Is Talent More Important Than Music?

 In Vault


SETUP: Growing up, what tipped you off that someone was wealthier than you?

For Chris Demm at Two Guys Named Chris, it was when someone had air conditioning.  Listeners responded with other clues:

  • No wheels underneath the house.
  • If they had a pool, especially an in-ground one.
  • They got to eat the “good” cereal, Fruit Loops, Fruity Pebbles, Lucky Charms.
  • If their basement was finished.
  • Drank Pepsi instead of Kool-Aid.
  • If they had a washer and dryer.

ALTERNATE SETUP: Bud and Broadway at WIL St Louis discuss “the thing that your only rich friend had” in this audio.


SETUP: Record or write down those random ideas that come to you in the shower or while driving and create a show benchmark.

Rick Rumble at FM 99 Norfolk combines theme music, a bathroom echo, and odd brainstorms in this feature. Rick’s thoughts include:

  • If Deadpool got circumcised, it would just grow back.
  • Humans are the only bunch of atoms that realize they are a bunch of atoms.
  • The first person to do parkour was probably running from the cops.
  • Wheel clamps like the Denver Boot are the ultimate irony; you can’t park here …so we are going to make you park here.


SETUP: When someone wronged you and the universe got even…

Dex and Barbie T at Hot 98.1 found that karma is a powerful force with listeners in Greenville:

  • “I went on a blind date back when I was heavy, he took one look at me and walked out. I was crushed. Not long after that his house burned down, and I lost 130 pounds.”
  • “A boyfriend cheated on me, and the other woman won a million dollars at a department store. They blew the million on drugs and their kids are all dope heads.”
  • “My fiancée and I were Christians and pledged celibacy until marriage. But he got someone pregnant and they had a train wreck of a whirlwind marriage, divorce, foreclosure, etc.”



Budget cuts have left many US radio companies without good audience research to illuminate their path. New insights into changing listener attitudes are valuable and much appreciated.

Fred Jacobs revealed TechSurvey 2019 at the Worldwide Radio Summit in Burbank last week. There were several large “kabooms.”

Talent Matters More Than Music. “DJs, hosts and shows” surpassed music as a top reason why consumers use AM/FM radio. Music radio listeners are migrating to online stations like Spotify, citing music repetition and commercials as deal-breakers.

  • Smart Speaker Skills Are Crucial. Only 2/3 of 20 and 30-something listeners own an AM/FM radio. But 25% listen to AM/FM more often after buying a smart speaker like Amazon Alexa. Be sure your station and show are running promos informing listeners where to find it on smart speakers.
  • More Listeners Prefer Radio From Devices. A mere 7 years ago, TechSurvey 2013 indicated that 85% of listening was AM/FM while 13% was digital. This year, AM/FM listening has dropped to 65% while listeners spend 31% of their total audio consumption with smart phones, smart speakers and computers, which puts AM/FM in a more competitive space. Also: AM/FM listening drops in cars with in-dash digital radio or Sirius XM.

 We highly recommend that you see the Jacobs Media webinar for TechSurvey next Monday, April 15 at 2 PM ET/11 AM PT.

Correction: In last week’s newsletter we wrote that “DJ’s Hosts and Shows” were a bigger draw than music on AM/FM and digital radio in this survey, but that is true only for AM/FM.



Sleepy morning radio people might wake faster using this app that “rings” with the sound of a puking dog, crazed zombies or screaming women.


The riskiest thing you can do in today’s competitive environment is play it safe.


Stanley Cup NHL playoffs begin, April 10
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Good Friday, April 19
Easter, April 21
Earth Day, April 22
Cinco De Mayo, May 5
Mother’s Day, May 12
Armed Forces Day, May 18
Memorial Day, May 27
Morning Show Boot Camp, Chicago, August 8-9
Podcast Movement, Orlando, August 13-16

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