Imagine a TV game show where every contestant automatically won, just for being chosen from the audience? Boring, right? Who would watch? This, of course, would never happen. It would be horrible television. Yet, thousands of radio stations settle for boring call in to win or text to win contests. These contests target only active contest players. You can fix that easily when you add risk to contests and games.
Many programmers and personalities want to make sure each contestant leaves a game happy. And that’s a good goal, for sure. A listener should never be angry at how they are treated on the air.
But that doesn’t mean every contestant should walk away a winner. Part of the appeal of playing games on the air is the possibility of losing.
When there’s a winner every time, there is no surprise in the outcome. Without surprise, there’s no suspense. With no suspense, the audience is not engaged. So, other than validating the contest, there’s really no point in even playing a winner audio on the air. After all, if I’m not the winner, why would I care? I’m just not invested in the outcome.
But what if there were risk?