Have you ever wandered of the health of your radio station?
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Working in countries different than your own has a neat side effect: learning the idioms and phrases of other languages. Germans have a great one for describing the projected and the actual states of something, they call it “Soll-Ist Zustand” (This literally means “Should” and “Is” state). Health is RadioAnalyzer’s interpretation of this idea. Let’s take a little stroll in a day in the life of a RadioAnalyzer user. You will see how Audio makers around the globe are using it to get a read on health of their radio stations.
We call the function “Health” for a reason; it’s like a regular check-up at the doc. Give everything a quick once-over to see if all the parts are still moving like they should, and dive deeper if necessary. (We even used to have a stethoscope graphic as the function button in an earlier RadioAnalyzer release.)
Health of a radio station will show you your basic KPIs for the station. These include time spent listening, overall listening level, number of listeners on average in a timeframe. It’ll show you what kind of device they were using, if they are your regular listeners or casual ones. You can also see content balance, number of songs, and an average length for your talk breaks.
If you want to see the Health function in action, just click play below. If you want a more hands on rundown of the use of the function – keep reading.
The idea with Health of a radio station is not to drown you with data, but just give you a heads up if there is something you should be looking at. Using it is simple: pick a date range, the days of the week, and a timeframe. Let’s look at the past week for a station, Monday to Friday, and Primetime 6:00-18:00.
Right away we can see one section glowing green, and one red. Red means “this needs to be looked at” and green means “you’re doing great here, better than average”. In this case the average is always a rolling result based on the most recent data for the station. Since performance changes seasonally – I’ve talked about this before – you need to have a recent benchmark to check against.
In the case above our time spent listening is going up, but the overall number of listeners is falling. That equates to almost flat overall listening. This could be a seasonal change – which would be ok – or a first sign of super serving a core – which would not. By “Super-Serving” I mean a program that appeals to an increasingly small group of people. They listen a lot, but there aren’t enough of them. Let’s dig a little deeper here and look at the overall listening the past few weeks.
The yellow line is actual listening on those days, and the black line is the expected listening level based on the most recent data. We can see slight dip below what we would expect in that week for overall listening. There is also a definite dip below the most recent weeks which were actually above average. Going a level deeper into the hourly data for the week in question, we can see what is causing the listening to fall overall. In the chart we see the week of the 17th with hourly data for the individual days in yellow, as well as the average in black.
The morning show is gone. The answer here is a relatively simple one: It’s school vacation time for the station in question. For any station with an AC- or “Grown-Up” CHR-Oriented Audience, that affects your actual listening, in most cases it removes a large portion of your morning/breakfast listening, and shoves the tune in time back by about 1-2 hours, depending on the country and the format.
So we know everything is ok. We should however evaluate if we need to be pushing back or repeating breakfast show content because a good portion of our listeners are tuning in later. We should also have already planned out how to get them back with a bang when the vacation is over, which is just good programming strategy. What RadioAnalyzer lets you do is see if your plans for vacation and the time afterward are working. Real-Live Real-Time data is always your best bet if you need to know what a listener is doing right now, and if they are reacting to your content.
The health of your radio station
How do you do your station checkups? And how can we help you stay healthy? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you.
You might say the poor guy never had a chance, being born to two radio-crazy ArmedForcesNetwork journalists that met in southeast Asia (think “Good Morning Vietnam” – and no, his dad is not Adrian Cronauer). Since discovering his love for music programming as a teenager, Bill has been obsessed with turning great ideas into numbers you can measure, and measured numbers into actionable programming strategies that make great radio. After touring Central Europe as a Music-Promotion-Programm- Director and a Research&Program Consultant for European and International Consulting firms, he has returned to the audio innovation trenches at RadioAnalyzer, and is loving every minute of it.