tag to every track.
And then we would need to update all the tags every 2-3 months probably.

And we should "teach" SAM to recognize these tags just like SAM has recognized green/yellow/red coloured tracks in our playlist so far.

Otherwise I don't see how we could keep the clock pattern based on people's good will only.

But maybe I take Dutchbat's post too literally.

BTW: I think it would be interesting if we could "teach" SAM (read: implement new SAM rules) to make SAM keep the track of the clock schedule and to change colours (green/yellow/red) of every track in our library accordingly to clock schedule (after every track that has been played).
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Last edited by molossus on Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:16 am; edited 2 times in total
Netherlands Dutchbat
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 9:09 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


Well we have already year and request ratio at the album info.
It will take some getting used time but it really has neat results if you actually request along the schedule.
I did so when there still was the possibility of making an early morning train and the result was above expectation.

And sure it's only a guideline, sometimes longer tracks will 'eat' away one trench and with shorter tracks you can easily have two category requests back-to-back.
And yes, all depends on the willingness for people online to request with an eye out for diversity.
The main complaints about SAM were in fact it not being in line with schedule.
The call for more favorites is in fact due to SAM having to many EX and RC instead of PR and C which should be at least 5 an hour each.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:03 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


Having SAM pay attention to this seems reasonable, but as Molossus said, the information would need to be machine-identifiable.

The big reason for flags, however, comes with the requests. Even if I have good intentions, it takes significant time to figure out what category a track is in, particularly save perhaps obvious exploration or premium. Asking someone to do that every request, or when dropping in a quick request, is a strain – which makes people who otherwise have good intentions not want to do it.

Even if I do go through that trouble of identifying what category a particular track of mine is – there is no way to know what slot is supposed to be filled. When in the clock is the bottom of the playlist? Particularly as it isn't just a simple order, but what comes after what changes over the hour. What do I do if someone lists and out-of-clock track – do I put in what it should have been, or what would be in this time slot? What if I miss it and someone requests into that slot ahead of me while I'm thinking about all of this?

I think, ideally, if we wanted to implement this, we'd need to give SAM the authority to re-arrange the order of requested tracks. One might imagine a system where, if I request a "Current" song, SAM takes the request and slots it into the Queue at the next time interval it needs a "Current" entry, even if that puts it ahead of an earlier requested "Popular" song. That, plus identity flags, would allow the requesters to make quick, informed decisions to fit the wheel.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:42 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


Full disclosure: I hate just about everything about this "clock schedule" idea.
Well... not so much about how SAM makes his choices, but the idea that active requesters are supposed to accomodate some fancy-schmancy requesting system.

The ability to request anything you like at any time (more or less) is one of the things I really like about SST. And everyone can do it!
Some people only request Star Trek, others have a thing for a certain composer, still others are RAT/NUT hunters; I personally tend to work my way through albums I have picked with the occasional fave thrown in. Smile

I've never had a problem with the queue. Sure, sometimes there is a somewhat jarring style change, but that has never caused me to run away screaming.
There are a few tracks/albums that make me hit 'mute', but I guess we all have those... and it doen't matter to me what gets played right before or after.

Also that thing about keeping listeners "mentally engaged" by mixing styles up (if I understood that correctly?)... I don't know, music is pleasant background noise to me. I'm not paying exclusive attention to every single track that is being played.

Out of about 300-500 listeners there's maybe 50 who are even logged in and of those 25 request stuff. As was already mentioned when the request times were fiddled with, that's quite often not enough to "keep SAM away".

Long story short: I don't care what method SAM uses to determine which tracks will be played, but personally I'll go on requesting what I want, whether it fits that Clock Schedule or not.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 2:51 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


alien_avatar wrote:

The ability to request anything you like at any time (more or less) is one of the things I really like about SST. And everyone can do it!

(...)

I'll go on requesting what I want, whether it fits that Clock Schedule or not.


Looks like there is not much difference between You and Dutch, alien.

Let me quote Dutch's remark from chatroom, please:

Quote:
Freedom of request is a main aspect, the schedule is just a guideline for people who want to do it right or better


And one more bit from chatbox:

Quote:

> j2brown: Also, if I understand it right, you're not proposing forcing folks to follow any schedule or otherwise restrain them. You're proposing that SAM follow those constraints, and you're hoping to allow the users to also choose to do so.
> j2brown: Is that the plan?
> Dutchbat: Yep

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 3:08 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


OK. I wasn't following the chat conversation.
So maybe I got my hackles up over nothing. Embarassed Smile
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:09 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote


alien_avatar wrote:

So maybe I got my hackles up over nothing. Embarassed Smile


I like your post. It reminded me nicely how important the right to request as freely as possible is Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:27 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


Quick, your idea for SAM being able to mix the Q into the right schedule would be ideal indeed.
But it would also mean to tag all tracks we have and be my guest but i'm not starting that.
Let alone if it would be technically possible, but I'll ask AbeFroman on the 24seven.fm forum.

In chat there was also mentioning of SAM picking from someone's fav.lists. Actually that's the future of Personalized Radio Programming and in test at iHeart.FM and BBC Radio.
I'll go to 'Radioways' symposium in August and hope to find out more about it. In this discussion it would mean that someone's fav.list is categorized according to the schedule and then SAM being able to pick from that category.
But again, don't know if the technique is that far already.

Your other question: The wheel is constructed so that it will never overlap or double categories even when used in an 1,5 hour Q. As long as users are consistent in using it it will automatically generate a diverse Q.
It doens't matter in what category your first request falls or where you start in the schedule.
If there could be any visual signal of what category is the last request it would be easier but also, again, would mean tagging all tracks.
If a Non-VIP requests it will not inflict the schedule that much and someone can easily adapt his request accordingly.
I usually take a look at the last 5 request (mostly RC and PR) and then put an oldie in (RG)
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:45 am   Post subject: Reply with quote


molossus wrote:
alien_avatar wrote:

So maybe I got my hackles up over nothing. Embarassed Smile


I like your post. It reminded me nicely how important the right to request as freely as possible is Smile


I don't.
If people won't make the effort of reading a well-meant article well and instead post a flamingly hating answer over something that's not even concerning them as it turns out then I wonder why the hell I'm still doing this.

And NO, I'm far on the other spectrum than Alien, requesting not only for myself but keeping the station and its listeners in mind as well.
And please close this thread, I'm not contributing to it anymore
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Last year I spent most of my money on women, soundtracks and wine. The rest was wasted.
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