NOW IN OUR THIRTY-NINTH YEAR
...because the currents you choose to play
had better be bulletproof!
The "Top 5" from our weekly TOP 15, in the issue sent to subscribers on November 20, 2021 (Volume 39, Number 5):
1. ARCADE -- Duncan Laurence, feat. FLETCHER
2. I STILL HAVE FAITH IN YOU -- ABBA (Capitol)
3. SAY YOU'LL BE THERE -- Natalie Nicole Gilbert
4. DON'T SHUT ME DOWN -- ABBA (Capitol)
5. SHIVERS -- Ed Sheeran (Atlantic)
In our forty-seventh weekly music test of 2021, four new pop music tracks were received for testing, and two of them tested high enough to be "Recommended for your Mainstream AC Playlist": EASY COME, EASY GO b y Izzy Mahoubi, on her own MahoubiMusic label; and MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE ("Taylor's Version") by Taylor Swift, on Republic. (Taylor's track tested a step above our baseline "Recommended" level, making it unusually strong for AC listeners; it is the second track in two weeks to reach this exceptionally high scoring level.)
One re-tested pop release also moved up to the "Recommended" level and is added to our Recommended Playlist this week: MY UNIVERSE by Coldplay x BTS on Parlophone/Atlantic.
We also tested three new Christmas-oriented tracks this week, and two of those also reached our "Recommended" level for integration into your regular Mainstream AC current music playlist this week: LITTLE THINGS by ABBA from the Voyage album on Capitol, and A LITTLE BIT OF CHRISTMAS by Mat and Savanna, featuring Jim Brickman, on the Brickhouse label.
(If you would like the ACMRL edit of SIMPLE THINGS by Elton John and Brandi Carlile from Elton's new "Lockdown Sessions" album -- recommended three weeks ago only with the shortened instrumental bridge -- just e-mail us and ask for it, from your professional e-mail address; there is no lyric problem, but the edit shortens the excessively-long instrumental bridge in the track, increasing the appeal of the song to AC listeners. We are also happy to share the "clean edits" of SAVE YOUR TEARS by The Weeknd, and CAN YOU HANDLE MY LOVE by Walk The Moon with any broadcaster upon request.)
We DO include full identification (including label info) for ALL songs tested and re-tested, and all the songs included in our latest weekly "recommended playlist", plus their precise scoring levels, in EVERY issue of the Music Research Letter received by our PAID SUBSCRIBERS! Maybe you should join us, as a trial subscriber for 12 weeks, and see for yourself how useful this information is in your programming? Use the second "PayPal" button below, to make it easy, if you like! Or mail a check to the address at the bottom of the page. Website visitors in radio, or the record business, who would like to receive an MP3 of a particular "recommended" song, should e-mail their request -- using their professional e-mail address -- to email@example.com. We will reply to that address with the file, which will require at least 10 MB capacity per e-mail. Note that this service is strictly limited to those who professionally qualify for "record service" from record companies.
We apparently are STILL the only reliable source of actual Mainstream AC core listener preferences in new and current music, providing a safe way of keeping your music fresh and relevant in an increasingly recurrent and stagnant format.
This page is updated weekly, seven days after the data reported here (plus a LOT more) is sent to subscribers.
Note: This is just a very brief highlight of what subscribers receive every week in our newsletter. The newsletter includes detailed information on all releases tested each week, including every cut on selected albums as applicable, with specific scores on every selection tested that week, what songs we've re-tested and what the prior and current scores are, what the rest of our weekly "Top 15" songs are (ranked in order), as well as what songs we've tested which have not tested well despite good chartings in the trades...and each issue provides all that information one week before these highlights appear on our website! Those who pay for our service receive all of that each week. Feel free to e-mail us if you need some specific information on songs we mention on this page. If you do find our research potentially valuable, we hope you will try a subscription. Since we don't sell ads, subscriptions are what pay for the research we've been doing since 1980, and publishing every week since 1984!
We offer timely comments on matters of significance to programmers each week, and these are usually made available the following week on the "Commentary" page of this website. Eric was weekly "P.D. Notebook" columnist in San Francisco's The Gavin Report for eighteen years; his comments here are in the same vein. Also, check past commentaries of potential value to you, archived here!
Are we a tipsheet? Well, no . . .
We occasionally come across someone who thinks the Music Letter is just another radio tipsheet -- and is puzzled about why our results so often differ substantially from other tipsheets and the trade charts.
We would not still be around, and helping subscribers for over a third of a century in this rapidly changing world of radio and the record business, if we were just a tipsheet! You certainly can use the Music Letter like one; but it is the only weekly published newsletter ever, so far, of actual consumer reaction and response to new and current music, by those identified as Mainstream AC "core listeners".
In a format where the trade press merely reports on what other AC stations are playing, there is often a BIG difference in what the format's LISTENERS actually like!
Get data that is fully customizable to your goals and competitive situation!
Because you're working to build an audience for your FM or AM Adult Contemporary station, or for an AC station of any stripe--from hot to soft (although our results do not apply to unrelated formats which simply misuse the Adult Contemporary name, such as "Modern AC", which is really "modern rock" in disguise), our weekly newsletter -- The Adult Contemporary Music Research Letter is your only true source of A/C music information provides you with the facts you need to make good decisions.
Need suggestions about how to successfully apply our test data, playlist recommendations, and suggested rotations, to your exact situation? Let us help. Many Program and Music Directors like you have benefited from this valuable service at no additional charge. You get this additional free service because we want all our clients to be outrageously successful.
It's easy to be "too hip for the room", and the A/C trade charts constantly are guilty of that. Why? Because many A/C radio programmers are "too hip for their listeners", and play what THEY like! And the trade charts are based only on what's played -- not what listeners actually are shown to like. Don't fall into that trap.
Instead, think of it! Each week, you will be provided with the critical information that helps you get into your listeners' heads -- and play the music they want to hear: You'll increase listening spans and reduce tune-out. This unique source of "musical intelligence gathering" even helps you reach specific market-share goals.
Eric Norberg, Editor and Publisher of the Music Research Letter, says...
"At $355 (U.S.) per year for 48 issues, this is the cheapest music research you can buy...and, coincidentally, the most accurate.
"That works out to about seven dollars a week for authentic audience research, specifically reflecting the tastes and preferences of the mainstream, mass-appeal Adult Contemporary female target listener.
"At last--CURRENTS for A/C music radio that BUILD audience and lengthen listening spans.
"The secret is avoiding the charted tunes that don't actually appeal, and finding and playing the tracks--on the charts or not--which DO appeal to the core, mainstream, female listener!"
Each January we publish our annual "recurrent/oldies" list for the previous year. If you'd like a complimentary copy of the the list for year 2020, e-mail us, call us, or write us, and give us the address (mailing or e-mail) to which we should send it to you! We'll also send you a copy of the current weekly issue, which recommends CURRENTS which will build audience loyalty among AC core female listeners, rather than drive them away, which the majority of the "trade charted" AC songs seem all too often to do. (That's because listener preferences are not part of their research -- the trade charts are based on station airplay and promotional efforts -- and the charts themselves!) -- whereas our research is ENTIRELY based exclusively on what your core female listener actually likes! (And she DOES like current music. Buys it too, if she likes it.)
If you enter a new subscription on this site, using the PayPal tools below, we will start your subscription by sending you the complete issue in which that annual list most recently appeared, plus several recent issues at no charge to "get you up to speed". Your subscription will BEGIN with the NEXT issue mailed.ADULT CONTEMPORARY MUSIC RESEARCH LETTER
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(Note to record companies, artists, producers: Singles and marked tracks can be submitted to us at our address, above -- or, as high-quality stereo MP3's they may be sent to our e-mail address; no more than two per e-mail please. There is no charge for the testing process.)
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