The Featured Artist Phenomenon - Is It Worth It?

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The Featured Artist Phenomenon - Is It Worth It?

Post by samdaddieco106 » Thu Nov 18, 2021 10:23 am

Over the past few years. I have begun to see a new trend emerge in country radio - what I like to call the "featured artist phenomenon." What I'm referring to are country stations playing straight-up pop records by pop artists, most of which were never even released to the format, just because they have a country artist featured in them. Practically all of these songs have no measurable trace of country in them, other than featuring an artist in them that happens to also be a country artist. Some examples of songs I've seen get country airplay in the past few years...

Marshmello ft. Kane Brown - One Thing Right
Zedd ft. Maren Morris - The Middle
Khalid ft. Kane Brown & Swae Lee - Be Like That
Blackbear & Kane Brown - Memory
Diplo ft. Morgan Wallen - Heartless
Justin Timberlake ft. Chris Stapleton - Say Something
Nelly ft. Florida Georgia Line - Lil Bit
Any number of "Red," "1989," and "reputation"-era Taylor Swift singles
The version of Stapleton's "Tennessee Whiskey" with Justin Timberlake in it

I've always question if this strategy is really worth it or not when you've got dozens of currents/recurrents that are actual country songs that fit the format much better. Plus, how many CHR/Hot AC listeners are you really going to steal by playing these songs? For core P1 listeners, they may even begin to question your positioning as a country station. Thoughts?

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