Old School Hip Hop Format At Radio Stations Finds Success, Report Says


by Core

The old aphorism that radio focuses on playing flashy, club anthems in hopes of keeping young minds listening is being challenged.

A recent report by the New York Times  however, shows that old school Hip Hop formats across the country have also seen heavy success in recent years. The report focused on a radio station in Indianapolis that changed from a popular, mainstream music station to one that played nothing but old school Hip Hop. Within weeks Indy’s WRWM 93.9 went from the 15th most listened to radio station in Central Indiana to first.

‘‘Literally nobody in the Top 50 markets in this country has ever done a format change, then in the next full month shot to No. 1,’’ Tom Taylor, publisher of a popular radio-industry newsletter, told the Indianapolis Business Journal. ‘‘Certainly no station in the last decade has done what [WRWM] has.’’

Radio stations like 99.3 and 102.9 in Atlanta have also experienced similar success.  The article also mentions that it hasn’t worked in every city and that markets are different across the country. Author Alex French also compares old school’s prevalent return to the airwaves to early 1970s doo-wop recreation.

“In a sense, classic hip-hop is following a radio trend that began in the early 1970s, when the first dedicated FM oldies stations started up in Phoenix, playing records by old crooners and doo-wop quartets,” he wrote.

Read the article here