Telephone in radio, still?

I remember already twenty years ago having a discussion about how inappropriate I found telephone sound in a radio promo including greetings from artists. I never understood why radio organizations invested a fortune in sophisticated audio processors, in ultra sensitive microphones and studios with magical acoustics and we ended up bringing noisy, flat, mono, telephonic sound on air.

I think that I have always been obsessed about it during my career as PD in radio. And my anti-telephone fixation hasn’t decreased in the last four years that I haven’t been in the first line of radio production. As a listener, I think I have even radicalized about it.

In this period of time I’ve been seeing and interpreting thousands of listeners’ minute-by-minute reactions to on-air content. (In Voizzup we capture and process everyday millions of spontaneous reactions from listeners on the mobile apps of our client radio stations).

The disengagement of radio audience during a poor quality phone call on-air is often dramatic. Many listeners tune out or drop the audio volume. That means listeners are not paying attention anymore. It has impact on listening hours.

Observing the impact poor quality audio causes on each listener has increased the pain awareness in me. I wish every radio professional could see it as it happens.

I said that I radicalized, but I’m definitely not a fundamentalist. Is putting telephone sound on-air always a bad idea? Obviously not! I have also observed several occasions when listeners engaged.

Your content needs to be certainly freaking good if you intend to force your listeners to stay tuned in for two minutes of painful sound.

And that brings us to a different and fascinating topic: how can you be certain that your content is freaking good?

To be continued…