April 20, 2015When Was the Last Time the Radio Made You Smile?
In the most recent NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects Study among 14-64’s in all PPM markets, just 25% overall said the radio had made them smile in the last day and another 31% remembered a smile within the last week. That means that for 44% it had been over a week since radio had positively impacted their mood. Since so many people come to music radio to elevate their mood, shouldn’t smiles per hour be a relevant metric?
Some music formats are more effective than others at generating smiles and all get a smile from a majority of P1’s within a week. But, we believe it should be more. Especially in PPM markets where relentlessly pounding the dial position and station name is less important since recall is no longer involved in measurement, making the experience of listening to the radio pleasant would seem to be a primary mission for music radio (right behind delivering the music itself).
Every liner, positioner, promo, DJ break is an opportunity to generate a smile for a listener. Not every listener will smile at everything you come up with. And, yes, there’s a danger to making the station’s presentation consistently too cutesy or cloying. But, using different tactics to connect with different listeners seems worthwhile if the goal of the station is to help elevate the listener’s mood.
Those who’ve been given a smile in the past day from listening to the radio are significantly more likely to say they’re listening to more radio than they were six months ago. And among those for whom it’s been more than a week since they smiled from something they heard on the radio, manyreport listening significantly less.
Are there additional factors at play here? Sure. But, we can’t control the competition, the devices consumers are buying, inventory levels, the pipeline of new music, etc. So, it’s critical to optimize the things we can control.
What we do to win a smile can be not only different things for different stations: it should be many different things for every station. It doesn’t have to be funny or sarcastic or sardonic. It could be human instead of humorous; warm instead of mocking – certainly it should always be genuine. Let it become a lens through which you listen to all station production: would it make anyone smile? In the face of new competition from lower-inventory, customizable online streamers, shouldn’t we be doing everything possible to retain listeners and give them that something intangible they can’t get anywhere else?
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