Solving the “Too Many Commercials” Problem

If there is one thing that deserves radio’s attention, it is finding a way to mitigate listener complaints about too many commercials.

Amazingly, 16 minutes an hour sounds like double that to a listener when you consider how many :10 and :15 second spots are run in two unlistenable stop sets an hour.

Ratings dictate where these stop sets run in the false illusion that stations will rack up more quarter hour listening.

To be blunt, keep this up and no matter how good a radio station’s programming content may be, listeners will continue fleeing for other options – not even other stations who likely follow the same bad practices.

Now there is hope.

To start with are you running the kind of commercials that even Millennial listeners say they like – that’s right, like? It’s important to know.

Do you know a way to load a lot of commercials into stop sets and reduce the irritation factor by up to 30%? It’s doable.

The one thing to never put in a stop set loaded with commercials or you’re likely asking for trouble.

Taking advantage of competitors who fail to follow the new rules to commercial placement.

Of course, the best way is to cut commercials loads, but Entercom has been trying this on test stations and promoting it. And you know what? It hasn’t helped – at least if you look at the ratings.

So, we’re going to focus on getting control of the biggest audience irritation factor for radio and you can try new ideas and make a real difference.

Here are the radio topics we will focus on at my upcoming Philly conference in 7 weeks from now …

  1. Baby Boomers -- What to do with 70 million available baby boomers -- too many to ignore – when radio is focusing on 95 million Millennials.
  2. Outdated Morning Shows – Replacing traffic, transit and weather with 3 things listeners can’t get on a smartphone.
  3. Repetitive Music – Two new alternatives. One adds more new music without watering down the hits. The other is to rip up the traditional playlist and present the music in an entirely different way.
  4. Listen Longer – Radio time spent listening has been declining every year for two decades. Under 30’s don’t even listen to any song all the way through even though music radio is built on the assumption that if you play the right songs, the audience will stay tuned in. New solutions that are proven to work.
  5. Change the Way We Talk To Listeners – Radio sounds dated and stale. Too much bragging and hype. Learn surprising words that turn off young audiences when used on the air, in promos, sweepers, imaging and commercials.
  6. Millennial Hot Buttons – Authenticity is number one plus four other things that will make younger money demo listeners crave your station.
  7. Music Discovery – How to play the hits as we must while also competing with new music from streaming music services. A bold new way to safely make one format adjustment and do both.
  8. Replacement Format for Talk – Political talk is not resonating with prime demos, but there is one thing that is right in radio’s wheelhouse that should be the next spoken word format. Storytelling – we’ll get into how all types of stations – even music formats – can do it.
  9. Solving the “Too Many Commercials” Problem – For stations that can’t deeply cutback commercial minutes, some new solutions.

And these digital topics that deliver what audiences really want …

  1. Storytelling Instead of Podcasting – Podcasting is radio online, but storytelling is the hottest thing that Millennials want.
  2. Short-Form Video – New rules: don’t need air talent, expenses are under $500 (for the year) and the upside is tremendous.
  3. Social Media After Facebook & Twitter – What’s next in the pipeline.
  4. Binge Content – It’s not just for Netflix and Hulu. Here’s how radio can do it.
  5. Apps Not Websites – How to refocus attention from station websites to specially targeted apps.

More than ever, you can accelerate your station’s success by developing innovative solutions to radio’s biggest challenges.

Make yourself indispensible by investing in yourself by transforming opportunities into success.

Independent broadcasters and digital entrepreneurs are invited to the 6th annual Media Solutions Seminar at the Hub Conference Center March 18th in Philadelphia, walking distance from Amtrak’s 30th Street Station and 20 minutes from Philadelphia International Airport.

Buffet breakfast, lunch and all breaks prepared by James Beard award-winning chef Jean-Marie Lacroix, former executive chef at The Four Seasons included.

Only 7weeks from today to reserve a seat at the next Media Solutions Conference.

It’s your chance to register and reserve a seat at the lowest rate we offer.

Register Now

Contact Jerry about the conference and group rates here.