Randy Hart says: “I respect data. I just don’t like it!”

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Randy Hart Blog June 2017As we approach the annual gathering in Las Vegas of television stations from around the country (PROMAX Station Summit), I am reminded of focus groups, ratings and the many decisions by committees that weigh so heavily on what and when we see and hear programs.

Granted the “when” is becoming less significant with the many viewing options on demand, but we all know how content can be the result of media sausage grinders (think how Congress passes laws) that decide everything from story lines to who shows up on camera.

I’ll be brief, but it’s fun to point to movies, songs and television programs that weren’t supposed to become the iconic legends they have either because they didn’t “test” well or for some other reason that had them written off by the “experts.” Sometimes, the pop media universe allows for an underdog show, or even song, to be released resulting in unexpected success. Here are a few examples:

  • Both “Seinfeld” and “Friends” did poorly in testing. Seinfeld was in jeopardy of being canned after its first episode.
  • “The Wizard of Oz” was a box office flop.
  • “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers was the “b side” (back when there were two-sided single records released) to what was expected to be a hit, “Hung On You.”

I know research and data has its place. But examples where success trumped poor data is a reminder to us all, keep your head down and do your best creative work. The cream rises.

-Randy Hart, CSD for Aircast Custom Music

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