For three, possibly four, decades listeners have been telling the researchers stations hire that they hate radio commercials.
In the 1960’s Marlin Taylor and Jerry Lee, Jim Schulke and Bill Drake among others took a shot at fixing the problem.
Taylor and Lee, at what was the forerunner to today’s MoreFM in Philadelphia, ran four commercials an hour, one every 15 minutes – a little more, not much in drive time. The ratings soared and the ad rates quadrupled.
Schulke who ran SRP, the successful syndicated instrumental music format had similar restrictions.
And hit stations, adult contemporary and talk stations had so much garbage on them that they were unlistenable so Drake limited the loads to 12 spots an hour on his client RKO stations. Many imitators followed.
They all succeeded.
Eventually most of the stations gave in and added back the irritations so that they could make more money.
And today, with radio barely able to get their rates, giving away tons of bonuses and more advertiser-preferred short commercials, it’s bedlam.
What a bad time to give up sniffing glue as they said in Airplane. In other words you couldn’t pick a worse time than now to be dealing with a clutter problem and a diminished rate problem.
Radio needs the listeners AND the revenue.
There is one type of commercial that is an absolute tune-in among all age groups. How about doing more of them for starters.
But then there are agency spots that radio can’t change.
There is something that can be done in the middle of stop sets that will force listening to continue, but no one has done it as simple as it is.
There’s lots of evidence that running two overweight commercial stop sets an hour would be better off becoming four or even six – the rationale being shorter attention spans like more interruptions. There’s something to it.
A neat little trick on how you organize long vs. very short commercials that won’t lose a listener and promises to keep more tuned in.
And there is a word you must never say on-air because it makes listeners flee.
You can always run fewer spots, or can you? Times are tough.
And you can make better commercials with a proven record for impressive results and listener satisfaction.
I guess what I am saying is that considering what a game breaker commercials are for radio stations that need to run them, shouldn’t we have a conversation about new and effective ways to mitigate the damage …
That’s where we’ll pick it up at the upcoming The 2017 Radio Solutions Conference
All New Curriculum for 2017: 1) Reducing High Advertiser Churn, 2) Strategies for Ending Rampant Rate Cutting; 3) Attracting Millennial Listeners; 4) Rebuilding Eroding Radio Audiences; 5) The Morning Show of the Future; 6) Eliminating the 3 Biggest Listener Objections to Radio; 7) Listen Longer Strategies; 8) Solutions to Commercial Clutter; 9) Digital That Makes Money; 10) Underground AM Stations; 11) Podcasting, Yes or No? Details …