One, Two Punch = Higher Ratings


(By Randy Lane) The Randy Lane Company has always believed that the future of radio is talent. We also believe storytelling that includes humor, drama and intrigue are the key ingredients for successful shows.

But, if you really want to hit it out of the park, don’t underestimate the power of the one-two punch: engaging storytelling plus episodic content. That’s why streaming television shows like OzarkInventing Anna, and Better Call Saul are so popular.

Almost every show has one-off story features that include varying degrees of humor or drama like “Trending,” “Stupid News,” and “Good News.” While people enjoy these types of features, they don’t drive high tune-ins.

There are two primary ways radio and podcast shows create drama plus episodic content:

  1. Benchmarks

Staged appointment benchmarks like “2nd Date Update,” “War of the Roses,” and “Forgive and Forget” thrive on drama that attracts high tune-ins. These types of benchmarks can put a new show on the map and keep mature declining shows competitive.

Relationship features like “Love Court” and DJX Louisville’s Ben and Kelly’s “Group Therapy” are filled with drama that triggers multiple listener interactions.

Listeners crave resolution. Rather than one-offs, the smart shows follow up with the storyline until there is resolution.

  1. Cast storylines

Engaging cast storylines that are laced with vulnerability and humor connect with the audience emotionally, deepen character development, and pay off in long-term listener loyalty.

Storylines that pay off one day and continue the next day or week at the same time (people listen to radio at the same time every day based on their schedule) with another payoff generate tune-ins and time-spent-listening. It can be as simple as The KVJ Show’s cohost Jbird sharing his quest to buy a house that was loaded with mishaps, vulnerability, and humor.

Bert Weiss of The Bert Show made a big announcement this week that he’s going to Poland to help with the Ukrainian refugee crisis. This ongoing story arc will showcase dramatic family stories filled with sadness, compassion, and hope.

The ultimate success of a radio or podcast is to motivate listeners to come back to your next show or episode. To accomplish that, the one-two punch is drama and episodic content.

Contact Randy Lane by e-mail at [email protected].


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