iHeart Radio Chief Reveals The Secret Behind Creating A Hit Song

Published: Tuesday 21st Jul 2015 by David


In 2014 the rapper Iggy Azalea saw her single ‘Fancy‘ swim to the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 after she scored the support of iHeart Media.

A reported deal with the company saw the jam dominate its radio platform and enjoy all the largest radio group owner had to offer it and its supporting album ‘The New Classic.’

Now, the company’s national programming chief has revealed what he believes it takes to create a hit song in today’s market.

Should your favourite artist take note?

Find out below…

Tom Poleman offers this advice to artists hoping to earn the ‘Heart’s support:

The song has to be infectious, it has to be emotional and it usually has to be uptempo and a little bit different. Magic’s “Rude” went so big because it fit all those pieces. The whole reggae vibe is always a nice touch, which is what’s working for OMI’s “Cheerleader” right now.

It helps to have something on the radio early so listeners are used to it when you hit the warm months, which is why you have OMI, Tove Lo’s “Talking Body,” Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood,” Jason Derulo’s “Want to Want Me” and even Walk the Moon’s “Shut Up and Dance.” Wiz Khalifa seems to have a big head start because his “See You Again” is also tied to Furious 7, so you have a deeper connection. The more ways you can hook somebody with something emotional, the better.

Do you think artists should tailor the sounds to suit radio?

Weigh in below!

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  1. boutdatlife July 21, 2015

    Pop.. Pop gets popular quick… Shut up and dance gives me life but I need R&B to make a come back!

  2. BeyRihLiyah July 21, 2015

    I agree with what he said

    • Glorious Sun July 21, 2015

      ..just make sure your Illuminati dues are paid.

  3. Rihyeezy July 21, 2015

    A hit song? and the picture is A still from flopping myself ????

    • Rima July 21, 2015

      lol the truth

  4. Rima July 21, 2015

    Since when was feeling myself a hit?

    • BeyRihLiyah July 21, 2015

      When was gagas last hit? Its been so lomg since the he she has had one

    • Carry On July 21, 2015

      People lie to themselves when they are younger and when they get older they do some dumb ish…..Bawhahahhahaha…..Carry on

  5. truthtea July 21, 2015

    We already knew this which is why the music industry no longer makes its money off album sales but rather single sales- and why the industry sucks. You’ve trained your listeners to only care about 1 song rather than the whole album.

  6. Sean July 21, 2015

    And make sure you’re not an over 40 female who could make the greatest song of all time and still won’t get played bc radio sucks. Shade all you want but anyone of your favs of today will struggle to get played like Madonna, Janet, Mariah, J-lo, Cher, Celine etc in 10 years

  7. MUSICHEAD July 21, 2015

    He is right about all these things. Unfortunately, what is catchy these days is way too electronic, dance or pop for me.

    I prefer r&b but that genre has become recycled and boring. The Weekend is heading in the right direction. Tyrese has created a great r&b album but it’s not mainstream enough. Beyonce has perfected the mainstream r&b formula but she can’t do it alone.

  8. SMH July 21, 2015

    Yeah right. The only thing that guarantees a hit record nowadays is the right amount of zeros on the check the label writes.

  9. LOL July 21, 2015


  10. Mark111 July 21, 2015

    BEyonce looks so stupid in that pic. Old and off. And Nick just shows with the right Dr, you too can look good.

    • Keri Qween July 21, 2015

      Screams!!! She looks like a fool she tries too hard ????????

  11. Barb-wire July 21, 2015

    Kiii Not Troll111 conversing with himself. First sign of mental instability ^^^

    • lol July 21, 2015

      July 3, 2015 at 9:47 am
      Barb-wire says:




      CiTranny is a disgrace to other hermaphrodites, Caitlin would be ashamed to have this flop in his/her camp.

  12. Dossome July 21, 2015

    A.Infectious – Yes,he’s probably right here
    B.Emotional – Lol,not with the kind of songs that are labelled hits these days
    C.Uptempo – In most cases,yes.There have been a few exceptions here and there
    D.Different – Girl bye,once a trend catches on,everyone else in need of a hit uses the same formula.Nobody tries to be different these days

  13. Dossome July 21, 2015

    ^I’ve noticed this Keri stan always “screams” at whatever Mark111 says.

    • Keri Qween July 21, 2015

      Who are you? I usually don’t entertain the help irrelevant b****. Glad to know you know my every move though kiiii

  14. Barb-wire July 21, 2015

    And when Mark isn’t here, Keri stan is MIA too. But when Mark decides to show up, Voila Keri stan suddenly appears mmmhh *side eyes Keri111*

  15. truth(nicki the reason A.I. is cancelled and Meek playn ha!!) July 21, 2015

    Feeling Myself was a flop.

  16. Slayty Perry (Emmy nominated VEVO Queen) July 21, 2015

    Yall can try to pin Fancy’s success on the radio deal but it was selling before it was released to radio and Billboard themselves have already attributed it’s success to streaming and sales. Besides that, pretty much every major act has some form of radio deal going on. And dead @ a video still from a flop song being used.

  17. Xtina = The voice of this generation July 21, 2015

    Payola & streams = Hit … These days.

  18. Keri Qween July 21, 2015

    Kiii myself and king mark stays on your mind more than the struggle print or flopping myself

  19. RihannaIsMadonna July 21, 2015

    Bull! Its all in the name, scandal, media attention, luck, controversy and popularity, this guy finna act like some genius who knows the formula to a hit no chile there ain’t non its luck and the elements mentioned above, all the songs he mentioned r already hits lets see him predict the fate of a yet to be released song, bye!

  20. Xtina = The voice of this generation July 21, 2015

    R&B music died after mainstream radio stopped playing popular r&b songs that was after 2007 I think. I think Billboard rules effected R&B because after that it was over for urban artists because before that Beyoncé(Who’s still slaying btw), Ciara, MJB, Alicia Keys etc were slaying charts & it wasn’t hard but now its difficult ala “Tinashe”. Overall trends & Radio politics really make it hard nowadays for everyone to make hits. In the 90s every genre was slaying charts from Hip Hop to R&B to Pop to Rock to Adult C etc.

  21. Xtina = The voice of this generation July 21, 2015

    Tinashe’s “2 On” post 07 could have been a big Hit.

  22. another bey day something ain’t wrong July 21, 2015


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