Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Lund Letter

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

his Week in The Lund Letter:  
>   Play the music listeners want
>   Morning show strength
>   The big prize image

Queen Alexa…plus other Trends

Lund Programming Clinic: Play The Hits!

musicfaves.jpgHow many times have you heard this phrase from programmers?  When it was first coined, there was no music scheduling software like Selector, Music Master or Power Gold.  Rotating music was simply a “hot clock” and stacks of 45s.

Bill Stewart invented the Top 50 format in the 50s. Bill Drake honed it to the Top 40 in the 60s.  In the 70s, Mike Joseph developed the “Hot Hits” format rotating the Top 5 songs every 45 minutes.  “Play The Hits” became reality.

Listeners Want Favorite Songs

The #1 reason core listeners tune to a station is to hear their favorite songs.  This is more important than hearing a variety of songs (biggest library).  Yet many radio stations set up rules preventing the listeners’ favorite songs from being played.  Research has shown listeners are not turned off by the repetition of their favorite songs; in fact, they want it.  It’s the repetition of songs that are not their favorites that drives them away.

Watch Software “Rules”

Today’s programmers utilize “Rules” provided by the music scheduling software to guide rotations.  But these Rules can actually make it difficult for the listeners to hear their favorite songs.  When Rules prevent a favorite song from being scheduled, it shows up as an unscheduled position requiring manual scheduling.  The tendency of programmers is to reduce the number of unscheduled positions by adding more songs which further dilutes the exposure of the listeners’ favorite songs.  For example, the artist separation rule prevents the playing of the listeners’ favorite songs by a core artist in recurrent and gold categories when the core artist has a song in power rotation.

Program What Listeners Want

It’s easy to prove the premise that Rules are preventing the scheduling of the listeners’ favorite songs.  Perform a Most Played analysis of your past music scheduling history.  If it shows “one hit” wonders and secondary songs receiving more airplay than power rotation hits by core artists, you have rules preventing the proper exposure of the listeners’ favorite songs.  Next perform an analysis of the unscheduled positions.  Find out what rules are preventing the scheduling of the songs and then either “relax” the rules or make them “breakable.”  The goal is programming to the audience and insuring they always hear their favorite hits.

Hits Tune-Up

tuneforks.jpgPlaying the hits on your station is essential.  Lund Media offers a total library assessment and software tune-up…titles, categories, clocks and rotations.  We will make your music presentation perfect – and can do all the changes within your music software.  The library analysis and adjustment is extensive and comprehensive.  For more info, contact John Lund today.

Lund Basics: Top Stations Have Defining Morning Shows

elvisduranmorning.jpgMany successful radio stations, whether they’re music or News-Talk, gain 50% of their momentum from their great morning show.  To be competitive, your station needs a defining programming element in the morning.

Why is a strong morning show so important?

+   It serves as a cume magnet taking advantage of the market’s large available audience.

+   It provides an effective promotional vehicle which helps move morning listeners to other shows and dayparts.

+   It’s the center of the station’s community involvement.

+   The show’s personality is highly saleable.

+   Sales promotions are anchored in mornings.

+   Great morning personalities foster listener loyalty.

While a great morning show is essential, Nielsen ratings methodology determines how morning shows rank.  In diary markets, morning is the highest rated daypart.  While morning is also important with PPM methodology, midday and afternoon are tops since people don’t plug in their meters until they leave the house.

What are three ways to have a great morning show?

1.   Build a new morning show around a fresh personality.
2.   Hire an established personality with an already proven local following.
3.   Evolving your present morning show into a more potent market force.

But there are pro’s and con’s for each of these three options.  We will discuss those in next week’s edition of the Lund Letter.

The Importance of Prep

personguidecov.pngRadio personalities who systemize their approach to prepping and presenting their shows realize improved performances and higher ratings.  Want to know the benchmarks that listeners like most?  Utilize the Lund Radio Personality Guide to improve show planning and execution.  The Lund Consultants coach and develop talents for improved performance and higher ratings, and this stylebook has all the tools and insight to execute a great show.  Order your copy here.

Lund’s Top 3:  Newscasts That WorkTop3B.jpg
…Deliver What Listeners Want!

Shape your news content into the news your listeners can use (and will want to).

1.   Avoid repeating the local paper’s news.  If you must use newspaper as a source, rewrite it in “forward style” rather than recapping yesterday’s news. For example, instead of talking about yesterday’s fire that damaged a business, tell listeners about the business’s doors opening this morning, but only for the cleanup crew. Put events in the present, not the past. With government meetings, talk about the effects of last night’s meetings as a way to make the story more current.

2.   Plan interview segments. They provide depth for a news-intensive station and allow an informed morning host to provide info without a long newscast. A tight 30-60 second length is best. A “live” interview can be edited to fit a tight time length and still cover the most important issues.

3.   Traffic is important news even in smaller towns.  People want to know about tie-ups, backups, and road construction. Update this info immediately and repeat it often. Use listener cell phone reports to add extra “eyes and ears” for your listeners.

Once your newscasts are listener-friendly, dependability is a key selling feature. “Dependable” is a listener-beneficial theme in news promotion. News positioners like “Depend on it” are very strong with listeners.

Next week, a new Top 3.  For more Top 3 lists, check out

Promotion of the Week: Chance To Win

porscheemblem.jpgA “chance to win” promotion has a huge sounding prize that will not necessarily be won but still draws attention. As an example, hold a half time promotion at a basketball game where a contestant could win a $50,000 prize, like an RV or a luxury car, if they were to sink two of three baskets from half court. Remember, the grand prize costs the sponsor nothing, as it is insured against loss.  It’s important to remember to also give away smaller (still wanted) prizes so listeners win something.

Do You Need A Great Promotion?

pumpfallpromo.jpgOur Summer and Fall Promotions Guides outline every programming and sales promotion you’ll need for the months ahead.  Over 100 audience-building promotions, contests, sales promotions and show prep ideas will make your stations sizzle right now and through summer … and help the sales staff lock in new dollars.

Order our Fall Promotions Guide now and receive the Summer Promotions Guide free.   Order here to get both guides.

Lund Trend Watch:

Alexa is the Smart Speaker King, er, Queen

alexaskills.jpgAccording to RBC Capital Markets, 41% of US consumers own a voice-activated speaker.  That’s a gain of 21.5% over the end of 2017.  Alexa-enabled devices have achieved 31% penetration, showing the lead Amazon’s version has.  Alexa is forecast to bring in $18 to $19 billion by 2021.  That’s 5% of Amazon’s total revenue.  There are more than 100 million Alexa-enabled devices installed in the US.  Amazon has a 66% share of the market compared to Google’s 29% and HomePod’s 5%.  Two years ago, Alexa had 5,000 skills.  Now, there are more than 60,000.  Is your station’s stream one of them?  It should be!

Digital Viewers

digitalviewing.jpgDigital budgets have increased 25% year over year; in the Media & Entertainment category, the increase is 75%.  Almost three quarters (74%) of US consumers 13+ watch streaming or online video at least weekly.  41% watch daily.  78% of digital video viewers will watch advertising to get free content… something radio has been proving for decades!

Mobile Coupons

mobileshopping.jpgTechnology and media continue to become more and more mobile.  Deals are portable, too, and consumers appreciate that.  67% of consumers are likely to shop with a retailer that offers mobile coupons rather than one that does not.  Coupons are not the only shopping use for smartphones.  One of the most common?  34% of shoppers use their phones to do price comparisons while in a store.  Work with your digital sales consultant to make this a reality for your station.

Programmer’s Planner:

Today, June 5: NBA Finals game three: Raptors at Warriors 2019nbafinals.png
June 7: NBA Finals game four: Raptors at Warriors
June 10: NBA Finals game five: Warriors @ Raptors
June 13: NBA Finals game six: Raptors @ Warriors (if necessary)
June 14: Flag Day
June 16: Father’s Day (also NBA Finals game seven if necessary: Warriors @ Raptors)
July 4: Independence Day (a 4-day weekend for many)

Next week in the Lund Letter: Weighing your morning show options.

Thanks for reading
The Lund Letter
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About Lund Media

jclforLL.pngFor over 20 years, the Lund Media Group has provided programming, music consulting, operational guidance, and research to broadcast stations throughout North America and overseas. With specialists in every format, the Lund Goal is to help stations get more listeners and keep them listening longer.

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.