Hayley Codd is head of national radio and TV at Public City PR. It’s her job to secure airplay for her roster of top rock acts, which ranges from Enter Shikari and Wargasm to Nova Twins and Waterparks.
“Good 4 U potentially opens a door to people that have only have ever been exposed to out-and-out pop music, and I’m all for that,” she says. “And it’s nice to be able to say [to radio stations], 'If you’re playing that track and it’s reacting well with your audience, why wouldn’t you play Wargasm? They’re slightly heavier but they’ve still got a big pop chorus…'"
Outside of the specialist rock stations, few guitar records cross over to heavy rotation in the way that Good 4 U has, with the hit playlisted at pop networks such as Capital. And while BBC Radio 1 always supports rock (Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and Architects are on its current playlist), the station’s head of music Chris Price says that Good 4 U could make others pay attention to rock.
“It was a bit unusual to hear this gnarly guitar pop song,” he says. “But, more to the point, it was unusual that it was so successful so quickly. It probably sounds a lot stranger on commercial pop radio [than on Radio 1] – it does stick out in the mix of everything else they play. But young people don’t necessarily care about genres – and that is as true of artists as it is of fans…”
If radio is tough for rock, however, streaming is even harder – especially for new artists. There are still numerous success stories on the albums chart but, last year, Official Charts Company data showed that the growth in rock streaming lagged well behind that of other genres, while it remains very rare for rock tracks to be added to major playlists such as Spotify’s Hot Hits UK or Apple Music’s Today’s Hits. Good 4 U features prominently on both – and has smashed streaming records around the world. In the UK, it’s the first song in history to be streamed more than 11 million times for three consecutive weeks.