Why Do People Listen to Your Station?
November 18, 2021
Without being overly dramatic (OK, maybe a little), the future of your radio station and our industry might depend on what you say.
When you review your brand, what elements make it attractive?
- Is it the music?
- If so, they can get music they like, more tailored to exactly what they want, on a multitude of streaming services, many without commercials.
- Is it the news/weather/traffic?
- That information is constantly updated on their phones and smart watches.
- Is it the companionship?
- Isn’t that supposedly why social media was created?
None of these reasons are wrong, but there has to be something more.
Historically, one reason people tuned to radio was ease of access. Start your car, and the radio turns on. No hassle, no cost — and the music, information, and companionship is all right there. However, ever-advancing technology has weakened this advantage for radio. Streaming your favorite service or listening to your favorite podcast is easier than ever. Especially with the prevalence of smart speaker technology. Radio has lost ground in “at-home” listening.
To succeed, radio needs a more compelling advantage than just ease of access.
Your station may have a different advantage over other audio platforms. It might be the combination of product elements. Can another single source provide people with great music AND important information AND companionship AND a sense of community? This, along with the ease of access, is unmatched by any other audio option.
The purpose of this blog is not to answer the question of why people listen to your particular radio station. Instead, it’s meant to be a conversation starter. What is driving existing listeners to your radio station, and what can you do to acquire new listeners? What will make them leave their other entertainment choices and switch to your station? Once you have answered those questions, you can compete against all audio entertainment outlets, not just other radio stations.
I suggest you ask this question in the halls and studios of your station and see what your team says.
-Steve Allan, Programming Research Consultant