Don’t be led astray by ‘turntable metrics’

Numbers that are easy to track aren't necessarily key performance indicators

I was listening to Alec Baldwin’s “Here’s the Thing” podcast the other day. It’s a great podcast in a conversational interview style. Baldwin was interviewing Billy Joel. Aside from Baldwin’s generally good-natured interview style, this one was especially good because Joel and Baldwin are both from the same part of the world: working-class New York City. So they had a lot in common to laugh about. But the thing that struck me is that while they were talking about Joel’s career in music, so many of the songs that everyone knows weren’t really hits. Even songs that everyone of a certain age can sing along to. It used to be, way back when, that songs would get played on this thing called the radio. The songs weren't chosen by an algorithm or anything fancy like that. They were chosen by individual disk jockeys playing the music. Sometimes, if people called in enough, they’d play songs by request. Hit songs weren’t determined by radio play. They were determi...