Play to Win by Avoiding 8 Not-To-Lose Tactics

It doesn’t matter how how much time you spend massaging the music log. But yes, investing resources on music flow are important.

It doesn’t matter how well tested your music library is, or that you’ve placed power songs consistently in your clocks. But yes, clock construction and song sequencing is important.

It doesn’t matter that you play 45 minutes of continuous music. Eventually you play commercials. Or that you play your stop sets at exactly the same time as every other station in the market. But yes, stop set placement is important.

It doesn’t matter how frequently you promote your “cue to call” tune in occasion. But yes, setting appointment tune ins are important.

It doesn’t matter how much cash you give away, or that you have a backstage meet and greet to offer winners. But yes, promotion is important.

It doesn’t matter that you shave a few seconds from the air talent’s talk breaks. But yes, efficiency in presentation is important. None of it really impacts your TSL.

Playing Not To Lose

Your TSL is going down. Every station’s is declining. And your loss is not to another radio station’s gain. You’re playing the ratings game, hoping to lose less than your radio competition. And it’s killing our industry.

Here are 8 symptoms of playing not to lose:

  • Shave 2 seconds. Tighten those personalities down as much as possible. If you can shave another second or two from the break, that’s a listening benefit.
  • Don’t try new things unless someone else does it first. Don’t innovate. What if it doesn’t work? Never try anything that hasn’t been proven.
  • Leave production alone. It sounds fine, and doesn’t run people off the air. If we change it, we may add something that loses a quarter hour.
  • Play spots at same time as everyone else. There’s a scientific method behind the madness of airing the spots at exactly this time in the hour. Let’s not rock the boat.
  • Place a strict limit on talk. It doesn’t really matter what they say in personality breaks as long as they say it in less than 45 seconds.
  • Follow the rules and never break them. Rules are there for a reason and if we never violate one, nobody can be blamed if it goes down.
  • Research everything and remove all possible irritants. If we identify everything that someone says they dislike, there won’t be a reason to tune out, right?
  • Wring your hands and pace the halls. We must be perfect and precise every moment of every day. If we don’t, that meter carrier could tune to out competitor.

Play to win. Don’t play to avoid finishing last.

The only way to improve time spent listening is to create can’t miss, unique entertainment that leaps through the speakers and compels listeners to pay attention.

And that comes from personalities that that transcends programming tricks designed to manipulate meter carriers.

Programming science is important, of course. But we’re programming disposable stations that will become self-fulfilling prophesies. We’re losing importance and significance by the day, quarter hour by quarter hour.

Take some risks. You don’t have to be reckless, but be creative. Bold. Innovate. Try something different. it may not be perfect. It may even run off a meter or two (shudder). But it may save you from your path to extinction.

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