Mr. Eduardo, how do you come that conclusion, that BA is trying to attract a younger demo? I'm being serious, I'm just curious. If anything, they seem to be doing the opposite. How does playing, the same old smooth jazz tunes, along with a couple of motown and R&B songs, would attract a younger demo?
I base the conclusion on the fact that BA researches against the younger (under 55) segment of the partisan group. Note that I don't say "smooth jazz listeners" but "partisan group" since it is a common music research technique to recruit based on liking a broad genre by giving a number of "pods" of artists that represent components of a genre and if a person likes several of them (such as three out of five pods) they are invited to a music or perceptual research project.
So why not do the same from SJ? Why keep playing the same thing over and over again, along with the oldies. I know they occasionally add new tracks, but not often.
It would be likely that the research shows this is the best route. Again, by "young" we likely mean 40-54 or even 35-54, not 18-34. In general, and the ratings show this, 35+ listens predominantly to stations that play no new music or to stations that add perhaps two or three new cuts a month, such as traditional AC stations. Even country is predominantly library based, with adds in the range of 5 songs a month, give or take.
I disagree that younger people don't general like instrumentals. Electronica and techno are very popular with young people,
For smooth jazz, under 55 is young. And getting below 45 to 40 is not going to happen. Talking about club music is way far afield.
although it may not be marketable to be "mainstream", why not incorporate some of this into SJ, just enough, so you don't draw too many folks away.
The disasters of adding chill to WQCD in NY or the total failure of Blue in Albuquerque-Santa Fe show how going to far afield is deadly. ANd keep in mind that Blue was an effort of one of the creators of the radio format, Frank Cody, to find the direction to take the format to revitalize it. That case may also have shown that Cody, without Owen leach to keep him grounded in listener reality, could not make the leap to a newer version of SJ. Somebody ought to bring Owen Leach into their deliberations about SJ.
I think AC's station "the .wav" does a perfect job of this. He mixes them enough so they blend in perfectly with some of the other SJ tracks. He also plays a lot of new SJ artist, to keep people coming back.
And for a web service, where he can accumulate thousands of users nationally, that is a great idea. But a station like KTWV in LA has to attract around 2 million listeners in LA alone to survive (see the multiple LA threads about "the end is near"), and going too unfamiliar, ultraniche, etc. just will not work.
I don't see how you can sit here and say that BA is trying to attract a younger demo, by playing the same old artist along R&B oldies, and be trying attract younger listeners. It seems like they are contradicting themselves, if you ask me.
Here, myself included, we are just talking among a small group... what a researcher would call n=10. And, like all these boards, a larger percentage of the participants want new music, new formats and unusual executions. The sample is small, and represents anyhing but the mainstream.
And, finally, thank you for a good post with incisive questions and a reasonable tone. While we are not going to fix terrestrial SJ programming here, a good discussion can be an ongoing thing when kept at this level.