I’ve never known a legendary music station without great personalities. And I’ve rarely heard truly dominant personalities on a music station without a strong music base. That’s why it’s important to promote the music, even on an established, personality-driven show.
It’s true that stations built on music alone are on a collision course with oblivion. Consumers have so many choices for consuming music without commercials or interruptions. Broadcasters must develop personalities to remain relevant. Still, it’s a mystery why personalities and even some program directors place little value on enhancing the music through personality.
Promote The Music!
Programmers and music directors spend hours and hours agonizing over music decisions with the goal of crafting the ultimate music flow that will optimize time spent listening and station branding. Curated music is a big advantage over streamers.
Then they actually coach personalities to avoid introducing songs by title and artist to save time on talk breaks. In some cases, it’s almost like songs are commercials taking up space between the times personalities talk.
Don’t be disconnected from the songs. Even the big hits in power rotation are unfamiliar to many, if not most, listeners.
Here’s the thing: On music stations, listeners come for music first. They want to be put in a good mood, use the station as a soundtrack, or hear a favorite song. So doesn’t it make sense that the fastest way to become popular is demonstrating that you love the same thing the audience loves? Music is a path to connecting with the audience.
Listen to great radio personalities like Broadway Bill Lee or Casey Kasem. These legendary personalities promote the music as an entry point to become friends with listeners. Not doing so is a missed opportunity to make the station sound better and become more popular.
This is not about just announcing the title and artist. Personalities need the popularity of the station, and the station needs personalities. Connecting the two should be part of the DNA of every personality on a music station.
If you’re not embracing the music and making it important, the music isn’t that important. And if that’s the case, drop some songs and turn up the personality. A more music radio show will not hold up in the future, anyway.
But for now, if music is on the air, make it important!
Mastering this skill is part of what I call ize-ing personality content. Embracing the music is part of energizing, and it’s one of the easiest things to execute. By the way, here’s a great show prep hack that will streamline the process.
It’s easy to take for granted, but if it is part of the entertainment value, doesn’t it make sense to promote the music?