The #1 Reason For Declining Music Research Response

The #1 Reason For Declining Music Research Response

by Tracy Johnson

In the webinar Music Research Done Right, you get insight on some common problems with the sample, along with suggestions on how to fix it. But there’s one more problem that deserves your attention, and it’s the #1 reason for declining music research response.

In most cases, once the listener submits their opinion, engagement ends. That’s not only missing an opportunity, it’s rude!

All you have to do to improve audience engagement is finish the communication process. Be polite and demonstrate how their opinions matter.

Declining Music Research Response & The Feedback Loop

In the technical world, the feedback loop is defined as:

A system structure that causes output from one node to eventually influence input to that same node.

Simple, right? In music testing, the feedback loop is simply communicating frequently with respondents so they continue to participate regularly.

That means sharing and communicating.

Music Research Feedback Loop: Share The Results

You complete the feedback loop when sharing the results. Results often decline because listeners lose interest, and they lose interest when they never hear the results of their input. At minimum, they should get an immediate auto-reply email. But that’s just a beginning.

feedback-loopSend an email every week, and tell them how the songs scored. Not in detail, of course, but in general. Write the email in a fun, interactive voice, and let them know that their decisions affect how often songs are played on the air.

This keeps them motivated, rewarding responses by acknowledging the importance of the action they’ve taken and it keeps them coming back for more. Plus, it’s another chance to keep your brand in front of the audience. It’s also one more chance to invite them to take action by rate another song or two in a new survey.

The email should come from either your most popular air personality or the music director. Make it personal and informal. And be sure to change it each week, with updated feedback and content.

Here’s a short example:

Hey, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on our music.

This week, we learned that our most popular songs are (list 2-3) and a few songs aren’t doing so well, such as (list 1-2). Plus, that new song by (artist) looks like it could become a big hit. We’ll keep our eye on that one.

You’ve probably already heard some of the changes on the air, and you can hear how all the songs rated this week in the (Station) Top 20 Countdown (Date and time).

Let us know how you like it, and be sure to keep letting us know how we’re doing. In fact, we’d really like your feedback on (song) by (artist). Can you spare 30 seconds and rate it for us? (Link)

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Avoid These 3 Music Research Mistakes

Add Some Bonuses

Once in awhile, energize the communication by sending a bonus in the email.

For example, you could invite them to enter to win an attractive prize that’s only for those receiving the email and taking action. An exclusive offer like this usually generates strong response and promotes engagement.

Or you could attach a free mp3 of a new hit song as a free bonus. Not as a prize or an incentive, just as a “thank you” for participating.

Be creative, and find new ways to interact each week.


It may sound like a lot of extra work, but when you consider how important research integrity is to your station’s success, isn’t it an investment in resources that should be made?

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Get More Music Research Response: Ask For Less

Author: Tracy Johnson

Tracy Johnson specializes in radio talent coaching, radio consulting for programming and promotions and developing digital strategies for brands.

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