Help Fill Up This List of Unique Ways to Introduce Songs
by Tracy Johnson
I work with an air personality on a pop music station that has fallen into a rut. She is stuck, and needs to find new ways to entertain her audience while doing the basics. You know, how to introduce songs and back-sell the music, yet keeping it fresh.
Most air personalities fall into habits when repeating common on-air elements the same way time after time. One of our greatest creative challenges is simply injecting excitement into routine things we repeat hour after hour, day after day. One tactic for talent on music stations is to compile a long list of ways to break the pattern, starting with different ways to introduce songs.
So to help my client, and you, I’m putting together that list. Let’s fill it up as a resource for all personalities (especially solo shows) to get un-stuck.
I’ve broken them down in categories.
Simple Ways to Introduce Songs
Here’s (artist) with (song) on WXXX
Now, (song) by (artist) on WXXX
(Artist) is on…now on WXXX
WXXX with (artist)
(Song)….(artist) is on WXXX
Here’s (song) by (artist) on WXXX
WXXX plays (song)….here’s (artist)
The song is (title)…the artist is (artist)…the station is WXXX
WXXX playing (artist)
Here comes (artist) with (song) on WXXX
Social Media Powered Intros
Right now, (artist) is relaxing on the beach in Saint Tropez, working on her tan, writing a new hit and figuring out how to spend all that money from (song)…Here’s (artist) on WXXX.
Historical Perspective Song Introductions: Casey Style
In the summer of 2012, you were standing in line for tickets to see the opening of the biggest movie of all time…Marvel’s The Avengers…and while you were in line, this was playing on your phone…(song) by (artist) on WXXX.
Now, a song by an artist that saw 7 songs in a row reach the Top 10….in the 80s and 90s…Here’s Whitney Houston with on WXXX.
What was (city’s) #1 song from (this month) two years ago…by a singer that you haven’t heard from since? I’ll tell you in four minutes, and play the song you may have forgotten…Now, here’s the song that defined (artist’s) career…It’s (song) on WXXX.
Listener Acknowledgement Song Introductions
Hey, (Listener name)…thanks for hanging with me today. Here’s that (artist) song you asked for…(Song) on WXXX.
Localized Intros With Creative Power
Now here comes another song from a guy who’s turning out more hits than (local Mexican Restaurant) cranks out tacos…and this one is just as hot as the spicy jalapeño sauce…It’s (song) by (artist) on WXXX.
Remember when (Artist) played at WXXX?, and this was a highlight (Short excerpt of live version of song)… It’s (Song) on WXXX.
The Head/Heart/Hand Technique
If you want to encourage each personality to create their own content (recommended), here’s a 3H technique (Head, Heart, Hand) developed and used by Content Controller Alex Vladev at Viking FM in Yorkshire (U.K.). Alex explains the concept:
When they use Head they give a fact about the song or artist about to play. For example, ‘This is Barack Obama’s favourite Beyoncé song. I’m pretty sure Michelle likes it too. It’s so catchy! Here is Sweet Dreams on Viking FM’ or ‘Taylor Swift is nominated in 6 categories for this year’s MTV VMA in London. Her new song has the most viewed video on You Tube this year. Here is ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ on Viking FM’
Heart is how they feel about the song. It’s my favourite, as it gives them an opportunity to share personal insights from their lives. It makes personalities sound real and human, not just an announcer. For example: ‘I really love the new Dua Lipa song – it reminds of all my bad relationships. Here it is – ‘New Rules’ on Viking Fm’
Hand is more of a call-to-action. It could be about getting your hands on some tickets. For example: ‘Katy Perry plays in Leeds tonight and you can win front row tickets tomorrow morning from 8 with Alex, here is her latest song Swish Swish on Viking FM’ Or they can use a song as an opportunity to cross promote a celebrity gossip segment or interview ‘I’m playing you a classic by Craig David next. Can’t wait to hear him on the evening show with Darryl tonight. Hope he shares how he keeps his 6 pack in shape.’
Each personality is required to rotate these 3 simple techniques of introducing music, which keeps music presenting fresh, relevant and personal on a daily basis.
How to Use The List
You may want to put each intro on a 3×5 index card. When you need some inspiration, use the first card, then put it in the back. Each personality will be more comfortable with some intros, so make copies of those cards so that intro rotates more often.
Okay, your turn. Let’s add to the list. Thin of your own, or send some along that you’ve heard and like.
As you find other ways to introduce songs, add them to the collection, and be sure to share them with me by email firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll keep this list updated as a resource for the whole community.
Photo credit: Freepik.com
Tracy Johnson specializes in radio talent coaching, radio consulting for programming and promotions and developing digital strategies for brands.
For more than 30 years, Johnson has been developing on-air superstars that attract fans, retain audiences and generate revenue.