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Invite your listeners to stay longer

Be aware of your convening power when you are on-air

Radio professional: small things that you do on air, often have a massive impact in listening time.

Are you aware of the convening power you have when you are on-air? Inviting listeners to stay longer, to come back in the evening or to tune-in now can translate into a higher reach and a longer Time Spent Listening.

In Voizzup we have had the opportunity to see this again and again. Let me share three memorable occasions:

First time was in a historical day for Spain. “The president (prime minister) is making an announcement to the nation in the next hour. Moncloa (presidential office) hasn’t made any comment on the content of the announcement”, the host of the morning show of a news&talk station in Spain said on-air. Rumors and speculations began immediately. A couple of minutes before the time of the announcement the number of simultaneous listeners skyrocketed. They didn’t miss King Juan Carlos I abdicating.

A news&talk station in the Netherlands, which we are working with, implemented last year a breaking news notification on their mobile app. First notification they released (at least the first one I have memory of) said “explosion at Brussels airport”. This notification generated the most vertical peak in number of listeners we had seen in this station until then. When we looked at Voizzup dashboard we saw that reach had significantly surpassed the average. Time spent listening bounced down. * We’ll talk about that reach-TSL opposed correlation (and how differently Brexit behaved) soon in a different post.

Picture this nightmare situation: you are the host of a morning show that is on-air at the moment. You start receiving calls from listeners saying they cannot hear you well. Interferences are unbearable. Your transmitter is malfunctioning. Reparation works will take hours. You can either just close the microphone and go home… or stay on-air for those who are listening to you online. It’s year 2017, I hope you choose the latter. This happened to our client. That morning the number of listeners on the mobile app of the station tripled. Interestingly enough, the biggest peak didn’t occur when the interferences began but immediately after the host announced the issue and invited listeners to tune-in through the mobile app.

Radio colleague, please, be aware of the power of your words when you are on-air. If you would like your listeners to tune-in longer, give them a good reason, and invite them to stay. And please, next time you are ending your show, don’t just say “we are leaving, talk to you tomorrow!”.

Alternative ending: And please, next time you go into a commercial break, don’t say “we’ll be back in X minutes”.

Written by

Founder of Voizzup and formerly radio Programme Director. Introducing continuous improvement in radio, both for on-air content and talent.

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