Taylor Swift may have left country a “goodbye note” but the majority of the more than 60 Country PDs, MDs, Talent and Station Executives who took part in Albright & O'Malley & Brenner's quick, and admittedly unscientific straw poll this week said they’ve left the light on for her.
By more than 4:1 the panel hoped that Taylor Swift would cut another country song in the future with 30% feeling country radio would miss Taylor. 17% said they didn’t think they would play any new Taylor Swift songs now that she’s “gone pop.”
Regarding “Shake It Off,” the first single from Taylor's new pop project, 89% of our panel had heard the song /watched the video. When asked to think about it not as a country song but as a piece of music, 60% said they liked it “A Lot” while 27% liked it “Some.”
72% said their station had talked about “Shake it Off” on the air with 41% saying their station played all or some of it.
We also invited comments. Among the most common were 1) she’s been a cross-over artist for some time, 2) that her music wasn’t any more or less country than what’s being played on country radio now, and 3) an expectation that she will record something country in the future.
There were several “ambivalent” opinions on Taylor’s past or future impact on country and country radio listeners, but no one in the poll expressed anything negative.
Not that I expected to see that from our stations, but I’ve moderated enough listener panels where respondents were quick to dis on Taylor.
So I loved this from Facebook post from Cumulus/Dallas OM J. R. Schumann/@JRSchumann1
"Every time Taylor Swift puts out a new song/album it's amazing to me the hate speak she receives. Grown men and women say terrible things about a girl making music - music with a positive message, mind you. Music that tells kids in their most formative years to be themselves and not let the world get to them. Year after year...Taylor Swift (who has never been pictured drunk, partying, doing drugs, arrested, or anything) remains the subject of so much hate, and we wonder why the world is the way it is.
Let's just hope the kids of today listen to her lyrics and not what the adults around them are saying."
Apparently he's struck a chord. J.R. says this has been favored over 1500 times and has 1400 re-tweets.
Much success, Taylor.
If you decide in the future to cut something country, there will be people in the format who will want to hear it.