For years internet radio stations and satellite radio have been applying radio lessons and techniques that broadcasters spent years developing, honing and perfecting. So, I think it's time we turn the tables and steal a few tricks from them. Here are four things we can learn from internet and satellite radio.
1) Unique formats: Across the board we all need to take a few more chances with some of our formats. Whether that’s turning an under-performing station into something that pushes the boundaries of traditional formats or just adding a few strategically placed spice categories to a core format. Ironically, the same thing that can help us compete better locally can also help us compete better digitally. Using a handful of songs to localize and regionalize our formats while using creative imaging and personality based jocks will help to make those mass appeal formats a little more unique and appealing to online audiences as well.
2) Cross promotion between stations: Satellite radio is doing a much better job at cross promoting their stations. Yes, that’s a luxury they are afforded by not being tied to their performance in each book. But, there’s a way to do it on terrestrial without sacrificing the performance of each station as long as it’s all reciprocated. One of the big advantages of owning multiple stations within a market is that you can use each station to drive traffic to another, similar to how we should all be using our additional digital platforms.
3) Synergy Between Platforms: We’ve got them beat on ease of use, but they’re winning on the user experience across platforms. While we can’t be as responsive as they are, we do have access to those same platforms (Website, app and social). It’s time for us all to step up our game by regularly updating each of those platforms before, during and after every live air shift. That way our listeners are seeing fresh information and content regardless of how they’re listening to us. It can seem overwhelming at first, but it’s necessary and once we incorporate it into our prep process it is manageable. Here are some more of my thoughts on surrounding the listener.
4) Shorter Stopsets: I’m an outspoken advocate for shortening our stopsets and I won’t rehash all of that here. But, this is the MOST important trick we should steal from streaming and satellite radio because, like it or not, they’ve changed how listeners consume commercials and we can’t ignore that.
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