This Cody Jinks “Loud & Heavy” to Country Radio Just Got Real

We already learned a couple of weeks ago that Cody Jinks was making the unprecedented move of sending his Certified Platinum single “Loud & Heavy” to mainstream country radio as a proper radio single—a clear power move toward the format that generally ignores independent artists such as Cody Jinks despite the proven appeal and sales record of their music. “Loud & Heavy” officially goes for “adds” as they say in radio next Monday, August 1st.

Of course, anyone can promote anything to the mainstream country radio format they wish. It doesn’t mean that any of the radio stations that make up the mainstream country network or that actually report to any of the major charts will ultimately play it. Usually, a radio single would be something very current from an artist’s most recent release. “Loud & Heavy” was released on Cody’s magnum opus Adobe Sessions all the way back in 2015. The song was Certified Platinum by the RIAA in September of 2020, and the album Adobe Sessions was Certified Gold in February 2022.

Certainly, the commercial appeal is there for the track. But a 7-year-old song as a mainstream country radio single? What could be the prospects for this? Well, they may be better than we initially expected.

Mainstream country radio is very much an old school system still, stuck in the 90s or at least the early 00s in regards to how they conduct their business and communicate. There are two major trade periodicals that specifically cover mainstream country radio: Country Aircheck, and Billboard Country Update. As opposed to publishing online like every other publication these days, they still are delivered via print and PDF. Either way, these periodicals can hold significant influence upon radio programmers and DJs. When people talk about “gatekeepers” at country radio, these trade magazines play a key role.

Lo and behold, the headline story in week’s Billboard Country Update is about how Cody’s “Loud & Heavy” deserves delayed attention.

Also, the case the article makes for why “Loud & Heavy” shouldn’t be considered just a 7-year-old track and continues to find wide appeal is quite strong.

Indeed, “Loud and Heavy” has aged quite well. Included on the 2015 album ‘The Adobe Sessions,’ the track has amassed 436.5 million on-demand streams, according to Luminate, under a long-tail growth pattern. After generating 570,000 streams in its first year, its consumption climbed annually for the next five years, peaking at 105.2 million streams in 2020. “Loud and Heavy” tallied at least 90 million streams annually in 2019-2021, and with 52.5 million streams through July 22, the song is on pace to net another 94.4 million this year.

A 7-year-old song receiving some 95 million streams in a year is quite remarkable. But as we’re seeing all across music and country music specifically, consumers who are just not connecting with new music today are finding favor with the back catalogs of artists that sometimes they’re just discovering.

Still, “Loud & Heavy” will have an uphill climb to try and find traction on a format dominated by major labels stars. In November of 2021 around the release of his latest album Mercy, Cody Jinks promoted the single “Like a Hurricane” to mainstream country radio, including taking out advertisements for the single in Billboard Country Update, and hiring the radio promotional company 16 Camino to help push it. The song actually appeared on some “Most Added” metrics early on, but never garnered any significant chart placement.

“The first year, mainstream radio basically told us we weren’t allowed to be in the club, like we couldn’t release it because we didn’t have the proper backing,” Cody tells Billboard Country Update. “And then they basically said, ‘Well, it’s not a proven hit.’ So after it went platinum, we kind of went back and said, ‘Will you play it now? We checked all the boxes.’ Like, put your money where your mouth is.”

Well see what happens. It’s now in country radio’s court. But just as much as Cody Jinks might be able to benefit by opening himself up to new audiences through the country radio format, the country format might need artists like Cody Jinks, Zach Bryan, and Tyler Childers who’ve made their way on streaming and proven unprecedented success to continue to survive in a media landscape where the traditional conventions of radio are quickly giving way to the new world of online media.

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