FACT: “The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was the first major overhaul of telecom law since 1934. Most of the Telecom Act is about promoting competition between cable and phone companies in the markets for voice communications, television entertainment, and broadband Internet service. In a provision that was little noted at the time, the act also eliminated the cap of 20 AM and 20 FM stations at the national level and considerably relaxed ownership caps at the local level.”

Climbing the Charts: What Radio Airplay Tells Us about the Diffusion of Innovation
by Gabriel Rossman

Despite the growth of digital media, traditional FM radio airplay still remains the essential way for musicians to achieve commercial success. Climbing the Charts examines how songs rise, or fail to rise, up the radio airplay charts. Looking at the relationships between record labels, tastemakers, and the public, Gabriel Rossman develops a clear picture of the roles of key players and the gatekeeping mechanisms in the commercial music industry. Along the way, he explores its massive inequalities, debunks many popular misconceptions about radio stations’ abilities to dictate hits, and shows how a song diffuses throughout the nation to become a massive success.

Climbing the Charts provides a fresh take on the music industry and a model for understanding the diffusion of innovation.

Climbing the Charts gives an eye-opening view of the front and back of radio broadcasting. It shows that the music industry has even more influence on radio airplay than we might imagine, but broadcasters and listeners also matter. Surprisingly, the greatest role of broadcasters is in their choice of radio formats, which structure the market for the music industry and the listeners. The important topic, careful analysis, and clear writing make this book broadly appealing.”—Henrich Greve, INSEAD

We invite you to read Chapter 1 here: