Mix Show DJ’s Spins Count Too! posted on January 13th, 2020
By: Jesus Rodriguez
Recently the topic about mix show spins came up a lot with my clients. I’m referring to stations that air syndicated, or local DJ mix shows either prerecorded or live. I am shocked to see that many of my clients have a blank hour for these programs in the log or are not reconciling what aired by the jocks. I understand that part of it may be the limitations of the software your DJs use to mix the tracks. Maybe they can’t export a playlist for reconciliation like your automation integration, but at the very least, I would assume that you are getting some playlist for every show submitted.
I’m writing this article, not only because I am still to this day a club DJ that got his first break on the radio as a kid via a mix show, but more importantly because of the number of spins and credit you are missing out on in the spins reports you submit to any agency. Let’s do some basic math: let’s say that you have a lunch mix, a traffic mix, and a night mix on your station daily, but you don’t account for those spins. With only one power position song you are missing up to three spins per day. Let’s not get started on the four to seven per hour or more for night weekend mix shows or the nonstop holiday weekend mixes of spins not accounted for in your reports. I can’t even count that high; it’s so many!
Here is your solution, and it is called History Linking!
Step One: Mixshow Library Song Carts
If you are doing prerecorded mixes that schedule in MusicMaster, you are halfway there, but if you are not doing a prerecorded mix show, you can still use this method by creating a mix show category to keep track of what aired. In this case, I would create a dummy category and dummy song carts not in rotation for the mix shows. That way I can follow these steps as a placeholder for my history linking items to be able to account for the spin count of all the songs I have in rotation that are linked to an aired live mix show
Step Two: Sharing History
You’ll need a Keyword Multiple field in which to place a unique identifier for the song. If your data is lacking an unused Keyword Multiple Field you can create one in version 7.0. If you are on an older version, check you Field list to see if you have unused field you could use. If you don’t have any available fields, contact your MusicMaster Scheduling Consultant and ask them to add one for you. You can label this field as “History Link.” Make sure to note the field ID assigned to the History Link field in Dataset/Library/Fields.
Now go to Tools/Options/Additional Properties. Under the History Header, indicate the History Link field ID in the Primary Rest Field, and set Primary Rest Rules to 1. This tells MusicMaster to use the History Link field when determining song rest. Then click Apply and OK.
Step Three: Mixshow Song History
Now that we have a History Link Keyword Field we can use it like we do other keywords to help keep songs from scheduling around our prerecorded mixes so that we don’t go from regular programming to the same song back-to-back. You accomplish this by using a unique identifier in the history link field in both our current songs in the library as well as the mix show cart. Typically, I would recommend an automation number.
Now that both your songs in the library and prerecorded mix have the cart number in the history link field, we can put a rule to separate those unique items from each other by using the History Linked Keyword Separation Rule in the rule tree for your music and mix show category if it’s a prerecorded mix. This is the same way we would keep songs by the same artist from playing to close to each other.
I would suggest if you are using prerecorded mixes, it would be best to place that category at the top of your scheduling properties pass order so that it schedules first then all of your song categories can schedule around it to prevent the same songs from playing too close to each other when you launch the mix. To adjust the order, go to Dataset/Schedule/Schedule Properties and drag the category to the top of the list using the blue pointer arrow.
History linking has an additional benefit which takes us to the next step.
Step Four: Viewing Combined Histories
After you have scheduled music, open the F6 history graph for one of your linked songs. By default, MusicMaster displays all scheduled spins of that song within the active history. You can use the dropdown at the right of the song line to switch from the Song view to any keyword history, packet history, and even move history. Since the History Link is a keyword field, you can see a combined history of all songs sharing that History Link! Furthermore, you can click the icon to “Highlight plays by the active song card you are on” to add boxes to the display for spins of this copy as opposed to other copies of the song. You can see that in the next capture.
As you manage your station, we would not recommend you not delete the elements. You could move them to a dead category or use the Song Merge feature. If you’d like to take a deeper dive into History Linking, you can watch our Master Class video on History Linking.
You are now all set. Your music library will now include the History Linked spins for your mix shows when you run your reports, glance at your history graph, and have more control over song separation.
Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact your Music Scheduling Consultant.