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To be clear: Swift’s new single hasn’t had any kind of trial at the Country format to indicate audience response.

COUNTRY RADIO CAN'T
"SHAKE" TAYLOR

Why Is the Format Still Ignoring
One of Its Biggest Artists?

Despite the obvious sonic attributes of Taylor Swift’s new, Max Martin-produced track, “Shake It Off,” many are wondering why Country radio has so far made the choice not to jump in with one of its biggest artists.

As of Wednesday evening, only five Country stations have played the song more than once, and only three have played it more than twice.

To be clear: Swift’s new single hasn’t had any kind of trial at the Country format to indicate audience response. Programmers can’t point to any negative research to justify disregarding her song, only their preconceived definition of the format—a format that in the last few years has embraced artists such as Luke Bryan, Florida Georgia Line, Eric Church and even Kid Rock, who’ve incorporated elements of hard rock and hip-hop, among other ostensibly “non-Country” genres.

Why are they continuing to ignore new work by one of the format’s biggest artists and attempting to “A&R” Swift’s career direction? How big does it have to get before they get in? Or will they?

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