Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Lund Letter

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


This Week in The Lund Letter:  
>   Radio dominates audio – let’s keep it that way
>   Packeting in your music software
>   Are you prepared for the spring ratings sweep?
The strength of the New York Times and the latest media trends

Lund Programming Clinic: Keeping Radio On Top

crowndrawn.gifPeople ask us…So what does it take for Radio to remain the Dominant Audio Platform?  Radio dominates all new media – including Facebook and other digital media.  Radio is strong.  Here is what we know for sure about radio today…

>   Radio is America’s #1 mass reach medium.

>   More people tune to radio than any other medium

>   93% of Americans listen to radio every week…that’s more than TV!

>   70% of local radio listening is done over the air; 27% is done through digital means such as website streams and mobile apps.

>   265 million Americans 6+ listen to radio very week.  People listen to radio a lot…

>   The average adult listens to radio 14 hours a week.  When people tune-in and like what they hear…they listen longer.

There is a problem. There are too many reasons to leave your station with competing programming from satellite radio and internet media.

3xlocal17LL.pngHow do we keep listeners local and engaged with our stations?  Provide programming that the digital-only services cannot provide for your listeners.  The best way to retain and grow listeners:

+   Think Local.
+   Be Local.
+   Sound Local.
+   Focus on Local Relatability.

Localize with Creative Imaging Liners

laughingboy.jpgMake an emotional connection to your listeners by adding humor to your station’s imaging.  Humor tugs at our emotions, elicits a positive emotion, and creates a lasting impression of your brand.  By utilizing humor in your imaging, you enhance your relationship with listeners, sound local, and increase your time spent listening.

Your listeners want variety – not unlike the music that’s played.  Refresh your imaging liners today.  Get 200 creatively written imaging liners.  Order now by clicking here.  For music stations order here, and for News-Talk order here.

Lund Master Class: The Science of Radio Programming

science150.pngWhat are your goals?  As radio programmers, goal #1 is to get the most listeners possible.  And Goal #2 is to keep them listening longer and for more listening occasions a day.  That’s how we build our audience.

How do we get more listeners?  We provide programming content that listeners desire most. We simply give listeners what they want.

We know a lot about radio listening, thanks to research… and especially ratings. Programming for higher ratings is a science that changes by methodology, whether it’s Nielsen PPM, Nielsen diary, or Eastlan sampling.  All three are unique and different.

Understanding how to benefit from this science will help insure our listeners stay with us for longer periods of time, which results in our getting higher ratings.

PPM stands for Portable People Meter and it revolutionized ratings.  The PPM was developed by Arbitron over a dozen years ago.   Nielsen then bought Arbitron. Nielsen was the company that only did TV ratings; now they do both radio and TV.

Nielsen likely bought Arbitron for the PPM technology.  And today, Nielsen is using PPM for TV ratings.  The PPM measures how many people listen to individual radio stations.  Audio of all stations is encoded, and the PPM picks up the encryptions.

The PPM is worn like a pager and detects hidden watermarks within a station’s audio stream.  Those people who are paid to carry a PPM are called “panelists” and they are 6 years of age and older.  Children carry a PPM, too!

PPM is how radio ratings are gathered in the 48 largest markets in the US.  And because of its methodology, PPM is considered the most accurate and immediate.  Those 48 metro markets account for about 46% of the US population.

Other Nielsen markets utilize a radio listening diary.  There are 228 Nielsen diary markets in the US – 24% of the US population.  Nielsen Diary and Eastlan survey persons 12 years and older.

Next week, 6 ratings terms and facts… and how to have better ratings.

Better Ratings Through Knowledge

evaluation19.pngThe spring Nielsen diary and Eastlan ratings sweeps begin March 28.  Don’t you want to know that your station’s programming including talents, music, and marketing is the best it can be?  Is the competition taking revenue from you because they have more listeners?   The Lund Strategic Programming Evaluation details your assets and vulnerabilities and provides an action plan for growth.  Contact John Lund for info on how this study will benefit your stations.


Lund Management Memo: Music Scheduling Tool Box

toolboxhand.jpgThe major music scheduling software firms offer the ability to “packet” songs together.  Packeting is combining multiple songs in the same category for the purpose of decreasing the rotation of each individual song in the packet.  Normally the number of songs in the packet is no more than two, and typically by the same artist.  In some cases it may be the same song – a live version, a longer version or a dance mix – rotating with the studio version.

Many programmers take advantage of packeting but need to understand the purpose.  Consider these rules when packeting:

Rule One:  Only packet songs in the same category.knowrules.jpg

Rule Two:  Packeting works best in your gold categories because generally you want your currents to rotate equally with the other songs in the category. And you want your powers to always play with high frequency.

Rule Three:  Avoid having more than two songs in one packet as the more songs you have in a packet the less frequent their airplay.

Rule Four:  Packeting reduces the rotation of each individual song in the packet so you never want to pair a better testing song with a lesser testing song.

Rule Five:  Pair each individual song in a packet with an equal.  Several examples exist:

>   Same song: Two different versions of the same song.

>   Same artist: Both songs of equal value, but you never want to pair an unfamiliar song by the same artist with one of their familiar songs.

>   Same value: You may see burn scores on a song.  You want to match with another song with burn scores so you are slowing both songs in the same category.

>   Different daypart: You may want to packet a song dayparted to play only during the day with a song dayparted to play only at night in the same category.

>   Song duration: In the event you have two songs in the same category that are longer in length than average, you may want to packet them.

>   Song tempo: Depending on your slogan (i.e., the station that “rocks”), you may want to packet two rock ballads in the same category.  Or if you’re known to be playing “relaxing favorites” you may want to packet two very up-tempo songs in the same category in a packet.

>   Novelty:  If you have two novelty songs in the same category, you may want to packet them together to avoid potential burn.  (At Christmas time, “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” with the Barking Dogs.)

Rule Six:  Manage your packeting. If one song in the packet is no longer valid, you will want to rest it and dissolve your packet.

Packeting is a useful tool in your music scheduling system, but not for a lot of songs.  Be sure you are utilizing it for a reason and all songs are rotating perfectly.

How’s Your Music Software? 

musicscheduling18.jpgMusic is the #1 reason people listen to FM music stations.   Playing the right songs and managing your software are vital to your success.  Are you maximizing your software and playing the best songs for your target?

Lund Media can provide a comprehensive music review and software tune-up.  What will we do?  We’ll conduct a complete analysis of your active playlist along with every aspect of your music software – rules, clocks, and rotations.   We also provide a quick turn-around.

Capitalize on the very thing listeners want most – the best researched music played in the best rotation for your target demo.  Email for a complete music software analysis and tune-up to assure you sound perfect.  And if you just need a best-researched song list for your format, we have that also.

Lund’s Top 3:  Improve Your Spring Ratings
Top3B.jpgThere’s no such thing as being too prepared for the spring ratings sweep. It begins 6 weeks from tomorrow (3/28).  Consider these basics:

1.   Talents use voice inflection as a personality vehicle adding “pizzazz” by the way things are said. This helps establish an on-air persona within a fairly structured environment. They vary the pace, punch key words with extra emphasis, and sound personable.  Also, use the Paul Harvey pause for effect in delivery. Watch run-on sentences. Insert a quick pause between thoughts and before a key point that needs emphasis. A break becomes less fatiguing for the listener, and it sounds more interesting.

2.   Air talents sound positive and avoid sarcasm. Listeners usually react poorly to negativism and put-downs. Be the station and format “cheerleader.” Don’t lose that enthusiasm you had for the station and its product when you signed on. Be enthusiastic all the time.

3.   Gain tune-in. Use aggressive marketing, creative contests, morning show stunts, and in-person appearances to stimulate listening.

Next week – the Improve Your Spring Ratings series wraps up. for more Top 3’s!

Planning Your State Broadcast Convention?

fullconf.jpg“The Science of Growing your Audience” is the topic of John Lund’s positive, fast-moving presentation.  It details everything radio programmers need to do to get more listeners and higher ratings in today’s digital world.  Topics include the “basics” of radio programming, America’s top formats: who listens and why, tactics to get more listeners, talent coaching, and how to make voice tracking sound live and local.  This presentation will be customized and expanded to meet your members’ needs.  Email John Lund for availability and info.

Promotion of the Week: Valentine’s Day is Tomorrow!

drivethru.jpgIf you need an easy last-minute bit of fun… try the I Love You Drive-Thru.  Listeners with a cell phone go thru a fast-food drive-thru and all they can say is, “I love you.”  If the attendant responds with the same words, they win!

Need A Sales Promotion?

salespromo.pngFor your sales promotions to be successful and “work” for your client, your listeners and your station, your sales staff needs to ask the right questions.  Our 40-point questionnaire covers everything from creation to execution to qualify each sales promotion and ensure the best possible results.  This checklist is included with details of the 200 best sales promotion ideas for radio stations.  The Lund Sales Promotion Guide is 50% off right now; get your copy here.

Are you marketing to General Managers or Program Directors and want to reach the 10,500 readers of the Lund Letter? Email John Lund.

Lund Trend Watch:

The New York Times

The NYT has 3 million free student subscribers.  The program is available to students through schools in all 50 states.  It is first come, first serve but so far everyone who has asked to participate has received it.  The program is paid for by donations.  The hope in terms of profit is reader retention – that students will stay readers once they are out of school (and have to pay).

Looking beyond the student program, the NYT is doing well.  Combining digital and print (but not the free student program), the company has 4.3 million paid subscribers.  Online subscription revenue for 2018 was $400 million, a nearly 18% increase over 2017.  They also have digital products such as apps for News, Crossword and Food/Cooking which are very popular.  Of the 265,000 new digital subscribers in the fourth quarter, 172,000 of them were for the digital version of the paper.  The rest were drawn in by the digital-only (app) products.

Digital Grocery Shelves

The Kroger Company and Microsoft have teamed up to create digital shelves to sell to retailers.  The smart shelf system uses their EDGE (Enhanced Display for Grocery Environment) program.  The digital displays can show prices, promotions, nutritional and dietary information… and, of course, ads.   Digital shelves are expected to become widespread.  A “Field Agent” test found that purchase decisions were influenced by ads on the shelves and that most shoppers would like to see them in their local grocery store.

Valentine’s Day Spending

vdaygifts.gifThe National Retail Federation says that less people are making specific plans or buying gifts this year for Valentine’s Day.  Those who are still planning and spending are spending more, though.  Meals out and retail (candy, flowers and jewelry tops among them) are expected to increase 5% over last year to reach $15.3 billion.  The category with the largest increase is hotel stays …or “experiences” as MasterCard has labeled them… increasing 9% over 2018 to amount to $1.4 billion.

Programmer’s Planner:

Tomorrow: Valentine’s Dayhappyvdaysign.gif
Feb 18: President’s Day
Feb 24: Academy Awards
Mar 5: Mardi Gras
Mar 10: Daylight Saving Time starts

Mar 17: St. Patrick’s Day

Thanks for reading
The Lund Letter
Now more than 10,500 broadcasters get the Lund Letter each week!
We welcome your input  Email John Lund

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, alljclforLL.pngtalk, 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. 

all John Lund for more information about how the Lund Media Group can help your stations achieve more listeners, higher ratings, and more revenue.
Phone: 650-692-7777.