Few music stations reach legendary status without great personalities, and few personalities on music stations become truly dominant without a solid music base. Programmers urge (order?) personalities to promote the music, but most seem to do so grudgingly, only to stay out of trouble. That’s a mistake, but it’s also a missed opportunity.
Stations built on music alone are on a collision course with oblivion. Broadcasters hope, wish, and pray that’s not true, but it’s coming faster than you think. Consumers have endless choices for customized music without interruptions. The only way to remain relevant is to develop unique reasons to listen. Personality is your key to future success. But many personalities treat the music as an afterthought. Yet music can be an amazing tool to enhance personality.
Promote The Music!
On stations that prioritize music, 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. Further, 100% of the tuned-in audience at the end of a song likes what they hear. If they didn’t, they would have tuned out already.
So doesn’t it make sense that connecting to that song or artist is an easy way to be more likable? Master the art of relating to things listeners love most demonstrates that you love the same thing the audience loves by showing a common interest.
In other words, music is a path to connecting with the audience, even if the ultimate goal is for unique personality content is the primary reason to listen.
Listen to great radio personalities like Jo Jo Kincaid, Broadway Bill Lee, and Casey Kasem. These legendary personalities promote the music as an entry point to become friends with listeners. They enhance the music by injecting personality through things the audience is already interested in.
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 your personalities are not embracing the music, the music isn’t that important to them or the audience. Programmers need to coach this skill and hold talent accountable for it. In return, personalities must take it seriously and understand the value of leveraging those songs to improve their character brand profile.
If you treat the songs like commercials (ignoring them), drop some songs and turn up the personality now. That’s not a recommendation, but you will want to play fewer songs in the future anyway. The point is that if you’re going to be in the music game, make it essential!
Mastering this skill is part of ize-ing personality content, 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 and add creativity to talk breaks for solo shows and hosts on a team show.
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?