An Artist Program That’s Almost Guaranteed to Blow You Up

Major radio stations and big broadcasting companies aren’t typically known for elevating the careers of little-known artists, but under Clear Channel’s umbrella of radio reign, there’s a magical list called “On the Verge” that’s designed to methodically elevate new artists to the masses.

Gain a coveted spot on this roster, and all radio stations owned by Clear Channel are required to play your music at least 150 times, which is about six weeks of airtime, plus more if the song catches on. Just so we’re all on the same page, that’s 840 stations, or about 240 million listeners per month. They’re one of the biggest media companies in the world.

It sounds like an amazing opportunity for the wide-eyed, hopeful artists hungry for a chance at success, (after all, Iggy Azalea was “On the Verge,” and we all know how that went), but let’s check in with reality.

It just takes one pair of ears—the right pair—to make a star: There are brand managers at the Clear Channel offices who listen countless songs every day, then choose a handful of their top picks in the various genres Clear Channel associates with.

Those songs get shipped to the program directors at each station, who filter the songs worthy of radio play based on a number of factors. Many of which, assumably, come down to monetization, although there haven’t been any inside ties to particular labels or management companies.

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