Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Lund Letter

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

This Week in The Lund Letter:  
>   Forecasting radio’s future
>   Hanging up gracefully
>   Let listeners hear their favorite songs
>   Radio news changes

The importance of a familiar brand…plus other Trends

The Future of Radio: Trends

happyheadphones19.jpgOf all media, radio will undergo the most dramatic change in the coming decade, and these changes will radically transform the industry.  We cite these changes and predictions based on insights by various media forecasters, analysts, and our own research and consulting assistance to broadcasters in markets large and small.

1)    A renaissance of local radio.

This will be driven by market forces, led by advertiser consumer demand.  In the new, much more competitive local marketplace, radio offers what no other medium offers, true community engagement with local on-air talent and events. Smart broadcasters will optimize this benefit.

2)    Radio continues the march to digital.

The structure of the radio industry was built around a technology that’s a century old. Towers and transmitters are old technology.  Radio content will be heard more and more over the internet leading to cost savings and unimagined efficiencies.

3)    The merging of radio, TV and news under single operators.

What separated newspapers, television and radio all these years were their technologies. With digital, they now share one technology, one platform, and they have already merged.

4)    A revolution in radio content.

Radio is now mostly music with some talk and sports. Podcasting offers radio potential to be so much more – in some regards to return to what radio was before the advent of television, as a medium for storytelling.

5)    A transformation of the industry. 

This will occur around this broader definition of radio as encompassing all things audio.  It’s been slow to develop its own digital offerings. Radio will step forward and claim ownership of traditional radio, digital radio, and podcasting. If it goes into your ear, and it’s not a pencil, it’s radio.

What’s radio’s opportunity?  Grab a larger share of consumers’ time and attention. The mobile phone has freed Americans from having to be in a particular place to stay in touch. But it has also freed us as media consumers from the couch and the TV set. TV is technically a couch medium even with the availability of video on a smart phone; radio is a moving-about medium. It is a mobile medium. You can be in your car, walking down the street, riding in a train or on a plane, and enjoy radio. The more mobile our society gets, the greater the opportunity for radio to become the medium of choice. Out of home benefits from society’s increasing mobility. Radio stands to as well.

Does Your Station Have Competition?  OF COURSE IT DOES!

Competition.JPGYou want your station to be the best it can be to attract listeners and revenue.  How do you sound compared to the digital and local listening options available in your market?  Get an assessment with a top-to-bottom station(s) review and programming analysis.  The Lund Strategic Programming Evaluation finds the strengths and weaknesses in your station(s) – music, promotions, talents, digital, and strategy.  Make sure you’re playing the best songs for your target demos.  Get the edge back!  Contact John Lund to discuss a Program Evaluation of your stations.

Lund Programming Clinic: Talk Radio – Saying Good-Bye

wavegoodbye.jpgProbably the most vital action in talk radio is the ability to hang up gracefully.  Simple as it sounds, it confounds many.

Permit the listener to feel he/she has finished, and not that you have run out of time.  There are a lot of ways to accomplish the hang up:

+   “Thank you, goodbye” is very effective.
+   “Thanks for calling (station name)” is a good closer just before the volume is dumped.
+   Depending on what the caller said last, “good luck” works.
+   “Call us back and tell us how it worked out” may be appropriate.
+   Listen to the last thing they say, and respond cordially.

What not to say?  Many of the nationally syndicated talk show hosts are guilty of these hang up statements:

>   “I have to go.”
>   “The time is up on this call.”
>   “I’ve gotta break for a commercial” is the ultimate insult.
>   “I’m running up against a hard break.”

To have complete control of the call length, your sign-off must be practically absolute.  When you say good-bye, that’s it.  The audience knows it has limited time.  If they don’t feel rushed, they will quit early themselves.  Brian Sussman at KSFO in San Francisco has taught his audience to say what they called about and quickly close with, “I will now hang up on myself!”

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 Music Room:  Artist Separation, A Paradigm Shift

sheeranperfectcover.jpgWhen scheduling music, the typical rule is to keep songs by the same artist separated by 70 minutes or more.  Over the years, the duration of separation has shrunk.  In today’s digital recording era, where a number of artists share vocals on hit music with other artists, artist separation as an unbreakable rule has made music scheduling a difficult task.  Between songs by artists accompanied with Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, Demi Lovato, Khalid, Rihanna, Halsey, etc., Top 40 and Hot AC programmers are spending too much time scheduling songs.

In Lund Media research, we have found “hearing one’s favorite songs” tests better than “hearing a variety of artists.”  In other words, artist separation should not take priority over scheduling a hit song.   With an average time spent listening to one station at one occasion at just 10 minutes, consider reducing artist separation to 20 minutes so a song with the same artist is not scheduled within the same quarter hour.  Our audience should not have to wait to hear their favorite song.  The risk is having them leave for another station.

Is Your Station’s Music Software Tuned for Success?

tuneforks.jpgPlaying the right songs and managing your music software controls are vital to a station’s success.  Lund Media can assist you with a comprehensive music review and software tune-up.  We’ll conduct a complete analysis of your playlist along with every aspect of your music software – rules, clocks, and rotations – and 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.

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

Radio news is changing, and the product delivered must be in sync with what listeners actually want. A devastating local tornado may be the single most defining moment in how listeners describe what they want in radio news. Network news is passé on music FMs.  If you wouldn’t play the same song every hour, why air the same story every hour?  The one or two big national news stories can be delivered by your local news staff – and without the network inventory.

1.   Morning news matters most.  Five-minute news at the top of each hour is only for News-Talk stations. For music FMs, morning news is important. Rest of the day?  Not as essential as breaking news of important stories. Needed are new stories that touch people in important ways.

2.   Just when does morning begin? America is getting up earlier. Your morning show should begin when listeners are getting up, and that’s before 6 AM in most markets.  Local news should begin early also. There are exceptions. Resort markets are later. Markets with a long commute are earlier. And if you’re in Phoenix in the summer, outdoor jobs begin before 5! Check with your local water department for the time of the first flush. That’s when your station must also be awake.

3.   News you can use.  How do people like their news packaged? Most people don’t want lengthy hard news and events. Rather, they desire the top stories in headline form, providing more detail when a story warrants. They also want news that affects their lifestyle, money or family issues, as well as interesting and fun stories. And news should be arranged in order of importance to your listeners, not by geography. Local will often be the most desired story.

Next week, more tips on making your newscasts work for your audience.  For more Top 3 lists, check out

Promotion of the Week: Scoops of Fun

fathermows.jpgDads try to win a riding mower by driving one through an obstacle course; best time wins.  Stupid?  Yes, but it gets great attention!  A similar promotion, Father Blows Best, has Dad using a leaf blower to push a beach ball through an obstacle course (if you live in a market where homes lack the necessary space for a riding lawn mower).

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:

Don’t Count Apple Out Yet

iphonexr.jpgAccording to a report from Kantar, one out of every ten smartphones sold from January to March 2019 was an iPhone XR.  Despite a much lower holiday showing than forecast in 4th Quarter 2018, iPhone sales (all models) went up 6.5 percentage points in 1st Quarter 2019.  That gave Apple a 45.5% share of the smartphone market.

Brand Familiarity Important

brandfamil.jpgWhen it comes to mobile ads, brand familiarity is the biggest reason to pay attention to an ad.  Other top reasons? (The attraction of mobile ads overall dips to the 30-38% range when the user is on the go).

>   Brand familiarity 54%
>   Interesting creative 52%
>   Good timing 41%
>   Brand coupons 41%

Online Grocery Shoppers Increase

groceries19.jpgOnline grocery shopping accounts for 37% of internet-using adults in 2019, up from 23% last year.  Coresight Research says that about 93 million people buy groceries online.  About 40% said they expect to shop online for groceries in the next year.

Programmer’s Planner:memdayflags.jpg

May 24: Start of Memorial Day Weekend (this Friday)
May 27: Memorial Day
June 14: Flag Day
June 16: Father’s Day
July 4: Independence Day (a 4-day weekend for many)

Next week in the Lund Letter: Making News-Talk exciting.

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.