As long as the radio industry allows ratings services to hold us hostage to their insanely outdated methods of gathering ratings data, programmers should at least know how to play the game. And that means playing to ratings respondents.

Playing to ratings respondents is very different than simply building a popular radio station with the entire population. It’s like politicians who don’t need to influence the public as a whole, just those who are most likely to vote.

So if success and failure depends on being popular with ratings respondents, doesn’t it make sense to know as much about those consumers as possible?

These folks can be researched and tracked, and several companies are doing a great job with it, such as NuVooDoo. And, as you might suspect, they are not like the rest of the population that would never answer a researcher’s phone call, let alone carry a device to measure their listening.

What can we learn about them? Plenty.

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Here are 3 key findings that should impact how your station sounds tomorrow:

Playing to Ratings Respondents: Embrace the Fans

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