NATIONWIDE RESEARCH AT A GLANCE
A fun new twist from Finney Media this month – our Top Five Artists of the last ten years. Here’s how we calculated what you’re about to see:
First, we considered song scores from 2020 on songs released between 2011 and 2020.
Secondly, we gave scores to artists based on how many higher testing songs they had. We score on a 5-point scale: Five points for any song with a nationwide average of 4.2 or higher, four points for a nationwide average over 4.1 to 4.19, all the way to 1 point for any song 3.8 to 3.89. So, it was possible for an artist to have lots of releases between 2011 and 2020 but because their song scores were not that high, they didn’t make the list. Conversely, it was possible for an artist with just a few releases, all of which test high, to make the list. The ideal was lots of releases, many of which test high – if you do music testing, you won’t be surprised by the artists on this list.
With that buildup, here are Finney Media’s Top Five Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) Artists of the Decade 2011-2020:
1. Lauren Daigle
2. Chris Tomlin
3. For King & Country
4. (tie) MercyMe
(tie) Big Daddy Weave
Lauren Daigle = High Test. Pretty much every song she has released since How Can It Be in 2014 still tests great. And that’s what makes her easily our no. 1. We’ve noticed that a number of CCM stations have begun to deemphasize Chris Tomlin songs . . . but listeners sure aren’t hearing it that way. His songs are still testing great. And certainly, no surprise to see For King & Country, MercyMe and Big Daddy Weave round out the Top 5.
For fun, here are the next five:
5. (tie) Crowder
(tie) Third Day
(tie) Zach Williams
6. (tie) Micah Tyler
(tie) Jeremy Camp
Perhaps the biggest surprise to many programmers I talk with is how well Third Day still tests. Keep in mind, this list includes nothing they released from before 2011, much of which still tests well, and they still managed to pull in at no. 6.
Remember that the highest performing CCM stations regularly test their music, including titles they haven’t considered in a while. Figuring out what those might be is crucial when you’re figuring out the list to test.
Chuck Finney’s had radio playing in his head since he was just a boy. Over the course of his career, he’s worked in programming, radio research, and audience connection. Chuck’s passion for words and communication is widely recognized and he’s won several industry awards.
If you ask Chuck how he’s doing, he’ll either say “Blessed, thank you,” or “I really get to do this for a living?!” He’s the President of Finney Media, a speaker and author who loves telling stories and helping you do the same. Chuck is married and has two adult daughters. He lives with his wife, Lynda, in the Dallas area. For more information, read about Chuck at finneymedia.com.