While many people turn on the radio for some easy listening on the side, for example while working or driving, avid music listeners often complain about radio stations playing the same songs over and over again. But is that a fair criticism?
According to data recently released by Nielsen, there may be a bit of truth to it. Looking at the top 10 radio songs of the past decade in the United States, most of the songs are awfully familiar. The fact that the newest song in a ranking spanning the years 2010 through 2019 is from 2005 is also a damning indictment of radio stations’ tendency to rely on material that is tried and trusted rather than playing the latest hits.
The numbers behind the ranking are quite impressive though. With a total airplay audience of more than 11 billion over the past decade, “Every Breath You Take” by The Police was the most listened to song on U.S. radio between 2010 and 2019. Theoretically that means that every American, no matter the age, listened to that particular song 35 times during that period.