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MusicMaster Blog

Do you want Optimum Exposure? posted on February 20th, 2023

by Chris Hulsether

What if I told you MusicMaster can help you spread out the airplay of your songs or artists throughout your day and cut down any perception you play the same songs in the same hour?

Optimum Goal Scheduling is a unique and exclusive concept in MusicMaster. We like to say it’s a tie breaker. When the Automatic Scheduler has two or more songs that clear all of the existing rules you set up, we call them “perfect songs”. A perfect song can be one that passes all of the breakable and unbreakable rules. Or, in the less common case where all the songs in the search depth fail at least one breakable rule, MusicMaster will apply the tie breaker to the songs that all failed the lowest priority breakable rule. (Songs that fail unbreakable rules are always skipped).

Optimum Goal Scheduling will score songs based on the various Goals you’ve applied and tell MusicMaster which perfect song it should choose. An example is choosing the song that meets the Goal for the most rested song among all the available perfect songs.

To learn more about Optimum Goals read this Blog: See this quick walkthrough video on how to set them up here:

I want to talk about Optimum Exposure Goals and what those goals will do for you when you activate them. The exposure goals will look at the available songs and choose the one that has been exposed or played the most in other hours, shifts, quarter hours, etc. before scheduling in the same spot. This gives you a better rotation of your category and helps prevent the perception that you play the same songs at the same time all the time. You will need to decide what exposure goal makes sense for your database.

To learn more about your Hour Exposure you can read this excellent Blog about Hour Exposure in your database here:

Let’s look at the options:

Optimum Hour Exposure

This Goal will favor the song that has played in as many of the other 23 hours of the day as possible before playing again in the same hour. For example, let’s say the scheduler is trying to break the tie between two songs for a 2pm slot. Since the last time Song A played at 2pm, it has played in six other hours. Since the last time Song B played at 2pm, it has only played in two other hours. You’d want to give Song B a chance to play in more different hours before you play it again at 2pm. So Song A would be favored, because it’s played in more different hours before returning to the same hour and has the best Hour Exposure of the two.

Note that it is important that your Purge History settings have enough plays to test. This Goal would need a minimum of 23 plays to work to its fullest.

To find Purge History go to Dataset/Schedule/Purge History

Optimum Shift Exposure

This Goal favors a song that has played in as many of your other shifts (as defined in the Shift Editor) as possible. To find your Shift Editor, go to Dataset/Schedule/Shift Editor.

There, you can customize the shifts. You can match them with your on air shows or set them up as you define different parts of the day.

Optimum Quarter-Hour Exposure

This Goal favors the song that has played in as many of the other quarter hours as possible before playing again in the same one. This only makes sense if the category you schedule the song in is located in different quarter hours in your clocks. If your D category is always at :18 after the hour and not anywhere else the clocks, then those songs in D will not get exposed to other quarter hours anyway.

Optimum Keyword Rest

This refers to the ideal rest of keywords such as Artist or Title Keywords. A good example would be favoring the song whose artist has rested closest to the ideal separation calculated for that artist.

Optimum Keyword Hour Exposure

This favors the keyword that has played in as many of the other 23 hours of the day as possible. This logic is similar to the Hour Exposure goal described above. Let’s say MusicMaster is scheduling a song at 2pm and it has a choice between a song with a Brittany Spears Artist Keyword and one with The Backstreet Boys Artist Keyword. The goal scheduler will see which keyword was used in more different hours first before playing again at 2pm. If the Brittany Keyword played in 4 different hours since it last played at 2pm, and The Backstreet Boys keyword played in 2 different hours since it last played at 2pm, the goal would choose Brittany. That way the Backstreet Boys would have a chance to be exposed to more different hours before being scheduled in the 2pm hour a second time.

Optimum Keyword Shift Exposure

The keyword that has played in as many of your other shifts as defined in the Shift Editor as possible. Using the Brittany/Backstreet Boys Artist Keyword example, If you have 6 different shifts set up throughout the the day, it’s 2pm, and Brittany’s keyword played in 3 different shifts and The Backstreet Boys’s keyword has only played in 2 different shifts since the last time Brittany and The Backstreet Boys were scheduled in this (2pm) shift, the goal will schedule Brittany because The Backstreet Boys hasn’t been exposed to more different shifts before scheduling in the same shift as your 2pm shift.

Optimum Keyword Qtr-Hour Exposure

This favors the keyword that has played in as many of the other quarter hours as possible. Let’s say at 2:05pm, Brittany’s keyword has been exposed to 3 different quarter hours before being considered again in that first quarter hour (00:00-15:00). The Backstreet Boys keyword has only been exposed in 2 different quarter hours before trying to schedule at 2:05pm, Brittany gets scheduled because her keyword has been exposed to more different quarter hours.

Optimum Radial Spread

Another related Goal worth mentioning here is Optimum Radial Spread. This goal actually takes both hour exposure and time-period exposure into account. The Shift Exposure goal only looks at one set of time periods; your assigned shifts. Radial Spread looks at a collapsing window of overlapping time periods, which can produce an even better result. Any song with a low score in either Hour Exposure or Shift Exposure will also have a low score in Radial Spread, so you can use this single Goal to combine those forces. For more on Optimum Radial Spread, check out this article:

As a final note, the Optimum Goal scheduling will never prevent a song from scheduling. That’s where your rules come into play first. You also want to be careful on how many Goals you set up, as it can slow down the automatic scheduler because it has more calculations to do when scheduling. However, you’ll make up some of that time in less time spent editing, since the log will be closer to the intuitive sound goals you have for your station.

If you have more questions, reach out to your Music Scheduling Consultant to assist you.