But do the charts reflect the music that is offered or the music the stations WANT to play. Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? If AC stations play more ballads and avoid harder edged songs, that's what the charts will reflect.
And many stations ignore segments of the charts depending on what's going on in their individual markets. WLTW NYC always played more Urban AC crossover titles than other AC stations in other parts of the country. They'd go early on a rhythmic AC song and add rock-oriented songs late.
I think Norah Jones is a great example. A few years ago she won all those Grammy awards. AC stations, even Hot AC stations, were playing Don't Know Why, Sunrise and Come Away With Me. I remember WPLJ, a Hot AC in NYC, playing Come Away with Me and its processing really having a hard time with the song due to all the silent pauses. Then last year, Jones releases a new CD with a great single, Chasing Pirates, and virtually no AC stations played it, even though it was a bit bouncier and slightly uptempo compared to Jones' other hits. Sade released a CD last year and it went to #1. Yet I didn't hear ANY songs from the CD on AC stations.
They clearly are NOT playing new soft music, even those songs from hit CDs and from multiple Grammy winners. AC stations are also re-writing history, going back to songs released only a few years ago, such as Norah Jones hits, and deleting them from their playlists. Meanwhile they are adding songs from a few years ago they never played as currents.
One poster above said AC stations don't want their listeners falling asleep at work. So only a few years ago, AC stations could play Norah Jones and other soft music and those people managed to stay awake. Today's AC listener can't stay awake? I thought the opposite is true. Life is more hectic today, bosses make more demands, traffic is heavier, women are trying to balance careers, family and other responsibilities... yet they NEVER want to relax to soft music?