A Concert Isn't Merely About The Music, Is It?
April 12, 2013
By John Frost
Goodratings Strategic Service
There is more sports on television now than at any point in our lifetime. We can see everything on 600 channels in wall sized LED high-definition, supersonic Dolby Digital Plus audio, operated by remote control so that we never have to get up off the couch. So why then do we still go to games?
I've heard that when director Ron Howard and his wife go on a date, they always go to the movies.
"There's something unique and meaningful in a group experience. You're sitting in a large audience, and there's a moment when everyone cheers or everyone laughs or everyone cries. You're emotionally in sync."
My friend Erica Parkerson says, "That's the kind of experience a radio station can provide - each person can feel like they are part of a family, of something bigger. Each person's own life can be expanded by someone else's relatable story."
At its core the television show American Idol is about community. Think about how meaningless American Idol would be if you took away the fanatics in the studio audience, the celebrity judges, the tributes to legendary artists, and the drama of watching other people's votes being tabulated right before your eyes.
All you'd have left would be unknown singers singing unknown songs. (Ouch! Could that be a description of our format?)
"The essence of branding and being worth consuming is that experience, not the ingredients which make it up. A radio brand, like any other, is in the experience business.
Social" doesn't mean "we have voices on the air and listeners can call in to win things." "Social" doesn't mean "everyone can listen to us separately at the same time." "Social" means that every consumer is having an experience they share in some way with others." Mark Ramsey
Your radio station is like that. If you listened to your radio station for one hour I wonder how many times would you hear your station building community.
Would you hear a weather forecast that is simply data, or would you hear the sharing of something we all have in common? Would you hear a PSA that is nothing more than a poorly written press release, or would you hear a story of a community coming together to make your town a better place to live? Would you hear a contest that is just about giving away a piece of cardboard, or would you hear an opportunity for real people to laugh and connect with something that is meaningful to their lives?
If you listened to your station for an hour and only heard a bunch of songs easily heard on Pandora and an disinterested voice talking about things I don't care about, your station is less than unknown singers singing unknown songs. It is missing the opportunity to do what our format does best.
"A concert isn't merely about the music, is it? And a restaurant isn't about the food. It's about joy and connection and excitement." Seth Godin