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Climbing the Charts:
What Radio Airplay Tells Us about the Diffusion of Innovation
Gabriel Rossman

Book Description | Reviews
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

List of Figures vii
Acknowledgments ix

1 Introduction 1
     1.1 The Diffusion of Innovation 2
     1.2 The Production of Culture 6
     1.3 Organization of the Book 8

2 How Songs Spread 11
     2.1 Record Release Dates 12
     2.2 Corporate Radio 15

3 Buying Your Way onto the Chart 22
     3.1 A History of Payola Scandals 24
          3.1.1 The 1950s Scandal and the Rise of Rock and Roll 25
     3.1.2 The 1973 Drugola Scandal 27
     3.1.3 The Gambino Family and "The Network" in the 1980s 28
     3.1.4 Corporate Radio, Professionalized Payola, and the 2005 Spitzer Investigation 30
     3.2 Suppressing Payola 35
          3.2.1 The Robust Logic of Payola 39

4 Can Radio Stations Break Singles? 44
     4.1 The Role of "Opinion Leaders" in Diffusion 45
      4.2 The Distribution of Connection in Radio 48
     4.3 Diffusion of Pop Songs and Radio Stations 51
     4.4 The Role of Influentials for Endogenous Diffusion 53

5 The Dixie Chicks Radio Boycott 59
     5.1 Corporate Censorship 60
     5.2 Social Movements 63
     5.3 Genre 67

6 But Which Chart Do You Climb? 71
     6.1 Trends in the Differentiation of Radio Formats 72
     6.2 Classification and Art 75
     6.3 Crossover 77
     6.4 New Genres and Formats 80
          6.4.1 Reggaetón Comes to the Mainland 81
          6.4.2 The Development of the "Hurban" Format as an Artistic and Market Niche 83

7 The Future of the Chart 91
     7.1 General Lessons of the Book for Diffusion of Innovations 95
          7.1.1 Particular Lessons for Diffusion in Pop Music Radio 98
     7.2 Centralization and Distribution of Decision-making 100
     7.3 The Struggle to Control Publicity 108
     7.4 Structures of Salient Information 112
     7.5 Genre 116
     7.6 The Emerging Structure of Popular Culture Industries in the Twenty-first Century 119

Appendix A Datasets 123
Appendix B Robustness to Assumptions about Volume of Airplay
Constituting an "Add" 127
Notes 133
Bibliography 155
Index 167

FIGURES
1.1 The Two Ideal Diffusion Curves 3
1.2 The Hirsch Gatekeeping Model 6
2.1 Diffusion Curve for "Umbrella" by Rihanna on Top 40 Stations 12
2.2 Diffusion Curves for Singles on the Rihanna Album Good Girl Gone Bad on Top 40 Stations 13
2.3 Hazards for Singles on the Rihanna Album Good Girl Gone Bad on Top 40 Stations 14
2.4 Illustration of the Corporate "Single Playlist" Hypothesis 17
2.5 Diffusion Curves for "Umbrella" by Rihanna for Top 40 Stations Owned by Various Chains 18
2.6 Distribution of Song Adoption Time Clustering by Corporate Owner 20
3.1 Stories on "Payola" and "Radio" in the New York Times 25
3.2 Exogenous Diffusion Coefficient by Quarter 37
4.1 Distribution of Nominations for Top 40 Stations 49
4.2 Social Network of Top 40 Stations 50
4.3 Typical Adoption Time as a Function of Nominations for Top 40 Stations 52
4.4 Diffusion Curves for Singles on the Black Eyed Peas Album Monkey Business on Top 40 Stations 54
4.5 Top 40 Stations in Social Network Space with Filled
Dots for Those Having Played "My Humps" 57
5.1 Daily Spins of Dixie Chicks Songs on Country Stations 60
5.2 Daily Spins of Dixie Chicks Songs on Country Stations by Chain 62
5.3 Daily Spins of Dixie Chicks Songs on Country Stations by 2000 Presidential Vote 66
5.4 Daily Spins of Dixie Chicks Songs by Station Format 69
6.1 Diffusion Curve for "Love Song" by Sara Bareilles in AAA, Hot AC, Mainstream AC, and Top 40 Radio 78
6.2 Diffusion Curve for "Oye Mi Canto" by N.O.R.E., Nina Sky, and Daddy Yankee 82
6.3 Growth in Reggaetón Airplay (with Bootstrapped Confidence Intervals), 2004-2005 84
6.4 Trade Advertisement for the Sí TV Cable Channel 87
6.5 Diffusion Curve for "Rompe" by Daddy Yankee on Latin and Hip-Hop Radio 89
B.1 Diffusion Curves for Singles on the Rihanna Album Good Girl Gone Bad on Top 40 Stations with Varying Definitions of an "Add" 128
B.2 Top 40 Stations in Social Network Space with Filled Dots for Those Playing "My Humps" at Least Five Times in the Stated Week 129

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File created: 11/11/2014

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