Content Distribution

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Song-to-song balance and flow on music stations is achieved by separating powers, secondaries, new songs, genres, tempos, eras and textures. Your show will maximize time-spent-listening by maintaining a balance of talk content, music (if you play music) and content types.

Jeff McHugh reviews the key guidelines for distributing your content to maintain listeners throughout each hour of your show.

Randy Lane

Your show is made up of a unique variety of elements. Yours may include music, talk, contests and games, news, stunts, pranks, topic segments, interviews and other various benchmarks. A step that many shows miss is balancing how your audience receives that content as they listen.

In your planning process, take an extra moment to look at your daily show sheet and consider how the content is laid out from segment-to-segment, from hour-to-hour and from day to day.

For example, consider when your contests are taking place. A common imbalance occurs when a show plays multiple games or giveaways in a short period of time. A good guideline to prevent that is to allow no more than one contest or game per hour.

Take inventory of music and talk content. If your show does a long talk segment, then a commercial set followed by another long talk segment, you might consider inserting a song in there for balance. On the other hand, if your show plays 2-3 songs in a row without opening the mic, you can sound like a mechanized Spotifiy play list, and that’s not a winning formula either.

Be mindful of telling too many personal stories (internal content). Create balance with other people’s stories (external content) so the show does not come off as being self-absorbed.

Be mindful of your daily content distribution. Most listeners tune in to drive-time radio at the same time. You might have one or two popular appointment benchmarks that listeners tune in to and expect at the same time daily or weekly. However, secondary features should be floated to maximize unpredictability.

If you play a game at 7:15 on Tuesday, change it up by airing a phone topic on Wednesday at 7:15 and “News of the Weird” on Thursday at 7:15.

The most successful shows are a mixture of predictability and unpredictability, and that balance is only achieved by taking the time to measure and distribute the content evenly throughout all the moments of your show.

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