Insight into what’s trending on the music scene from iHeartRadio Chief Product Officer Chris Williams.
Music is everywhere in life, and it’s powerful. The right playlist can set the scene at a party, provide motivation for a tough workout or even tell a story.
24Life wanted to find out what’s behind the creation of a great playlist and what’s hot now, so we spoke to Chris Williams, chief product officer at iHeartRadio, to get his take.
On playlists …
24Life: What makes a good playlist?
“You need the audience to be able to experience it without feeling like they are being pulled out of it. Finding that balance is part of the excitement of programming.”
On hit songs …
24Life: How can you tell if a song is going to become a hit?
On new bands …
24Life: What are your favorite new artists on the horizon?
CW: The most impressed I’ve been from a new artist would be an indie band named Lucius out of Brooklyn, so I would recommend them. I also like the alternative band Kick the Robot from my hometown of Athens, Georgia and a soulful singer/songwriter out of the U.K. named Lawrence Taylor. One of my favorite artist discoveries from the past two years is Hiam. But I would say, even if she isn’t new, the best and most powerful live performer I’ve seen is Florence and the Machine — she really could be a star in any generation.
On iHeartRadio …
24Life: What is the most popular genre of music on iHeartRadio?
CW: By nature of its name, CHR Pop Radio Mix has the most mass-appeal broad-based audience among our live radio listeners. When you look at our custom artist stations (which is where you select an artist, and we create a station for you based around their hits as well as similar hits) is Drake. Then, when you look at the make-up of our company, we have 145 country stations, which is the most, but they are in smaller- to medium-sized markets. We have more of them in count, but the pop station has the largest audience.
24Life: What is your go-to workout playlist right now?
CW: The Spin Cycle station on iHeartRadio is what I use. It’s the first of its kind, featuring live deejays remixing hits 24/7, so it’s a great tempo station. The tempos help you run or lift in the gym.
On what’s hot for the summer …
“That’s the easiest question of them all. The song of the summer will always be “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince — until another song knocks it off its throne, and it hasn’t happened yet.”
Grab your headphones …
Looking for some great tunes? Here are two stations perfectly curated for a fun summer from the music experts at iHeartRadio.