(By Randy Lane) What’s the magic bullet for male-targeted radio shows and podcasts? Since we recently identified the one-two punch that propels ratings for female-targeted shows, several hosts have asked us that question.
What is your show known for? That’s one of the first questions we ask in our brand-definition exercise. Shows can be known for controversial/edgy content, family-friendly content, and community involvement, to cite a few.
Shows that become known for powerful benchmarks create high-volume tune-ins at appointed times. Like female-appealing benchmarks, male-oriented features that rely on dramatic, humorous, and vulnerable storytelling are the most impactful.
Benchmarks also help shows own images like drama, humor, and pop culture. Only A+ quality benchmarks can run at specific times, because people listen at the same time daily based on their schedule.
These benchmarks must occur very frequently to make them work. The problem with running a strong benchmark weekly (or a couple of days a week) is that it will take a lifetime to establish it. Think how long it would take a song to become a hit if it was only played a couple of times weekly.
How often is frequently?
Run original benchmarks every day at an appointed time and replay them at least twice in different hours and different days to expose them to a greater percentage of your audience. Time-spent-listening (TSL) is short, particularly in the morning. Top-rated shows average 10-12 minutes per listen, and 45 minutes or so per week.
Breakthrough benchmarks that influence ratings the most happen in two parts. They attract a cluster of tune-ins at an appointed time, and increase TSL with the resolution of the setup occurring in the next quarter-hour.
The Mikey Show in San Diego flipped the War of the Roses concept to their male audience with Cheater’s Hotel. It worked the same way as War of the Roses
At the appointed time, the host sets up the potential cheating story. Then they tease that they’re going to call the suspected cheater in the next segment posing as a hotel spokesperson giving away a free romantic weekend night for two.
Suspense builds as listeners wait for the cheating suspect to be vindicated or nailed.
Turn One-Segment Tune-ins Into a Second Quarter-Hour
There are several successful male benchmarks that pay off in one content segment. Take advantage of the high tune-ins by teasing the next A+ segment going into and out of the feature.
Here are some fun examples from top shows around the country:
Put-up or Shut-up Rock ‘n Roll Trivia – Two Guys Named Chris, WKRR Greensboro, NC
Facebook Fights – Rumble in the Morning, WNOR Norfolk
Smarta Marta – Bailey & Southside, Rock 100.5 Atlanta
The Beat Migs Game – BJ & Migs, KISW Seattle
Hump Day Sex Quiz Trivia – The Paul Castronovo Show, Big 105.9 Miami
Bombed at the Beach – The Show Rock 105.3 San Diego
Redneck News – Mancow, Chicago
Radio shows and podcasts complete the one-two punch by the cast sharing their authentic personal life experiences. Cover the emotional scale with stories that reveal character flaws, dilemmas, vulnerability, and humorous catastrophes.