Lorde is the most overplayed artist on Toronto radio and no one is surprised

by Mark Teo

February 27, 2014

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For Torontonians, bitching about what’s playing on the radio is a civic duty. We’re a little jealous that Rob Ford’s taking his best on-air blunders to American sports radio. Some of us are pissed off at Dean Blundell, while others are pissed that he was relieved of his duty. But mostly, we love kvetching about what’s being overplayed: Edge 102, we say, plays the same boring butt-rock song over and over again. Q107 plays the same boring dad rock over and over again. Everyone else is wearing out Katy Perry’s newest single. And on, and on, and on.

So, it may come as a surprise that the most overplayed musician in Toronto isn’t Drake. Nor the Beatles. Nor Nickelback.

No, that distinction, according to research conducted by The Grid‘s Stuart Berman, belongs to Lorde.

Here’s how Berman parsed out the information: Between February 19-20, The Grid surveyed 12 radio stations—everyone from Flow 93.5 to Virgin 99.9—over a twelve-hour span. Then, they collected the data, and lo and behold, Lorde was a big-time winner: Her music was played on seven of the 12 stations surveyed, which clearly speaks to her cross-genre appeal. (And also makes it more likely that, even if you’re a station hopper, you’d hear her music.) And in the 12-hour span, Lorde’s “Team” spun a whopping 29 times—and that’s saying nothing of “Royals,” which undoubtedly hit the airwaves a few times.

So suffice to say, Toronto is listening to lots and lots of Lorde.

Berman’s work uncovered more telling data still. After Lorde, five artists—Drake, Imagine Dragons, Metric, Walk Off the Earth, and the Tragically Hip, duh—played across six stations. Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” played 26 times in the 12-hour block, making it the second-most played song in Toronto; OneRepublic’s “Counting Stars” came in third.

And the biggest shocks? Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” the most-played song of 2013, was played only once. Justin Bieber was played—get this!—a whopping zero times.

Then, The Grid answered the question we all want to know: Which stations actually continually repeat songs? Is 102.1 really as lazy as we think? Turns out, for unique plays, Kiss 92.5, Flow 93.5, and Virgin 99.9 are most reliant on repeat plays; Boom 97.3, G98.7, and Q107 led the way with unique plays, with Indie 88 not falling far behind.

Check the graph below for more details.

Photo: The Grid

Check out all of Berman’s data—and some über neat visualizations—right here, including head-to-head comparisons between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Beyonce and Jay Z, and Nirvana and Pearl Jam.

Tags: Music, News, 102.1 the edge, indie 88, lorde

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