Most clients know how much value I place on focus and simplicity. When you get to the heart of what works on the air, the power of the one thing is the key. In fact, there’s one thing that can make you #1.
Your one thing may be a feature, or the ability to interview guests. it could be something a character trait or personality quirk. But there’s one thing that drives success for all personalities.
In City Slickers, Curly and Mitch have a discussion that eventually sends Mitch (Billy Crystal) on a life-changing quest.
How powerful is this one thing? Research proves that there really isn’t much difference in actual listening between the #10 and #1 shows in a typical market. They have almost identical TSL (time spent listening) per listening occasion. Isn’t that amazing? The margin between the top performing stations and those on the bubble is quite small.
Does this surprise you? It shouldn’t. The difference is in frequency of listening occasions. The top stations create more reasons to tune in more often, and they learn to promote those occasions much more effectively.
The problem is that it’s hard to find tune in events that are worthy of attracting occasions. So personalities and programmers constantly tweak and add, thinking that if we can just make it better, they’ll listen more. Or if we offer more, there’s a better chance of getting a larger audience.
But that doesn’t work any more than adding Lasagna to the menu will attract more guests to a Chinese restaurant.
The truth is that most content isn’t memorable enough.
There’s no doubt that features are more valuable than ever. They frame content to make it easily digested by listeners. This is critical, especially for new or developing shows, or one that’s building a new audience base.
A single great feature can provide enough tune-in factor that makes the difference between #10 and #1.