22 Jul Wednesday, July 17, 2019
This Week in The Lund Letter:
> Rules governing music… and a new idea for Power Currents
> Over-prep and avoid clutter
> Promote your promotions appropriately
> Radio and TV revenue up…plus other Trends
Lund Programming Clinic: Rules of Great Programming
What do the top stations have in common? Regardless of format, they are market leaders in audience and revenue. The pursuit of excellence that they possess is not a secret, although it drives their competitors crazy!
These stations have the most precise music library and scheduling, the top personalities, and the best positioning, marketing, and format execution. Programmers are challenged to create a station that listeners love, and advertisers want to use the station to sell their products and services.
Today’s Program Director is a Product and Marketing Manager involved in many management and strategic areas. The PD is a specialist in product development and execution, manages corporate requirements, contributes to the service orientation of the station, and anticipates staff, audience, and client needs. For FM music stations, one primary focus is music.
Music is to a station like food is to a restaurant. If a restaurant has poor food, people won’t return even if there is a nice atmosphere, convenient parking, and capable wait staff. Music must be loved by the target audience and be well researched. There are rules governing music selection.
Music Rule #1:
Play the hits. This is the foundation of music oriented stations. Most formats don’t allow for playing secondary songs that are less popular or less familiar. When listeners tune to the station, they expect to hear a hit, not a second-string also-ran.
Thus, the winning radio station plays the best songs for the target audience. Music is precisely focused to the station’s demographic and core audience. It complements the overall sound and is specifically scheduled for each daypart. Music selection is delicately handled. Stations rely on listener research to perfectly contribute to high tune-in and longer time spent listening. Playing the best songs works like glue on paper – It acts like adhesion to keep listeners tuned to the station, and gets them to tune back in for many listening occasions. Playing a bad song will drive listeners away.
Music Rule #2:
Play the best songs. This is far better than playing a wide variety of songs – “the most songs”. Stations that play a tight list of proven hits achieve higher ratings. Quality is more important than quantity. While listeners like quantity packages like “12 in a row” and “40 minutes nonstop,” they expect to hear the hits.
Music Rule #3:
Music is why they come. Hearing the hits is “instant gratification” to the partisan since music is the single most important factor for listeners when choosing a favorite station.
Music Rule #4:
Power Currents. These are your most liked songs in contemporary music formats like Top 40, Hot AC and Country. Where does a Power Current go after it drops out of the top 5 currents due to spin count? Some stations move them back into Medium rotation while others immediately put them in Recurrent status, but there is a problem. These “Post Powers” are popular and deserve more airplay.
Research says these Post Powers are much more valuable than a normal Medium or Recurrent, and they test far better. Suggestion: Create a Post Power category with a higher turnover than Recurrents to keep these Post Powers heard – and played often. Then, in time, move them to Recurrents.
Coming up next week, more Music Rules, including “I don’t know what I like, I like what I know”. If you have a music rule to share, email me.