Moneyball Market Spotlight-Wash DC

Published On August 16, 2018 » 298 Views» Feature Chart



I am excited to see our format moving from a Research Only driven music format, to being open to other factors, which are in themselves research, especially when it is information from within your own market.  The truth about “Research Alone” is it is flawed at its base and has been for many years, which is why the secular stations have been instituting other factors for more than 15 years, like MScores, local market sales and streaming, which in the last three years has become an intricate piece of data.

For stations that don’t incorporate other factors, they remain in an old fashioned set up, still running their stations like a passive AC, when at their listening base, their audience is more like that of a Hot AC.  Several months ago I did a market expose’ on the Orlando market to which I received a lot of flack on Facebook concerning what I’d do in that market to win.

I had separated one song in that week, a new song freshly out of the wrapper from a name no one knew, Corey Asbury, to which a programmer in the Northeast responded sarcastically, “Yeah, play Corey Asbury more.  Good Luck winning with that.”  But THAT was what the data showed and months later, this system which relies on the old adage of the Cream Rises to the top, smiles at the results, and NOT in a haha to you way, but in a way to say THERE IS A BETTER way than what we continue to do in many great markets and your heritage stations can serve your audiences much better if you will only believe that Research Alone, is failing you.

With that being stated, since those days, the Moneyball system has been an early indicator of songs that have pummeled through like Elevation Worship Do It Again, Hillsong Worship’s Who You Say I Am, Ryan Stevenson’s No Matter What, Matt Maher What A Friend, and more recently Francesca’s The Breakup Song and Sanctus Real’s Confidence.  

If you’re watching closely, you will notice that songs that stay outside of the Top 15, are those that ultimately don’t cut through in the end.  Test me in this.

So, all of that to get to DC this week, and a spotlight on WGTS and the KLOVE signal out of Manassas VA.

IF I were to launch a CCM station in DC this week, the list would look a lot like what you see here.  The opportunities in the market exist because of two factors.  WGTS programs based on research alone, so if the research says Sidewalk Prophets is their number one song, they make it their number one song.  Here’s why that philosophy leaves wide holes.  If we are not open to the pre-existing EXPOSURE of songs in our market, we will hang onto Tenth Avenue North in our power rotation when clearly the indicators are that JOY from FK&C should have that slot, and in a nutshell that is the scenario in DC.

We are in a passion based format.  Our relationship with Jesus is that of Passion, on fire for His love, but we program passively and miss the mark by believing playing it safe will get us to the Promised Land. Getting there never was safe, and to make it there we had to trust God for Manna to fall from Heaven, and it did.

Having ratings is not the same as succeeding, when it comes to our format.  Ratings are great and they come when we do this right, but when we first serve the desires of our audience, we build loyalty.  Our passive programming does not build loyalty, but instead makes us one of the stations they will listen to, but not THE station they listen to.  So, now back to the music.  The other factor that allows opportunity in the market is that K-Love, while a sound network, is still a network and as much as they could try, could never serve DC the way a local stick could.  For K-Love, they serve the market well with a wide variance only existing on them moving Corey Asbury potentially too far too fast, and by not yet seeing the connection in many of their markets with Sanctus Real’s Confidence, which when they do embrace, watch the sales and streaming explode, as it will take K-Love to create that spark, much like they did on Breathe from Jonny Diaz and several others.

Knowing that the real opportunities lie within the Top 15, Hillsong Worship’s Who You Say I Am, Elevation Do It Again, Ryan Stevenson No Matter What, Matt Maher and Pat Barrett are all being under spun by WGTS according to the exposure of the way their potential audience is engaging with the music in our nation’s capital.  

For this weeks National Moneyball Chart go here.


The Moneyball method is much more effective on the local market level, than it is on the National level, as the strength of Moneyball is to separate markets by their specific activity.

The Moneyball methodology doesn’t create an aggressive chart that is ahead of the market’s appetite, instead it simply highlights the titles that have traction based on several local city measurements from market airplay, sales, streams, and if available, Shazams, revealing present tastes, not future tastes.

The difference between the Moneyball Chart and a consumption chart is that Consumption Charts are positioned from the perspective of the record label, breaking down the many different angles that the end user is consuming their music from.

Moneyball is created from the perspective of the potential listener and the data is calculated based on a song’s existing market exposure.  This exposure or awareness of a certain title sometimes exists in the market,  even before the song begins getting airplay on the local stations.  Worship titles like ‘Oceans,’ ‘O Come To The Altar’ and others may get a spark from worship in a local church first, then being undeniable in local reaction for radio to not give those titles airplay.

Email Rob Wagman [email protected]

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