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Radio: It’s an Emotional Thing

September 24, 2014

Quick! Who’s your favorite DJ? What’s your favorite radio station?

That wasn’t difficult, was it? And it really doesn’t matter if you listen to your favorite radio station in the car, at work, or at home, nor does it matter if you listen on your computer, your iPhone, or your car tuner. The point is, you’ve got your “dial” preset to quickly access your favorite music, talk show, or DJ.

That’s because we all have our preferences and we respond to the stations that provide us with our own local village. No matter the format, we look forward to hearing our station and its on-air personalities because we have formed an emotional relationship with them. We may not know them personally, but we feel as though we do.

It’s this emotional bond that compels us to seek them out each day, to hear what they have to say about current events, lifestyles, and even the weather. Not only that, but we also enjoy listening to the folks who call in because now we get to hear what our community is saying. Agree or disagree, we have a stake in this on-air “neighborhood,” and we want to be a part of it.

How deep is this bond? Consider these facts. According to a USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism study, “72% of respondents talk to their friends about their favorite personality or what they heard on the program.” Additionally, “more than half (51%) considered or purchased a product advertised during their favorite personality’s show.”

And it doesn’t matter whether you’re in this hemisphere or halfway around the world. An Australian study conducted by AudienScope Q2 from GfK found that “each week, one in two listeners talk to others about what they heard on radio” and “four out of five listeners have been listening to the same radio station for more than two years.”

But really, did you need all these facts to confirm what you already know? Radio is our local connection, our companion. We know these people, we like them, we respect them, and we return again and again to hear what they have to say.

Radio, with its intimate and readily accessible format, makes it easy to build relationships with its listeners. After all, who knows you better than your friends?

-Barbara Krebs, Quality Assurance