NEWS BLOG (WSAU) From the Citizen Wausau web site comes a rant about local radio stations. (read it here: http://citizenwausau.com )
"Radio stations are too repetitive" is a common complaint. Of course, music stations have no interest in being too repetitive. We have an interest in attracting the largest audience possible. And that means playing the most popular songs -- the ones people are most familiar with. Most people have only 15-20 songs on their personal radar screens at any given time. Those are the songs successful radio stations play. Frequently.
How much is too frequently? How do we know when people are sick of a certain song? That's a research question. And we do music research, via internet-based music listening surveys, every week. One of the questions we ask about every song is 'are you tired of it?' Songs with the highest burn rates are rested or dropped from our playlist.
Finally, there is the issue of music variety. Of course, everyone says they like variety. If people are asked if they want more choices or fewer choices, they always pick more. More is perceived as better than less. But reality is different. The Top 40 music format started when radio pioneer Todd Storz noticed that waitresses in diners would spend their tips playing the same songs on the jukebox that they'd heard the entire night during their shifts. The same is true today. Most people want to hear the few songs they like over and over again, rather than a wider variety of songs that they don't like as much. Since we're in the business of selling advertising, we can't tell our sponsors that a smaller audience is hearing their commercials in the name of variety.
In the end, this radio rant aimed at Midwest Communications is targeted towards the wrong broadcaster. The Midwest Communications stations are the highest-rated, most successful stations in Central Wisconsin. If the writer is correct, then other radio broadcasters in our area should follow his formula and beat us in the ratings. They won't.
Operations Manager-Midwest Communications, Wausau