Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Lund Letter

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

This Week in The Lund Letter:  
>   Why the AC format is growing
>   How eyes and ears get their news
>   Listeners want payoffs and portability
Increasing ad budgets in 2019 and the latest media trends

Lund Management Memo: Adult Contemporary Looking Very Healthy

Adult_contemporary_logo.pngAdult Contemporary is growing in popularity after several years of being in the doldrums.  The format includes Hot AC, Bright AC and Soft AC.  According to Nielsen’s Portable People Meter (PPM) data for the period of January to November 2018, AC stations increased from 7.7% to 8.0%, including a jump in millennial listenership.   Conversely, Pop CHR is experiencing a decrease in listenership, specifically in listeners 18-34.

What is driving this trend of increased listening to Adult Contemporary formats especially among the 18-34 demographic?   We see many reasons:

breezelogo.png1.   The rebirth of “Soft AC” after the success of “The Breeze” in San Francisco; stations playing a majority of slower tempo songs and 100% gold from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s with one 2K song an hour. Ray Toney of Columbus MS says the Breeze is a substitute for Melatonin!

2.   The “Pop Music” cycle is waning with artists like Katy Perry, P!nk, Lady Gaga, Maroon 5 and Taylor Swift no longer prolific in dominating the pop charts.

3.   Millennials are joining the workforce and may be listening to radio for the first time.  At work listening favors stations like Adult Contemporary playing broad appeal music.  The At Work time period remains the dominant PPM daypart because of the huge time spent listening it generates.  The Adult Contemporary format represents the perfect at work soundtrack because it appeals to the diverse workforce.

4.   AC music is a safe harbor in chaotic times of an ever changing news cycle, unrest in the nation’s capital, and stock market volatility.  This shift is also occurring in the Classic Hits format where the core decade has evolved into the 80’s.

5.   The broad appeal of Adult Contemporary does not depend on currents and recurrents.  AC provides the “comfort zone” for listeners wanting music familiarity.  The format plays hits from the 80’s and 90’s (and 70’s with the Breeze) as well as keeping them up to date by playing today’s hits.  The Breeze doesn’t play currents.

6.   Variety has been a hallmark to the success of Adult Contemporary radio.  So while Country, Rhythmic CHR, Alternative and Urban formats have to stay in their niches, AC has the era depth and genre depth to vary its playlist to the changing tastes of the audience.

Lund Media is a format specialist with all versions of Adult Contemporary.  If you need guidance on how to provide your listeners and advertisers with a top rated and top revenue producing format in your market, contact

New Year’s Resolution:  Play the Hits!

galaxyheadphones.gifIt doesn’t matter if your format is AC or Rock or Country, music is the #1 reason people listen to FM music stations.   Playing the right songs and managing your software are vital to your success.  Lund Media will 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 John Lund for a complete music software analysis and tune-up to assure you sound perfect in 2019.

And if you just need a best-researched song list for your format, email us.

Lund News Room: News Consumption

news2017LL.jpgWatching the news on television is still the most preferred way to get the news with 47% choosing this format (unchanged from 2016), according to data from Pew Research.  Those who prefer to read the news have decreased from 35% in 2016 to 34% in 2018.  Listening to the news is the only format that has increased, with 19% preferring to listen… up from 17% in 2016.  And what about sources?

+   44% prefer TV
+   34% prefer the Internet (includes websites, apps and social media)
+   14% prefer Radio (up 2% from the previous year)
+   7% prefer Print

People under 50 years of age are much more likely to choose the Internet whether they read, watch or listen to news.

Brighten Your Imaging

lightbulb.gifWhether your station is News-Talk or plays music, your imaging liners should be creative and fun.  Brighten your imaging with hundreds of creatively written imaging liners that can be customized for your station.  Order these scripts now… for music stations order here, for at-work listening order here, and for News-Talk order here

Lund Personality Clinic:  Payoffs & Portability

PandP.pngWhile most morning radio shows provide basic services like time, weather and humor, great personality shows add an element of indispensability.  Listeners feel the need to return every day – whether it’s mornings or any daypart.   Here are two factors that assure daily tune-in.

Payoffs give the listener something of value.  We are all creatures of self-satisfaction.  Listeners want to be rewarded.  While humor and phone calls can be payoffs, these are often base hits rather than home runs.  The grand slams often come with items that hit a personal connection with the audience – from kids and pet stories to a new diet that achieves miraculous results.  Payoffs bind listeners with air talents using heartstrings or purse strings.

Portability describes the material we give listeners that they repeat throughout the day, either quoting you or adapting as their own. The more listeners “use” the morning show and what it provides, the more loyal and regular they become in their listening habits.  Share something interesting and useful at least every half-hour. Giving the listener something they can “carry-out” and use later in the day improves the chances of that person returning.  The goal is to get more listening occasions per week.  TSL expands when you win the Listener Usage war and get more times at bat – more listening occasions per week.

Lund’s Top 3:  Radical Management
Top3B.jpgManagement needs to continuously evolve and adapt.  Success is built on delighting the customer, according to business consultant Steve Denning. Denning believes in “Radical Management.”  Providing value starts with building a relationship with the customer.  For radio, delighting customers is more than just getting the listener to tune in; it’s about creating a connection and becoming their station.

According to research shared by Denning, there are 10 main steps to take in Radical Management:

1.   Commit. The focus of the entire organization from executives to the front desk is to bring more value to the audience and clients, sooner than they expect.

2.   Target. Identify the core segment of listeners and advertisers, and focus on delighting them first and most.

3.   Focus. Deliver the simplest ideas to delight them. Complicated and cumbersome enhancements too often simply get in the way.

Also, #4.   Read Their Minds. Meet unrecognized needs and delight them with the outcome. Understand what really matters to your audience, especially when they are not listening to the radio.

Next week – a new Top 3.  Visit for more Top 3’s!

Promotion of the Week: We’re Giving Away A Baby

babytiger.gifThis one creates talk!  But it’s not a human baby this time (the in vitro treatment promotion we’ve covered before: Win A Baby).  If you have baby bunnies, dogs, cats, chickens, mules, beanie babies — anything to give away — announce that you’re giving away a “baby” (work with the local animal shelters, rescue organizations, farm supply, etc.).  When you hear the baby cry, call in to win.  It’s best not to do this around a holiday as pets purchased as holiday gifts are the most likely to be abandoned/returned.

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 10,000 readers of the Lund Letter? Email John Lund.

Lund Trend Watch:

Trader Joe’s Tops Grocer List

traderjoeslogo.pngIn the 2019 Retailer Preference Index – Grocery Edition, survey data analyzed by dunnhumby showed that Trader Joe’s has the strongest combination of financial performance and consumer loyalty.  Trader Joe’s is followed by Costco, Amazon, H-E-B and Wegman’s.  When looking at consumer willingness to buy a store’s private label products instead of national brands, Trader Joe’s was once again on top with 56% willing to buy private label (perhaps the other 44% don’t realize that 90% of Trader Joe’s products are private label).  At 55% willing were Meijer and Aldi.  Publix, Kroger and Costco private labels were top picks for 53%.

Ad Spending to Increase in 2019

rainingmoney.gifAccording to BIA/Kelsey, 35% of businesses plan to raise their advertising budget this year and most other plan to maintain 2018 levels.  About half of current radio and TV advertisers will increase their ad spending.  Email marketing and video ads, both of which many radio companies offer as part of integrated marketing packages, are businesses’ most-adopted new ad spending categories (nearly 2/3rds and 42%, respectively).  Print ads come in third, the largest portion of which is direct mail.

Voice Assistant Invasion

siriandalexa.jpgVoice assistants will be on most phones by 2022, with worldwide usage expected to be over 5 billion by then, according to Juniper Research.  55% of all homes in the US will have at least one smart speaker by 2022.  That’s over 70 million households with a forecast of over 175 million devices, an increase of 95% over 2017.  Cross-assistant usage will be the biggest technology concern in future… you’ll want the Siri on your phone to get along with the Alexa in your kitchen!

Programmer’s Planner:calendargif.gif

Jan 21: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Feb 2: Groundhog Day
Feb 3: Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, Georgia
Feb 5: Chinese New Year (Year of the Pig)
Feb 14: Valentine’s Day
Feb 18: President’s Day

Thanks for reading
The Lund Letter
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Have suggestions for future articles?  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.