Classic Hip-Hop, a fad or the next real format?

So, what’s it going to be? It’s been a little over a year since the Classic Hip-Hop format exploded from 1 station in Albuquerque to a couple dozen. Within that year, we’ve seen the ratings for those stations jump, then slowly fall. In an analysis of Cumulus Media, Lance seemed to agree that the format was a fad, but also pointed out some success stories including KHTP locally, who is running all throwbacks but not all Hip-Hop except for 6 hours on Sundays. While KHTP isn’t burning up the ratings, at least they’ve stayed relatively steady over the past several months. If Classic Hip-Hop doesn’t end up working out for some of these stations, I hope they will explore the opportunity to use a broader variety of throwbacks. Right now, if it’s not the softer side of pop or pop-rock and is more than a couple years old, it doesn’t seem to have a place on the radio and that needs to change. While rhythmic music seems to be on the decline all over in current-based formats, there’s no denying its impact on music as a whole, and no way stations can move forward without incorporating it into the playlist. The explosion of the Classic Hip-Hop format shows me there is demand for that type of music, it just remains to be seen how radio stations respond in the long term.

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