18 Jul Wednesday, July 18, 2018
This Week in The Lund Letter:
> News for younger demos
> Learning from stand-up comedy
> The power of podcasting
> Back-To-School time is here again
> And the latest media trends
Lund News Room: Attracting A Younger News Audience With Music
37% of US adults often get news on local TV stations; it’s 26% for Network TV newscasts and 28% for Cable TV, according to Pew Research. The demos are mostly 50+. 28% of US adults 30-49 often get news from local TV. The percent in that demo who receive news from local radio is smaller, according to Nielsen, even though 90% of adults in that demo listen to AM-FM radio.
The new frontier for TV news growth is the local news shows on TV stations before 7 AM – when GMA and Today begin. The early morning local news attracts a somewhat younger audience and often more females than male. TV’s competition at this time is local radio.
The demographic challenge is attracting those under 50 to watch TV news and listen to News and News-Talk radio stations, especially in the morning. Programmers believe that shorter stories, a higher story count, and varied story content are important in reaching younger demos. A contemporary presentation is helped by music – specifically music bumpers going into and out of breaks.
Instead of using themes from production libraries, many local TV and Radio newscasts use custom researched contemporary music bumpers that reflect the most recognizable part of the hit song. Songs are researched for their likability to the largest audience, typically 25-49. Programming these music bumpers for news on morning radio and TV newscasts makes the stations sound more contemporary and provides a more relatable presentation.
Lund Media provides this custom music service to radio and television broadcasters. For more information, contact John Lund.
For samples of contemporary news bumpers for TV news and News-Talk radio, visit our site here.
Lund Programming Clinic: Content Based On Storytelling
In stand-up comedy, there are two styles:
+ Rapid fire short jokes, and
+ Stories about a theme.
Today, storytelling is the preferred style, while one-line jokes are considered “old school” (Don Rickles, etc.).
Morning radio content is viewed the same way. Old school content is “This Day In History,” “Celebrity Birthdays,” “Daily Top Five,” “The Daily Almanac,” etc. Analyzing Nielsen PPM data, this style represents a high risk for tune-out as opposed to creative content based upon personal storytelling. Also, research says that people don’t like lists read to them.
Every story should have a beginning, middle and end. The best practices by air talents should use the Three E’s:
1. Engage: In the first few seconds, hook the listener. Examples: A compelling headline, a question which addresses conflict, an emotional feeling, or a piece of audio which resonates to the listener.
2. Entertain: Editing is essential. Talents stay on point eliminating details which can cause a detour toward another tangent. This is the heart of the story. Talents create a “page turner” story by moving toward the resolution.
3. Exit: In our short attention span world, focus on one story. Content breaks containing several stories can cause tune out. The exit requires discipline by the on-air host to end the story at the climax (punchline). If more stories are generated, use them as teases for another break.
Like stand-up comedy where an old school approach is no longer entertaining, morning show personalities develop compelling stories instead of delivering lists. A story taps into the listener’s emotional core and will endear them to your morning talents – especially if they provide personal stories. Storytelling includes talents revealing their observations from their lives.
Lund Management Alert: Podcast Growth
44% of the US population has listened to a podcast; about half of podcast listening occurs in home and a fifth occurs in the car. Smartphones drive podcast usage. Podcast content is also growing. There are over half a million podcasts and 18.5 million episodes.
Storytelling is the core to most successful podcasts, often two people talking. “This American Life,” the NPR show, gets 2.5 million downloads, which amounts to more listeners than those who tune into their radio program.
S-Town, from the producers of Serial and This American Life, hit record numbers. All seven chapters were released in March 2017, and were downloaded 10 million times in four days. They had been downloaded over 40 million times by May 2017.
One episode of S-Town had 16 million downloads. That is the same size audience that watched the season finale last August of Game of Thrones (Season 7). Podcasts are capable of getting TV size audience.
What makes Podcasts different from over the air radio?
> It’s like radio on demand. People can listen to a segment at any time, from the beginning, on their schedule.
> A podcast can live a long time, and be heard again and again – unlike live radio.
Podcast topics tend to be narrow, while radio shows have a wide focus.
Promotion of the Week: Back-To-School Booklets
For most school districts, the new school year starts in August. Many retailers – including Staples, Office Depot, Target and Walmart – are already having sales on school supplies. Though planners are available everywhere, they rely on the purchaser to contain any important information. Save your listeners the work!
School Days Booklet is created by the station with client ads for elementary and middle schools. This guide includes everything a parent needs to know about the school, including calendars, important names and phone numbers, health info, bus routes, sports schedules, enrollment procedures, PTA details, food services, drug and alcohol concerns, ACT and SAT test dates and a school checklist. Distribute at sponsor locations and station events.
Student Survival Guide is for high school and college students. It contains advertising and all the info needed to “survive” the new campus or school year. It can also contain names and numbers of concert halls and clubs, plus seating and ticket info for nearby event locations. Similar to the School Days Booklet, it’s distributed in bulk on campus and client locations. Make it available online with printable or scan-able coupons from sponsors.
For 100 more great contests and sales promotions, see the Lund Contest and Promotion Guide.
Lund’s Top 3: Focus on expanding Time Spent Listening
1. Program consistency and avoid tune-outs like the plague.
2. Focus on a narrow target to achieve broader ratings.
3. Know exactly what your ten-year target demo cell wants. This lifegroup drives the station’s success.
Next week in the Lund Letter, a new Top 3. Visit www.lundradio.com for more Top 3’s!
Are you marketing to General Managers or Program Directors and want to reach the 9,400+ readers of the Lund Letter? Email John Lund.
This Week’s Music:
Ariana Grande is tops at CHR with “No Tears Left To Cry.” The top spot at Country is now held by Kenny Chesney’s “Get Along.” Hot AC is still lead by Taylor Swift’s “Delicate.” Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” continues to reign at Bright AC. Panic! At The Disco’s “Say Amen (Saturday Night)” spends yet another week at #1 for Alternative. Lund clients receive weekly music research information on current music plus regular updates on the best-testing recurrent and gold titles.
Lund Trend Watch:
Back To School sales will increase 5.1% over last year, the highest increase in the past seven years. Customer Growth Partners has released their 16th annual BTS (Back-To-School) Forecast. Here is their forecast by category:
+ Online: up 10.6%
+ Home Furnishings: up 5.9%
+ Apparel: up 4.8%
+ Clubs/Superstores: up 4.1%
+ Health/Personal Care: up 3.1%
+ Consumer Electronics/Appliances: up 1.8%
Customer Growth Partners expects declines in Sporting Goods, Books, Toys, etc. (2.4%) and Department Stores (3.5%).
According to a forecast from Deloitte, parents will spend about $28 billion on BTS supplies this year. The average household will spend about $510. Parents plan to spend $292 in physical stores and $115 online. The remaining 20% ($103) is up-for-grabs and will likely go to whoever has the best promotional offers.
The Machines Are Taking Over
Doug Ferber of DEFcom Advisors has pulled the data from a US study conducted by the Consumer Technology Association. When the machines become our overlords, they won’t have to work too hard to get to all of us. TV sets are in 96% of households. Smartphones are owned by 87% of households.
Smart speakers are in 22% of homes, three times the penetration of last year! Amazon Echo still far outstrips the Google Home, but both are continuing to grow. Based on their growth the last two years, smartphones are predicted to overtake TVs in the next two years in terms of market penetration. A look at some lesser-owned tech: 18% of households own a smartwatch, 11% own a virtual reality headset and 10% have a drone.
Pathway to Sounding Better
Maximize your programming with a top-to-bottom review. The Lund Strategic Programming Evaluation finds the strengths and weaknesses of your stations – promotions, talents, and programming strategy, and details specific ways to improve the programming. If you play music, the evaluation also includes a detailed analysis of your music. ContactJohn Lund for info on how this study will benefit your stations.
Here is a list of actions this week for the proactive program director:
Plan on-air events or contests for every weekend of the upcoming fall sweep.
Website Wednesday. Is your home page spatially well-designed to look good on a smartphone screen?
TV Special – The 2018 ESPYS air on ABC tonight with host Danica Patrick.
TV Premiere – The 8th season of Suits begins tonight… without the new Duchess.
Summer diary ratings week #5 begins. First week of the August PPM begins. Fall diary ratings begin in 8 weeks on September 14. Consider a morning show stunt to cultivate cume.
TV Premieres – FX has the second season of Snowfall, and NBC begins the second season of Trial & Error (subtitle is “Lady, Killer” with new star Kristin Chenoweth).
Evaluate your spring ratings this weekend and make enhancements for fall.
Facebook Friday. Make sure every word is double checked before it gets posted! Content is most important, but spelling is a close second.
TV Premieres – Syfy has the third season of Wynonna Earp and the fourth of Killjoys.
Streaming Premieres – Netflix has comedy film Father Of The Year and kids’ animated movie Duck Duck Goose. Amazon premieres new movie Zoe (Ewan McGregor).
Movie Premiere – It’s a day of sequels with The Equalizer 2 (Denzel Washington’s first ever sequel) and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
This weekend, conduct a competitive monitor. Continue on Monday; compare what they’re doing to your station.
TV Event – Sunday night, Shark Week 2018 begins on Discovery with new specials each night through next Sunday, July 29. This is the 30th Shark Week.
Sunday is National Parents Day.
How much time do your 1st Preference listeners spend with the station? Create a strategy to get more P1s, and to keep the core listening longer.
Review competitive monitor.
Today’s programming meeting… Create ways to get the morning team to stand out, get noticed, and attain word-of-mouth talk. Exploit stunts and personal appearances. See the Lund Morning Show Guide for many ideas.
Twitter Tuesday. Do you tweet when a contest is coming up so listeners can tune in to play along?
Thanks for reading
The Lund Letter
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About the Lund Media Group:
For over 20 years, the Lund Media Group has provided programming, music consulting, operational guidance, and research to commercial and public broadcaststations throughout North America and overseas. Whether you program all sports, all talk, or all music, the Lund Goal is to help stations get more listeners and keep them listening longer. The Lund Consultants are a multi-format custom programming and management consultancy.
Call John Lund for more information about how the Lund Media Group can help your stations achieve more listeners, higher ratings, and more revenue.