Gospel fans in Charlotte, NC who turned to local gospel station 92.7FM this past weekend got a strange surprise: From Friday until Monday evening, the station curiously played nothing but Drake.
As the station’s owners Radio One have now revealed, Drake 92.7 FM was a marketing ploy as the station switched to a hip hop format, rebranding as 92.7 The Block. On Monday, Rolling Stone noted that another station owned by Radio One, Boom 92 in Houston, pulled a similar stunt last fall, playing nothing but Beyonce for a few days as the station switched over to a new format.
“This stunt was big fun,” said programming director Mary K in a statement. “All weekend the excitement was building with so many people speculating on the next steps for the frequency … You haven’t seen anything yet!”
An all-Drake terrestrial radio station (even if it was just for a weekend) is just the latest accolade for the Toronto-based rapper. The 28 year-old has sold over a million copies of his acclaimed 2015 record, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. In June, Drake helped launch Apple Music at its annual developer conference and noted that he’ll debut his next record Views From the Six on the service. The rapper also has his own program on Beats 1, Apple Music’s buzzy online radio platform.
While the gimmick certainly brought 92.7 The Block into the national spotlight, the next question is whether it’ll have the a significant impact on the station’s listener base. When the aforementioned Houston-based station switched formats by playing only Beyonce, the strategy helped build its audience from 250,000 to 800,000 listeners according to Rolling Stone. Will this scheme replicate that success? Only time will tell.