It won’t hurt music if #Tay4Hottest100 exists.
If Taylor Swift places Number 1 in the Hottest 100 – I will eat a hat. Any hat you care to name, I will consume it. There is absolutely no way that will happen. I’d bet a nudie run on it. In fact I am.
However, Shake it Off appearing in the countdown will be one of the best things to happen to Triple J and its audiences and everybody should be hoping it happens. Let me explain….
A lot has been made lately about Taylor Swift’s potential entry in Hottest 100. This is the largest democratically voted countdown that is traditionally broadcast on Australia Day to barbecues and pool parties all around the country. Because it is audience voted- what if the fan-base of one of the world’s biggest singers invaded the popularity contest and caused the unthinkable to happen.
Disaster! And so, the questions have been rolling in:
“Will she earn enough votes to get into the Hottest 100?”
“If she does, should Triple J ever play Taylor Swift?”
“How could the sanctity of the Hottest 100 be allowed to be violated by her?”
“Does *insert corporation here* being involved invalidate her entry?”
Some people argue the divinity of the countdown – “you have everything else, please let real music have this”.
Some argue the inevitable commercial crossover of previous Hottest 100 hits – Kings of Leon, Macklemore and Mumford and Sons all spring to mind.
But everybody agrees that letting the pop princess place anywhere in the one hundred greatest songs of the last year is taking things to a whole new level entirely.
Now, full disclosure, I worked for 8 years in the hulking commercial beast that is Nova and loved and hated different parts of the playlist like anyone would. I too grew up listening to Adam and Wil in the morning and Merrick and Rosso in the afternoon so Triple J holds a very special place in forming my love of radio. In short, I adore Triple J. I have a lot of good friends who work and have worked very hard there.
In the scheme of the radio industry, Triple J holds a very important place. It is a government broadcaster and is therefore not held to the ratings success of their “evil” commercial brothers and sisters. There is a reason Taylor Swift is played every 30 minutes on a different station- because, by a pure numbers game, people want to hear it. With the odd exception of Perth, commercial stations have to and want to out-rate Triple J.
If Triple J was rating number one everywhere – you better believe Short, Fast, Loud would start appearing on night time radio across the country. But, it doesn’t. It is less listened to than most radio stations, and most would agree “maybe that’s a good thing”. I certainly do – where else will an Australian band get some airplay if it wasn’t for Triple J. 2Day doesn’t have time to break the next Powderfinger when Pitbull is racing up the charts. So yeah, thank fuck for the J’s.
I think of all the many and great things that have come from that stations glorious 40 year history and I wouldn’t dare see it hurt.
Taylor Swift placing in the Hottest 100 does not hurt Triple J at all. If the jangly pop drum beat eminates from the speakers (I predict somewhere between Number 10 and Number 20) it will be a big win for the station and another great moment in its history. Let me explain why…