Which Half Are You In?

Posted on August 13, 2010


My father always called marriage a 60/50 proposition, at least he did when my mom wasn’t in the room. Then again he was also a CPA who had a system for splitting any checks that came into the house; he got everything to the right of decimal point and she got everything to the left. He argued that his number was often much larger, 98 or 99 for example, then her 13 or 24.

Now Alan Burns, one of the top AC/CHR consultants in America has released a study of women’s radio listening habits and it turns out being an airtalent is a 50/50 proposition, which makes it only slightly better than marriage if you ask my dad. The study polled over 2000 women ages 15-54 on their opinions and behaviors regarding radio and other forms of media. The results are very interesting, especially if you work at a station that targets women, and I definitely suggest you visit his site and go through the presentations he posted at www.burnsradio.com.

When it comes to on-air personalities, Burns uncovered an interesting dichotomy. Heavy radio users — the active listeners who can really drive some ratings — list entertaining personalities as the second most important part of their listening experience.

Before you sprain a shoulder patting yourself on the back, respondents who said they are listening to radio less than they used to — meaning they are starting to give up on us —  list too much useless DJ chatter as one of the top three reasons they have tuned out.  While the study is only women, I will venture to say both of those findings would be mirrored very closely with male listeners.

So now you have to determine which half you are in.  Entertaining or useless?

The answer feels like something out of a Star Wars movie. Go ahead, search your true feelings: 

If your show has been topical — Steven Slater, Eat Pray Love, NFL Training Camp — that’s a start.

If it’s been entertaining — you did something creative with, or espoused a unique opinion about, these stories that’s good.

If you found a way to localize the stories and relate them to your market, that’s better.

If you did that in a concise manner so people carrying their PPM never considered tuning out, that’s the best.

Try and decide which half you are in and  if you aren’t sure, (warning shameless plug) consider hiring me to help. Just go to www.talentmechanic.com.