Terrestrial radio has maintained a unique ubiquity in how we consume content. Data from Nielsen’s most recent Audio Today report and The Pew Research Center shows its remarkable staying power in an otherwise constantly shifting media landscape. This phenomenon has made radio an especially heated proving ground for cultural trends. Alpha stands at the center of this industry as the largest production music service available for radio with a 1.8 million track library where the biggest and best music suppliers distribute their music for placements on the air. Check out our exclusive inside look into the lastest industry growth patterns and trends in production music for terrestrial radio.
Demand for sound effects in radio is high, and it’s constant. Alpha provides its users with over 347k tracks of SFX like stingers, novelty sound effects, realistic sounds, and trendy, niché sounds; all common essentials for radio advertisers and DJs. Canned sounds like cheering crowds, wooshes, air horns/car horns, sounds from nature, mechanical noises, and so many more sound clips of all sorts continue to prove their popularity on a consistent basis.
Country western music is an undeniable staple in American radio. The sound of real instruments and quality songwriting keeps country music charting on radio stations and puts the sound in high demand across the airwaves with 88,000 country tracks in the Alpha library. Country music is as American as apple pie and the same goes for its appeal, meaning you won’t hear country music anywhere else in the world like you do in the United States.
Alongside country music, Latin music is another genre with a seemingly insatiable demand. There’s a clear cross-media correlation with demand for certain styles, and with the massive commercial successes of artists like J Balvin and his many contemporaries (Bad Bunny, Nio Garcia, Maluma, etc.) the Latin sound is booming right now. Find over 45,000 Latin tracks in the Alpha library with a sound that is global, upbeat, and current, which all translates to a high demand in the production music sphere.
Epic & Dramatic
Dramatic sound design and scoring has seen unprecedented growth over the last few years in radio production music with over 100k “epic” tracks in the Alpha library. Epic orchestral scores that would normally be heard in blockbuster movie franchises might not seem at home in a radio production, but today, the demand is on the rise. Sounds that are bigger, more intense, and more cinematic are in high demand.
Rock / Pop: Over-saturated
Plug-in’s and virtual amps have streamlined the production of pop and rock music, allowing for a surplus that exceeds demand. This issue is exacerbated by metadata tagging on rock or pop tracks which often functions too much like a catch-all, lending itself to highly competitive search results and marginal returns for many producers in the field. Alpha currently supplies 314k tracks tagged as rock, and over 285k tagged as pop. Successful producers of pop and rock will tell you that cutting through the noise means tapping into a specific higher demand niche within the broader genre. If you can supply that more targeted musical quality and properly tag it with your metadata, your chances of getting placed are exponentially greater.
Hip-Hop and Trap: Over-saturated
Hip-hop and trap catalogs are used heavily on the radio waves, but like rock and pop, competition is fierce. Widespread popularity and relative ease of production has resulted in massive quantities of these tracks being produced with relative oversupply for broadcasters. Still, it’s impossible to ignore hip-hop/trap as a dominant force in the musical landscape with over 190k tracks in Alpha tagged as hip-hop. The key to getting placements is the same principle of refined tagging that rock/pop producers leverage to optimize their libraries for success, but for hip-hop/trap, the emphasis is on staying current. Producers in this sphere can get an edge by staying on top of the latest trends and producing sound-alikes that mimic the tracks that are topping the charts right now.