I went to Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall with the girls this evening and something happened that I just don't understand. Maybe someone can explain it to me.
We went into two makeup stores (teens need makeup), Sephora and Bare Minerals and then walked by Armani and Metropark on our way to have dinner at the Grand Luxe. There was one common thread among these five business establishments, they all were playing dance music from "Deep House" to current remixes. As a matter of fact, Armani had a live DJ mixing.
This is what I don't understand. If five establishments are playing dance music why doesn't dance music have a bigger commercial footprint on terrestrial radio here in the United States and specifically in Phoenix? I don't get it. Walking through the mall, I heard a disproportionate amount of dance music compared to other current types of music. Why do retailers feel that dance music works for them in their stores but we can't seem to have any great success with it on the air?
Before everyone comes out of the woodwork and tells me that in Phoenix on Energy we have a bad signal,crummy programing and don't know what we are doing, Stop! That's not what I'm talking about. Say what you want about our station, you are entitled. I'm talking big picture, about dance music as a viable sustaining format on radio stations across the country. After all, dance seems to do well in Europe, why doesn't it do better domestically?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that dance music hasn't had it's success's on the radio. I am suggesting that it hasn't been a hugely successful, sustaining format. Pure dance stations are simply niche formats that rarely break a one share. Yet, you go to the mall and aggregate all the music genres played in the stores and I can assure you that dance represents much more than a one share of all the music types being played in there.
I'm a big fan of the genre and the format. We brought the format to Arizona and have been committed to it for five years. I'm anxious to get your take on the disparity.