#RDE16: Day Two Wrap

Staff Writer

Ronnie Stanton has us covered with RadioDays Europe from a Programming  perspective. Here is his wrap on Day Two of #RDE16.

The head of the CBC opened the day with Remaining Relevant – the diversity challenge.

Her number one piece of advice is to live and play in a digital and diverse world. It’s about people and about content – it’s about remaining relevant. Your station should sound like the city – radio can be very male, pale and stale.

Relevance just got harder. Perspective is critical in an ever changing world.

Patrick Collins– head of youth audiences from the BBC led a discussion next about the new generation of listeners and the demand for instant gratification. Younger audiences are important for three reasons – radio is for all, younger people represent a view into the future and young people’s will lead to true innovation and a paradigm shift.

UK research show declining use of radio and live TV from younger demographics (<24).

The key is control. This audience wants control of what they consume and when. We as an industry are not used to that. Kevin Costner would clearly not make a good media strategist today – if you build it they will not necessarily come.

What is quality to this audience? It’s less about the editing and execution. It is more about the brilliance of the idea and the original premise.

We ask the question ‘why don’t they come to us?‘ The real question is ‘why would they come to us?’ Or better even ‘what are their needs and how can we serve them better?’

Four main needs for younger people:

Competence – to be better

Autonomy– imagining the future self

Relationships – understanding ourselves and those around us

Pleasure– play, mood management, extreme content

In the same session Denmark youth broadcasters shared info from their study on 13-29 year olds – generation instant pay off.

TV in Nordic countries seeing huge declines     Not so much in radio.

Two life groups within this broad demo.

13-19 – colors, games, social, music and fun

20-24 – starting to see practicality sneak in: traffic, weather but still dominated by music, social and fun

25-29 – now includes news as well as music and social

Online music services hugely important to this demographic. 82% use them weekly. Equally active between males and females.

Radio has to be on the listener’s terms – anywhere anytime anything.

Podcasts rapidly growing in popularity. Men more active than women.

This demo spends more than 6 hours per day looking at a screen (laptop, smart phone, TV, tablet and gaming). When asked which device they would miss the most – 61% say smart phone, 1% say radio.

Radio is now competing in a world championship. This audience sees more value in YouTube and social media than local radio brands. Facebook still number 1 but rapidly follow

Francis Currie, UK consultant did a great session on Morning Show Secrets. He has a cool measurement website and research platform called makeradiobetter.com which gauges audience appeal of morning show content.

Here are the learnings:

  • As you would expect P1s have a higher tolerance for lengthy content than casual tuners.
  • Females less likely to listen to crude or unsavory humor
  • Interest can only be held for around 3 minutes.
  • The entry point is vital – catching attention early in a break is far more powerful than a meandering start.
  • A list guests elicit a positive reaction but not off the scale. B and C list guests drive neutral or even negative reactions.
  • Poor phone quality callers kill minute by minute tuning.
  • Positivity on the air scores higher than negativity, complaining and whining.
  • Kids on the radio can be an Achilles heel for an adult audience. But can be powerful if the bit is strong.
  • Use of audio to enhance a segment, if short, has a positive impact on a break.
  • Telling great stories is the most engaging thing we can do on the air.
  • Shows that appear to talk amongst themselves rather than including the listener are punished for the insular content
  • Prank calls are well received but make response is much higher than with women. The peak of tuning is on the reveal at the end of the segment.
  • The length of a break in the listeners mind has nothing to do with the actual length of the break in terms of time. It is about compelling content.

Final session. 30-ish ideas in 45 minutes.


  1. Content is and always will be, King.
  2. Take chances – lead, don’t follow.
  3. Remember the listener.
  4. Focus on one thing at a time.
  5. Be honest – be a person of your word. Do what you say you will do.
  6. There are no boring stories – only boring storytellers.
  7. Social networks…
  8. Facebook – still the most dominant and worth your focus.
  9. Snapchat – use for weather. Have listeners send you weather where they are.
  10. What’s app – has replaced texting in lots of European countries.
  11. YouTube – promote your stars on YouTube. It is a search engine for under 35 year olds seeking content.
  12. Tinder – online dating is huge Brian way to integrate your brand.
  13. Voice…
  14. Always warm up your voice before a radio show. Always.
  15. Make a movie in your mind. Think feel and imagine every word you say.
  16. As every break is different, try to sound a little different in each one. Adjust speed, canter, emphasis etc.
  17. Know what emotion you want the listener to feel during your break – before you start the break.
  18. Be human. Be you.
  19. Branded content…
  20. Create unusual content with and for clients
  21. Industry collaboration allows you to be every bigger
  22. Steal ideas from overseas – shamelessly
  23. Once in a lifetime prizes move the needle
  24. Pitching (to listeners)…
  25. Make it sexy. It is shoebox after all
  26. Keep a playful spirit.
  27. Identify why the story is interesting and surprising. My story is about X and it’s interesting because of Y. A good health check of the topic.
  28. Sound enthusiastic.
  29. Be specific.  Avoid topics. Tell stories.
  30. Justify the medium the other mediums. Use the power of radio for the story then value add to the listener with video if possible.
  31. Digital disruption building blocks…
  32. Stop competing with Spotify and stop letting Spotify et al compete with radio. Spotify et al own on demand. Let’s get back to content and personality because that’s what we own.
  33. Learn to code. Employ software programmers. Your app shouldn’t look like everyone else’s app. Doing it  in house is a powerful marketing tool
  34. Invest in the visual look of your station as much as you invest in the audio. We spend so much on imaging, producers etc. we need to invest in the look too. User interface is everything.
  35. Build a consistent user experience across all your platforms. Whether they are on air or on line. Your Facebook page should be as on brand as the last break on air.
  36. Sell convergence. The holy grail for radio and digital. Monetize all your assets and stop being in radio – start being in media

About Ronnie Stanton

Aussie kid living in Canada. His office job is VP – National Brands and Programming for Corus Entertainment .  Ronnie also consults radio stations and coaches morning shows all over the world. He can be reached through www.ronniestanton.com

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