Adult album alternative (also triple-A, AAA, or adult alternative) is a radio format.Its roots trace to both the "classic album stations of the ’70s as well as the alternative rock format that developed in the ’80s."
The format has a broader, more diverse playlist than most other formats. Musical selection tends to be on the fringe of mainstream pop and rock as well as many other music genres such as indie rock, Americana, pop rock, classic rock, alternative rock, alternative country, jazz, folk, world music, jam band and blues. The musical selections tend to avoid hard rock and rap music. Music selection also includes tracks from albums that are not singles, which leads to the enhanced and larger playlist. Some AAA outlets focus more on classic rock artists, folk and blues while others focus on more contemporary artists and modern/indie rock.
Some of the songs that first air on the Triple-A format have later found additional popularity on the Adult Top 40, modern rock, or adult contemporary charts months after their initial Triple-A chart runs. The format is often seen as a "test market" for emerging artists.
The format has gone off and on in the Los Angeles radio market. Currently KCSN and simulcast partner KSBR broadcast a Triple A format in the Los Angeles and Orange Country areas respectively. The format still exists in New York City (WFUV); Chicago (WXRT); Philadelphia (WXPN); Minneapolis (KCMP); Boston (WXRV, WERS, and Americana leaning WUMB-FM); Aspen, Colorado (KSPN-FM); Denver (KBCO and KVOQ); Fort Collins (KJAC); Portland, Oregon (KINK); Portland, Maine (WCLZ); Indianapolis (WTTS); Nashville (WRLT, WNXP, and Americana leaning WMOT); Conway, New Hampshire (WMUV); Burlington, Vermont (WNCS); Turners Falls-Northampton, Massachusetts (WRSI); Woodstock, New York (WDST); Austin (KGSR-HD2, KUTX, and KTSN); and Dallas (KKXT).
On July 10, 2008 Billboard began a Triple-A chart (using information from sister-publication Radio and Records , a news magazine devoted to the radio and the music industries that has since ceased publication). Rival Mediabase 24/7 also compiles a Triple A chart. As of mid-2009, Radio and Records publications and accompanying charts were discontinued. As of 2010, Billboard publishes Triple A charts in the magazine and for its premium members on its website. Mediabase also publishes Triple A charts on a daily basis.
Additional Triple-A charts are published by CMJ and FMQB. FMQB also produces the annual Triple A Conference in Boulder, Colorado, USA, an event that grew out of the Gavin Report's Triple A Summit, first held in 1993. FMQB took over production of the event, rebranding it as the Triple A Conference, after the closing of Radio & Records in 2009.
At the end of 2019, FMQB closed and all Triple A services were absorbed by Jack Barton Entertainment, LLC (JBE), helmed by Jack Barton, former VP/Triple A at FMQB. JBE has rebranded the Boulder convention as the Triple A SummitFest and continues to publish weekly Triple A charts, including a Non-Commercial album chart, as well as a weekly newsletter (JBE Triple A Report) covering Triple A radio and the music it plays.
Music radio is a radio format in which music is the main broadcast content. After television replaced old time radio's dramatic content, music formats became dominant in many countries. Radio drama and comedy continue, often on public radio.
WNEW-FM is a hot adult contemporary formatted radio station, licensed to New York City and owned by Audacy, Inc. The station's studios are located at the Audacy facility in the Hudson Square neighborhood of Manhattan. Its transmitter is located at the Empire State Building.
KCSN is a non-commercial educational radio station licensed to Northridge, California and owned by California State University, Northridge. The station simulcasts with KSBR from Saddleback College in Mission Viejo. The station primarily airs adult album alternative (AAA) and Americana music with a mix of legends, new music, and local music with some specialty programming on weekends.
Album-oriented rock, is an FM radio format created in the United States in the 1970s that focused on the full repertoire of rock albums and is currently associated with classic rock.
Freeform, or freeform radio, is a radio station programming format in which the disc jockey is given total control over what music to play, regardless of music genre or commercial interests. Freeform radio stands in contrast to most commercial radio stations, in which DJs have little or no influence over programming structure or playlists. In the United States, freeform DJs are still bound by Federal Communications Commission regulations.
A radio format or programming format describes the overall content broadcast on a radio station. The radio format emerged mainly in the United States in the 1950s, at a time when radio was compelled to develop new and exclusive ways to programming by competition with television. Since then, the formula has spread as a reference for commercial radio programming worldwide.
WNYL is an FM radio station licensed to New York, New York and owned by Audacy, Inc. WNYL broadcasts an alternative rock format branded as Alt 92.3, with studios located in the Hudson Square neighborhood in Manhattan and transmitter located at the Empire State Building.
WFAN-FM, branded Sports Radio 66 and 101.9 FM or The Fan, is a commercial sports radio station licensed to New York City. The station is owned and operated by Audacy, Inc., and is simulcast with WFAN. WFAN-FM's studios are located in the combined Audacy facility in the Hudson Square neighborhood of Manhattan and its transmitter is located at the Empire State Building. The station is also simulcast on WJFK-HD3 in Washington, D.C.
WFUV is a noncommercial radio station licensed to New York City. The station is owned by Fordham University, with studios on its Bronx campus, and its antenna atop nearby Montefiore Medical Center. WFUV first went on the air in 1947; it became a professional public radio station in 1990 and is one of two NPR member stations in New York City. Its on-air staff has included radio veterans Dennis Elsas, Vin Scelsa, Pete Fornatale, Rita Houston and current disc jockey, Darren DeVivo.
WAXQ is a classic rock-formatted radio station licensed to New York City. WAXQ is owned by iHeartMedia and broadcasts from studios in the former AT&T Building in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan; its transmitter is located at the Empire State Building.
WDVD is a hot adult contemporary radio station in Detroit, Michigan, broadcasting at 96.3 MHz on the FM dial. Owned and operated by Cumulus Media, WDVD's studios and offices are located in the Fisher Building in Detroit's New Center district near downtown, while its transmitter is located in Oakland County in Royal Oak Township at 8 Mile Road and Wyoming Avenue.
WMGK is a commercial FM radio station licensed to serve Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The station is owned by Beasley Broadcast Group and broadcasts a classic rock radio format. The broadcast tower used by the station is located in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia at, while studios are in Bala Cynwyd. The station features popular Philadelphia radio personalities John DeBella and Andre Gardner.
WXRT, also known as XRT and 93-XRT is an adult album alternative (AAA) radio station in Chicago, Illinois. For many years, their slogan has been "Chicago's Finest Rock". "Chicago's Home For Music Lovers" has been used as its slogan since fall 2017.
Americana is an amalgam of American music formed by the confluence of the shared and varied traditions that make up the musical ethos of the United States, specifically those sounds that are emerged from the Southern United States such as folk, gospel, blues, country, jazz, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, bluegrass, and other external influences. Americana, as defined by the Americana Music Association (AMA), is "contemporary music that incorporates elements of various mostly acoustic American roots music styles, including country, roots rock, folk, gospel and bluegrass resulting in a distinctive roots-oriented sound that lives in a world apart from the pure forms of the genres upon which it may draw. While acoustic instruments are often present and vital, Americana also often uses a full electric band."
Progressive rock is a radio station programming format that emerged in the late 1960s, in which disc jockeys are given wide latitude in what they may play, similar to the freeform format but with the proviso that some kind of rock music is almost always played. It enjoyed the height of its popularity in the late 1960s and 1970s. The name for the format began being used circa 1968, when serious disc jockeys were playing "progressive 'music for the head'" and discussing social issues in between records. During the late 1960s, as long playing records began to supplant the single in popularity with rock audiences, progressive rock stations placed more emphasis on album tracks than their AM counterparts. Throughout the 1970s, as FM stations moved to more structured formats, progressive radio evolved into album-oriented rock (AOR).
WPBZ-FM is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Rensselaer, New York, and serving the Capital District of New York, including the Albany-Schenectady-Troy radio market. The station is owned by Townsquare Media and airs a soft adult contemporary radio format. The studios and offices are on Kings Road in Schenectady.
KSBR is a non-commercial educational radio station licensed to Mission Viejo, California and broadcasting to the Orange County area. The station is owned by Saddleback College and airs adult album alternative (AAA) and Americana music with a mix of legends, new music, and local music with some specialty programming on weekends. KSBR is simulcast with KCSN in Northridge, California.
WTTS is an FM radio station serving Indianapolis and Bloomington, Indiana, in the United States, licensed to Trafalgar, Indiana and broadcasting at 92.3 FM. The station's format is classified as Adult Album Alternative or "Triple A." WTTS uses the slogan "World Class Rock" to describe its music mix. The station plays a variety of rock-based music from the mid-1960s to the present, including acoustic, reggae, classic rock, blues and alternative rock. In 2001, WTTS was among the first American radio stations to play music by the artists John Mayer and Norah Jones, both of whom went on to become Grammy Award winners. The station maintains studios in both downtown Indianapolis and Bloomington, its former city of license. WTTS' main transmitter is located in Trafalgar.
WIXM is an FM radio station licensed to Grand Isle, Vermont and serves the Burlington-Plattsburgh area. The station is owned and operated by Radio Broadcasting Services, Inc. It airs a hot adult contemporary music format known as "The New Mix 102.3".
In North American music, adult contemporary music (AC) is a form of radio-played popular music, ranging from 1960s vocal and 1970s soft rock music to predominantly ballad-heavy music of the present day, with varying degrees of easy listening, pop, soul, R&B, quiet storm, and rock influence. Adult contemporary is generally a continuation of the easy listening and soft rock style that became popular in the 1960s and 1970s with some adjustments that reflect the evolution of pop/rock music.
Radio-Locator's Format Definition: Adult Album Alternative