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Takeover Separation Goals

This article is written for Program Directors

With Takeover, your station can work with Futuri VIP Support to set a series of separation goals that guide the request show to make sure it still sounds good on the air.

Remember, Takeover's main selling point is that users can pick the songs that play, and what really sets it apart is when it DOESN'T sound exactly the same as the rest of your programming. For this reason, we recommend keeping your Takeover goals fairly loose.

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Takeover is a different animal from your music scheduler

Coming into Takeover with a Program Director's perspective, the biggest adjustment is that songs aren't arranged with the same logic, so the goals have to be a little different in order for it to work.

Let's say you're a Top 40 or Country PD. When your music scheduler schedules a day, it starts by plugging in all the Power songs that will play that day. Then, the Secondary songs are plugged in around those Power songs, taking the Power songs' artist separation and other sound code rules/goals into consideration when it does that. That continues until you get to your least important (and probably largest) category, which just sort of fills in the cracks around the more important categories.

With Takeover, we start with the songs that are already scheduled in your log, and within the Takeover hour(s) themselves, the songs are determined one at a time, sequentially, based on user votes and the goals you have in place. For this reason, the goals need to be a little looser (i.e. "let's play between 4 and 6 currents this hour" instead of "let's play 2 A's, 2 B's, and 1 C").

It's important not to let your Takeover separation goals be too tight, for three reasons:

  • If everything is locked in by the separation goals, listeners won't be able to get legitimate requests played, will become frustrated, and will be less likely to come back and use the platform again.
  • If the separation goals are so tight that EVERYTHING is breaking a goal, there are no "unscheduled positions" that you can fill manually (like you would if your music scheduler ran into that problem). Instead, the system will play songs based purely on votes, since it will break a goal no matter what it does. We call this "over-separation" and we like to avoid it.
  • If the separation goals are set up so that it exactly mimics your regular rotation, the hour won't sound very convincing, and your imaging and/or jocks will have to work much harder to sell the concept that users are picking the songs that play.

To help lower the potential for over-separation, Futuri VIP Support will manage your Takeover goals with you. When you first start using Takeover, Futuri VIP Support will consult with you via phone on your separation goals, and you can always tweak those goals down the road by contacting the Futuri VIP Support team.

Available Takeover separation goals

With the above caveats in mind, here are the separation goals that are available in Takeover:

Goal Name Definition
Artist Separation Separates the same artist from playing again within a range of minutes
Song Separation Separates the same artist/title combo from playing again within a range of minutes. This is essentially a song's "rest."
Title Separation Separates the same title from playing again within a range of minutes, good for stations who play cover songs or Christmas music
Day Separation Keeps a song from playing during Takeover within a range of days, only looks at time periods when Takeover was turned ON.
Same Hour Separation Prevents a song from playing in the same hour it did during the previous Takeover session. Default is a 60-minute window on either side, but can be configured down to a range of minutes. For example, if it's set to 10, and a song plays at 5:30, it will not play the next day between 5:20 - 5:40.
Same Hour Separation DAYS Prevents a song from playing in the same hour it did during the previous X Takeover sessions (requires Same Hour Separation (above) to be set).
Code Separation Enables goals based on specific attributes from your music scheduler like Category, Sound Code, Era, Vocalist, and Tempo. The goals in bold below can be applied specifically to each of these codes.
Minimum per hour (Code Sep) The minimum number of songs with this code that Takeover will try to force per hour.
Maximum per hour (Code Sep) The maximum number of songs with this code that Takeover will allow to play per hour.
Maximum in a row (Code Sep) Number of songs with this code that can play consecutively
Max / Time (Code Sep) Number of songs with this code that can play within a given amount of time (similar to max/hour, but changes the "hour" window to a range of minutes). NOTE: We cannot set a "Max 1 per 3 songs" goal, but we could mimic that with a "Max 1 per 15 minutes" goal instead.
Specific Song Separation (Code Sep) Number of minutes that must pass before another song with this code plays. This is helpful when you want to rest Gold songs longer than Current songs, for example. NOTE: This will override regular "Song Separation" if it's higher.
Separation Position (Code Sep) The highest position in the queue that a song with this code can reach if it has goals against it. The default is roughly 3.
Cross-Code Separation (Code Sep) Combines multiple categories or codes into one and applies goals to that grouping of codes. For example, if you have two gold categories called G and H, you may want to prevent G/G, H/H, or G/H combinations.
Year Separation Groups songs by release year and applies Min/Hour, Max/Hour, and Max/Consecutive goals to those groupings. If you'd like to use this goal, it is helpful if you can add a column in your Takeover Playlist Export for each song's release year. Alternately, these values can be filled out using the Song Years page in the Futuri Control Room.
Forward Separation Tells Takeover to also consider songs that are scheduled in the future when determining which songs are allowed to play. NOTE: We must have a copy of the day's music log from your station in order for Forward Sep to work.
Score Separation A default goal that controls the level to which Takeover favors "hit songs" (which are determined by spin count).
Zebra Artist Separation Keeps songs from the same artist from appearing next to each other in the queue, has no impact on actual playback
Jock Separation The period of time that a song is restricted after a presenter clicks "Jock Sep" on the Jock Page

How separation goals are applied

The full algorithm that determines the Takeover queue placement is proprietary Futuri technology, but it essentially works like this:

  • The queue is first sorted by votes. If all votes are equal, songs that have played less recently will win tiebreakers.
  • Once the queue has been sorted by votes, separation goals are applied, and songs without goals against them will win tiebreakers.
  • As long as there are enough songs available without goals against them, the top 3 songs or so will be cleared for on-air play (and the #1 song will be sent to your automation system).

The queue can then be adjusted as users vote (keeping separation goals in mind), and it will often sort itself again when a new song starts to play.

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