New Radio Format Packs in 24 Songs Per Hour and Three Minutes of Commercials

When I first started begging my mom to buy me records, I whined about all the new K-Tel compilations that were being advertised on TV.

After a while, I had a ton of these records.  But as I became more sophisticated in my record buying, I realized that something was wrong with these K-Tel records.  First, they didn’t sound very good.  And second, where were the rest of the songs?

The only way you can get that many songs on a single album is to (a) make the grooves really, really shallow and close together (meaning that each groove carries less information, ergo less fidelity); and (b) edit the songs.  A song that was four minutes on the radio was suddenly just three minutes on the K-Tel record.

Later I learned about “beaver hours,” a tactic used by some radio stations to meet Canadian content regulations.  Before this move was outlawed by the CRTC, some stations would ghetto most of their Canadian playlist to after 10pm, editing each track down to the bare minimum and then rolling through several dozen songs before the clock struck midnight.

Memories of both came back this morning when I learned of QuickHitz, a new radio format that involves fitting 24 songs into each hour, leaving room for just three minutes of commercials.


Whoa.  Is this what radio listeners want?  Read all about it it at FYI Music News.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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