As we wrap up the year, we’d like to offer an overview of the coverage areas of the website before heading into a new year and provide clarifications.
Reviews, Spotlights, Premieres, and all other editorial content: As the amount of submissions that get sent our way continues to increase and the scene continues to grow, the ratio of submissions to coverage, unfortunately, continues to decrease, but EVERYTHING that gets submitted to us gets listened to.
We also want to clarify that we don’t consider ourselves music critics. We’re just enthusiasts of the scene, who enjoy putting our love of certain music into words. We don’t dive into mechanics, offer criticism, or talk about music we don’t like. We just write about what we’re digging at the time.
How do we decide on what to provide editorial coverage on? We have a two-step process.
Step 1: We make sure the content submitted falls under the category of Texas/Red Dirt. While this gets harder and harder to define, some of the questions we ask to make our decision are:
- Does the music fall under the Texas/Red Dirt category?
- Is the artist from Texas/Oklahoma?
- Does the artist currently reside in Texas/Oklahoma?
- If the artist is not from or does not currently reside in Texas or Oklahoma:
- Does the artist/band:
- Play a large percentage of shows in Texas or Oklahoma and tour this market regularly?
- Send songs to Texas Radio?
- Send press material to Texas/Red Dirt blogs and publications?
- Open for Texas/Red Dirt artists when they play in their respective market?
- Does the majority of the artist/band’s streaming consumption come from Texas or Oklahoma?
- Does the artist/band:
Step 2: After we make the decision of whether or not the content falls under the Texas/Red Dirt genre, we then all have one rule we live by. We only write about music that inspires us to write about it. In saying that, our choice to not cover something doesn’t necessarily mean we thought the music was not of good quality; it just didn’t inspire us to write about it at that particular time. Not everything speaks to one us, however, we do feel that we do have a diverse set of ears, experiences, tastes, and opinions with a group bonded by the same love for music but who is made up different genders, races, and age groups.
What’s Your Favorite New Single Poll: A weekly poll based on the new singles on the Texas Regional Radio Report
- Purpose: Cross promotion tool that creates a powerful (and free) way for multiple artists to spread their music to multiple hubs of potential fans
TMP Top Texas Country and Red Dirt Singles Spotify Playlist: A centralized playlist made up of newly released music and radio singles
- Purpose: Offer a pulse of new/current Texas/Red Dirt music to our playlist followers. We have a decision process in place, where we discuss each song and vote on whether or not we should add it.
Texas Music Spotify Chart: Our Texas Music Spotify Chart is a weekly chart that tracks and ranks Texas/Red Dirt singles by weekly stream count on Spotify. We track every single that is on the Texas Regional Radio Report and artists can also submit their song for tracking.
- Purpose: Relay streaming information based on an organic listening experience. We have qualifications in place in regards to where the music is being consumed and the ratio of monthly listeners to weekly streams to try to ensure its credibility.
We have the monthly listener to weekly stream ratio rule in place to prevent artists and fans from listening to a song excessively or on repeat for the sheer sake of increasing the stream count. The average ratio of weekly streams to monthly listeners for songs on our chart is 1:4. So if an artist has 10,000 monthly listeners, their current single having 2,500 weekly streams is a reasonable expectation. Even when artists with very loyal fan bases (Cody Johnson, Aaron Watson, Koe Wetzel, Parker McCollum, Bri Bagwell) release new songs where a large percentage of their fanbase is obviously listening to it multiple times a day for multiple weeks, we still don’t see that ratio get above 1:2. We have occasionally seen it close to 1:1 when artists that have strong social media bases release their debut album, or when an artist has a very little catalog (1 single/EP) and then they release a full length, but usually that subsides after the first week. So when we see the 1:4 ratio exceed for multiple weeks, it usually that indicates that there’s not an organic consumption process. And as we have explored these incidents over the years, most of the time the artist has been able to determine that it was a fan, a group of fans, a radio promoter, a manager, or family members etc…that were listening to, or encouraging people, to listen to the song excessively or on repeat to push it up the chart.
We have put our consumption rule in place to prevent artists from using “Spotify Playlist Promotion” companies that really just click farms. When artists use these “services”, we can tell by looking at their Top 5 Places Where People Listen. Somehow they’ll go from barely having 20 listeners in their home market to all of sudden having thousands of listeners in Norway, Indonesia, New York, LA etc… So by mandating that at least 51% of the consumption comes from Texas or Oklahoma, we have pretty much nipped this in the bud. We’re not claiming we know it all, but almost every week for the last 3 years, we look at the Spotify data of nearly 200 songs. We look at:
- Monthly Listeners
- Top 5 Places Where People Listen
- Weekly Stream Count
- Stream Count of Catalog and More
TMP Input Committee: A group of passionate and knowledgeable Texas/Red Dirt fans and industry professionals who provide TMP with unbiased feedback, rank, submit and or score contestants, submissions, albums, songs etc…
- Purpose: A way to garner unbiased feedback from a group of informed consumers and industry folks that reflects the opinions of the Texas/Red Dirt populous. We often have lists, awards, contests etc…with a limited number of spots and while we sometimes reach out to folks outside our TMP team to help us when things get close, having a dedicated group like this, will ensure even more accuracy in the decision process.
- Main Goals:
- Hold a committee with all members who are at least somewhat knowledgeable and informed on the Texas/Red Dirt scene
- Gather unbiased feedback that can be used as a general consensus for making decisions in regards to Texas/Red Dirt artists and music
- Ensure integrity and transparency within the committee (measures will be put in place to ensure)
What the TMP Input Committee is not:
- A way to sway the scoring in favor of an artist someone is friends with, related to, or represent
- Something for artists to tell their fan bases to sign up for (with intentions of benefiting the artist)
Since we’ve launched this, we’ve already have a solid group of fans, booking agents, radio promoters, radio PD’s, talent buyers, artist managers, and festival organizers sign up (we’re completely blown away honestly), and we’re excited as all the things we can use this committee for going forward!
When we need the input of the committee, we’ll send out links to videos, songs, albums etc…and a scoring, feedback, or ranking sheet, as well as a deadline. While we will be privy to your feedback, no one else will be. All feedback, scores, input, etc…will be kept anonymous. You are not required to participate on every send out, but you are expected to contribute on at least somewhat consistent basis.
Interested in joining the TMP Input Committee? If you are a passionate and informed Texas/Red Dirt fan or industry professional and would like to be a part of the committee, fill out the form here!
Texas Music Events Calendar: The Texas Music Events Calendar provides a chronological system for keeping track of:
- New music releases
- Any other significant Texas/Red Dirt events
- Purpose: Create an infrastructure for keeping Texas/Red Dirt fans and artists informed of noteworthy events without having to rely on social media. Texas Music Pickers will aim to keep the calendar updated with the latest new music announcements, festival lineups, and other cool events, but the calendar also has the ability to accept submissions. Our calendar has the ability for artists and event organizers to offer background information provide links, embed content and more!
For Texas/Red Dirt Fans: Your centralized location for keeping track of the latest announced Texas/Red Dirt music events and new music releases!
For Artists: A free interactive tool to post the announcements and information on your upcoming music release that’s not subject to algorithms, stays in chronological order, and will be seen by thousands of Texas/Red Dirt fans!