10 Radio Myths …
April 30, 2019
When asked what business I’m in and I say, “Radio,” often the comeback is, “Cool, so what else do you do?” They say it as if radio is one of my hobbies. It’s a reminder the average person can’t conceptualize what the radio business does other than talk, play music and air commercials. For political correctness with new platforms, I will refer to our business as radio and audio/visual media.
The “So what else do you do” reminds me of old radio myths around the industry and the perceptions of listeners. Seriously, think about it: When you were young, did you think the air personalities and the musicians lived at the station? Come on, admit it, don’t feel bad. One time as a kid after a St. Louis Cardinal baseball game, I tried to call play-by-play legend Jack Buck. I heard the post-game show and thought he had returned to KMOX with the player for the interview. Duh on both my assumptions.
After talking and laughing with several of my radio friends, I made a myth-vs.-fact list.
Myth 1: Top of the Hour — Listeners tune in at the very top of each hour.
Fact: The top-of-the-hour thing is a TV program or potentially a specialty radio thing, such as a countdown show. Listeners tune in at various times of the hour.
Myth 2: Listeners want more uptempo songs.
Fact: Folks listen for hit music. Many personalities still get it in their heads that tempo is the most important thing listeners care about. I can remember catching my morning crew dropping mid-tempo and ballads because they thought their show needed more energy. Play the perceived hits and the audience will love you for it … regardless of tempo.
Myth 3: The more variety of artists and music played, the longer people listen. Stations play the same songs too much.
Fact: People tune in because of the format you market. No surprises … give them what they expect in a rotation that will expose them as often as research dictates. Playing perceived hit songs with frequency is no different than an advertiser buying a heavy commercial schedule for impressions to expose their product. You want to be the go-to place for listeners to hear songs they like; there are numerous new sources to hear music, keep your station at the top of the mind awareness.
Perceived hit songs are the ones that are vetted through the proper interpretation of research, streaming statistics, downloads, sales, video airplay and feel for the marketplace.
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