November 2018

New Update for Pro Version 6

This month we released a service update for MusicMaster Pro Version 6, which you can find by going to Help, Check For Updates. Please note that you will also see an option to upgrade to the new Version 7. If your organization hasn't made the leap to Version 7 yet, we recommend you check with them before uprgrading all the way to Version 7, since databases that are converted to Version 7 can no longer be opened in Version 6. For more information on what Version 7 has to offer, click here. Otherwise, if you are required to use Version 6, you may download 6.0sr6 to get the latest program fixes and several new added options, summarized below:

With 6.0sr6, you can now control how you display future plays for the Play History graph with the HideFuturePlaysMode in Tools, Options, Additional Properties. There is a new option in the Design Properties of the Export Designer to control how airtimes over 60 minutes are normalized. Finally, there are updates to Special History Reports including France SACEM (DIP43) and the CRTC Self-Assessment report along with two new reports for Comedy Exchange and ISASA Local Content.

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Tracy Johnson: "Four Ways To Celebrate New Music"

In each newsletter, we present a guest article from one of our MusicMaster ProTeam consultants. This month, Tracy Johnson of Tracy Johnson Media Group offers strategies to overcome the challenge of introducing new, unfamiliar and untested music to your audiences.

When adding a new hit song to the playlist – wait, it is a hit, right? If it’s not, don’t add it – consider how it can become a programming weapon as quickly as possible. There’s nothing that drives most listeners away faster than an unfamiliar song.

And perhaps even more important, if there’s a format competitor, is how can your station can win association to gain credit for that new hit? Yet many Contemporary Christian stations seem to bury the songs. If you’re going to play it, doesn’t it make sense to celebrate new music?

Often, programmers tip-toe into new music. We put new songs in categories that play infrequently, or just in certain time slots. They reason that new songs are unfamiliar, and unfamiliar songs test poorly compared to established hits.

This is true, of course.

However, as with most things, there’s an opposite argument. As a result of this programming tactic, new music a) stays unfamiliar longer, and b) fails to associate your brand with the song/artist.

Assuming the songs going on the air are all going to be hits, here’s another way to think about it:

Have confidence and program boldly.

A great new song is like a new boyfriend. Listeners can’t get enough of it. Give it to them frequently. Put it in hyper-drive rotation, playing at least as often as power currents. It may sound crazy to rotate a category with new songs this often, but this tactic helps claim credit for an important song or artist. Even more importantly, it will become familiar faster. And familiar songs are more valuable.

Once established, slot it into the appropriate category/rotation.

This also supports a new music image.

Four Ways To Celebrate New Music

It’s just as important to gain credit for playing new music than actually playing new music. Of course, actions must support the brand position. But image is critical and there are many ways to enhance the reputation for playing new songs.

Here are four ways to capitalize on it.

1. Promote as a Premiere

If it’s a popular artist, promote a “first listen” in other station features.

If there is a regular Trending feature, make the new song one of the stories, using the hook of the song as part of the news.

Be sure to promote when listeners can hear the whole song during the story.

Give them one or two exact times.

This may seem self-serving. Is the release of a new song really newsworthy? Well, yes it is. Listeners are interested in pop music. That’s one of the main reasons they tune in. Celebrate new music with information on the artists and songs that are new to the station.

2. Double Up

Remember the old days, when you couldn’t wait to hear that new song by a favorite artist? You couldn’t get enough.

As soon as that hot new Taylor Swift song ends on the radio, they’ll punch a button hoping to hear it again on another station. Or they’ll go to their phone to check it out online.

This is going to sound a bit strange, but it can be very effective to play a highly anticipated new song over and over. Don’t just play it once. Play it twice, back-to-back. This is how listeners experience music discovery on YouTube. They hear a great new song, and play it twice. Or more.

3. Play the Hook

If it’s a big artist, use the hook of the song as a tease for the full spin coming up later. This doubles impressions for playing the song and increases credit (with listeners) for the station.

Some of my clients go so far as to play a hot new song once an hour or every other hour for a few days, especially over a weekend. Between spins, they promote the next time the song will play and use the hook of the song to demonstrate it. This leverages more value from fewer actual plays.

4. New Music Alerts

When that new song comes out, send a new music alert to your email or text database. Let them know the song is out and that you are just as excited as they are.

Be sure to include exact times (down to the minute) the song will play in the next couple of days. Make it easy to get those tune in occasions.

This tactic is even more effective if alerts are sent to listeners based on the music taste of each individual. A smart database can help you target them based on preference. For instance, you wouldn’t send a Drake fan the alert for a new Kelly Clarkson song…and vice-versa.


Some programmers are reluctant to play much new music at all. And for good reason. There’s risk in playing new, untested titles.

But new music doesn’t have to be a negative, if curated introduced and promoted properly. Remember, it has a lot more to do with marketing and branding than the actual number of new songs you play.

Playing more new songs won’t necessarily win an image for playing more new music. Usually it has much more to do with celebrating new music.

It’s more important to win the right songs and do it creatively.

Want more advice like this? Read more about Tracy and his services on our ProTeam page or on Tracy's website: Or contact Tracy directly at (858) 472-3546 or

  Quick Tip

Clock Editor Layout

You are used to going to Library Maintenance and the Schedule Editor and modifying the layout to make it your own. With PRO 7, you can now do that in the Clock Editor. Use the wrench icon to Show/Hide Elements as well as Columns. These options allow you to focus on specific element types. Just like in the Editor, if you hide something, you will see a red line indicator. The column options give you that same kind of control, including the ability to see the new Quick Entry column that allows you do clock entry by using keyboard shortcuts. These Clock Editor Options are just one more way to customize MusicMaster for your needs.

New From the MM Blog
Creating Custom Fields in Version 7.0

by Dave Tyler - The Field really should get more respect. It’s the key to all the magic in MusicMaster. The fields you have in MusicMaster allow you to organize the data, filter it and later turn on the rules to make your station sound great. Often a user will want a specific field type but they have already used all of the fields of that particular type in their database already. Let’s say for instance you want a “Sound Code 2” field but you have already used all of the Attribute Multiple fields in your data. Since the dawn of MusicMaster you would need to send your database to me or one of our other Music Scheduling Consultants and we would go “Under the Hood”, add the field for you and then return your data to you. Although not a lengthy process, MusicMaster 7.0 will now allow you to perform that process in mere seconds. Here's how...

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Holiday Music, Turnover Analysis, and Autoburn

by Brian Wheeler - If you’re like most programmers you’re getting ready to dust off the holiday music for another season. Some of you may be playing holiday music already!

There are lots of pitfalls that can occur when reintroducing holiday music to your programming. Do I have enough music? Are there elements in the clocks I no longer use? Do I need to put in new programs I didn’t run in past years?

With all the other things you’re trying to remember for the holiday season, you may forget to see how those holiday music categories are rotating. Holiday music can burn easily. You don’t want to add to the burn by having bad rotations. To make matters worse, many stations gradually ramp up their holiday music which CHANGES the rotations on these holiday categories with each increase of usage in their clocks. Are you checking those rotations to make sure you’re not stacking up? What can be done to compensate for a poorly rotating holiday category?

The turnover analysis screen can give you some great insight as to how these categories are plotting out as the holiday season advances. If you do run into a rotation that plots the same songs in the same hours or dayparts, like this...

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Welcome to MusicMaster!

Use the dropdown menu below to view a list of stations and locations.
Click a station on the list to visit its homepage and listen live!

November in the Northwest

This November, MusicMaster traveled to Seattle for the College Broadcasters conference. Our resident W.I.Z.A.R.D., Jill Sorenson, led a Genius Day for a diverse crowd made up of over 30 programmers ranging from students to seasoned industry pros in the region. We extend a special thank you to our guest mentor, legendary consultant Jaye Albright, who joined us to share her inspiring words on the future of the industry. During the conference, MusicMaster’s Shane Finch and Jerry Butler also had the opportunity to connect with clients and students, many of whom are part our unique MusicMaster University Program.

Also this month, MusicMaster’s Shane Finch and Malcolm Sinclair traveled to Vancouver for the 68th annual Western Association of Broadcast Engineers conference. There, they met up with many clients and partners, while planning for exciting things to come in 2019 for MusicMaster in Canada!

Seattle Genius Day 2019 class photo.

These programmers showed up ready to learn!

Special guest Jaye Albright with our own Jerry Butler.

MusicMaster’s Malcolm Sinclair gets the latest from Rawlco Radio's Ryan Moskal/Regina, Darcy Senft/Saskatoon and Sarina Kopelchuk/Saskatoon.

David Borges, Malcolm Sinclair, and Wade Slater discuss MusicMaster's automation integration with win-OMT.

Cody Mackay of Stingray/Richmond, BC, Chris Maclaurin of Stingray/Ottawa, Malcolm, and Wide Orbit’s Jim Hammond.

Michael Cross

Cherry Creek Media - Wenatchee, Washington

This month we recognize Michael Cross, who has been a MusicMaster programmer since the DOS days in 1997! Currently, Michael is celebrating a new gig as Operations Manager for Cherry Creek Media in Wenatchee, WA, where he's also Program Director and PM Drive for KYSN-FM and can be heard Middays on "The Quake". Altogether, the group has seven stations: KPQ-AM "Newsradio 560, KPQ" (News/Talk), KPQ-FM "The Quake 102.1" (Classic Rock), KYSP-AM 1340 - "The Hawk" (Fox Sports), KKWN-FM "Talk 106.7" (News/Talk), KYSN-FM 97.7 "Kissin' 97-7" (Country), KQBG-FM "The Bridge" (Hot AC), and KWWW-FM "KW3" (CHR).

Michael shared, "I'm excited to be in Wenatchee! I spent the last 22 years in Iowa, so I'm really happy to get to the Pacific Northwest on the edge of the Cascades. Those twenty below zero wind chills are not going to be a factor this Winter and I'm pretty thrilled about that! I have some great radio stations and brands here to look after and a terrific staff to help me grow these brands too. I'm going to be playing Classic Rock on "The Quake" every weekday from 10-3pm and putting my 10 gallon hat on every afternoon as an on-air host on KYSN-FM, which has been a Country station here since 1983. I'm learning and really excited to carry on the tradition of success with Cherry Creek Media/Wenatchee!"

As a 21 year veteran of MusicMaster, Michael is happily continuing with it at his new post. He commented, "I have always loved MusicMaster. It makes scheduling music a breeze. There have been so many improvements over the years and I find the program just keeps getting better. Its many choices of rules and Optimum Goal scheduling options make it easy to get the radio station programmed exactly how you want it. Tempo, rotations, artist separation - whatever issues you might have are eliminated when you're working with the program and getting the station on track. The online and phone support from the company is also fantastic! I'm pretty happy that I get to continue to work with Music Master here in Central Washington!" From all of us at MusicMaster, thank you Michael for your many years of loyalty and best wishes for your continued success!

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