QuickHitz Offers a New Kind of Music Program

Would radio listeners really tune in to hear half a song? That is the question QuickHitz will have to face as it makes its way into Australian radio stations. The patented brand takes popular songs, speeds them up and chops them down to about half their length. At first look, it doesn’t seem like a venture anyone would be interested in taking part in, but the company has some smart marketing behind it to make it work.

Radio listeners are used to having their music sped up a bit and cut off before the actual end of the song. It happens all the time since the license to play the song only pertains to how many times the song is played and not how much of it is played. These cuts and edits are used to make songs more appealing and to cut time off of overly long broadcasts. They also allow listeners to hear more songs per hour.

And that is the angle QuickHitz is going for- more songs in an hour segment. The format boasts 24 songs each hour, but they aren’t full songs. They are smoothly edited from one to the next, allowing for a relatively nice-sounding transition. Some people will appreciate getting to hear a larger sampling, while others will complain that is it just that, a sample.

QuickHitz has already found some success in the US and Canada, and they will be bringing their unique brand of radio to Australia soon. They don’t have to change the current set of broadcasts to work either, as the program is meant to be bolted on to what is already in place.

images1Some radio listeners are wondering who this format is meant to appeal to. It has been suggested that QucikHitz is ideal for people with short attention spans or who people who are working while they listen. They don’t have time to pay attention to the entire song as they perform bathroom renovations or fill customer orders. But a listen here or there gives them a chance to catch new songs constantly, even if it is in small snippets. While those doing the bathroom renovations and such might want to hear a full song, QuickHitz isn’t really being made to appeal to everyone.

But it is a program that is made to be listened to by people who maybe don’t like every song playing on the radio. Even if they don’t like the song being played, they know they don’t have to wait long to hear the next song.…

Is ARN Having Their Best Year Yet?

Radio station ARN has had a phenomenal year, with some of their programs hitting the number 1 and 2 spots every day. Their Group Manager Duncan Campbell attributes this success to their ability to change on the fly.

In the old days of radio, he explains, there was a need to wait for the ratings to come in to make changes. But now ratings are not the deciding factor for changes. Stations and managers can judge their listener feedback in the moment and make those changes well before the ratings ever appear.

This is thanks to improved technologies that allow for better tracking and the ability to switch up content more easily. If a song is not tracking well, it can be shuffled out of rotation much easier than before. And if listeners are responding to the topics being discussed during talk shows, managers can issue changes to the talking points list as the hosts are on the air.

These kinds of advances have made it possible for ARN to secure the #1 spot for afternoon time slots with Jason Staveley. The technology has allowed the stations to better listen to what their fans want and respond accordingly.

But of course their success has not been just because they reacted to listener comments. The station has done well because of smart managing. They have been pairing up ghosts that work well together and making sure relevant topics are being discussed. They understand that listeners are tuning in as much for the news and conversation about it as they are for entertainment. Balancing what hosts want to say and what listeners want to hear has been a game the station has proven to be skillful at.

images1And they’ve been successful on AM channels as well. They’ve managed ratings as high as 8 for some of their AM shows, which is almost unprecedented in the industry. ARN has been like the best robot vacuum, sucking up all the ratings, leaving little for the other stations to fight over.  But like a vacuum, there has been some dust and dirt getting into the machine as well.

Not every show the station produces is a hit, and the management team is looking at eachone individually to see what it is doing wrong and how it can better appeal to its intended audiences. Sometimes, it is just a matter of the otherstationshaving superior programming at that time, something that is difficult to top. But the company has been aggressive in monitoring these problems as they happen and working out solutions quickly, constantly testing new strategies to make shows stick.…

Who Is Listening to the Radio?

Many radio stations are thriving not because more people are listening to the radio than ever before, but because people are finding new way to listen to the radio. There are now more ways than ever for radio stations to not only each their listeners but also to monetize their programming.

Reaching Listeners

It used to be that the only way to listen to the radio was to turn on an at-home or in-office radio set. This meant that the vast amount of radio programming took place during the evening when most people were going to be off work and at home, available to listen to the programming. When radio became smaller and more affordable, it started to become a common part of the driving commute. Radio stations started putting quality content on for the morning drives for commuters, then throughout the day for professional drivers such as truckers and cab drivers.

Radio are synonymous with cars now, as chauffeured cars are as much about having a convenient ride as they are about enjoying one’s favourite programming. People who have to drive all day, like those who operate chauffeured cars, have something they can do that won’t be too distracting from their work but can provide them some enjoyment.

And as the digital age continues, radios have found their way into home computer, iPods, phones and more. Most mobile devices come with built in radio capabilities, allowing listeners to get their radio fix whenever and wherever they want.

Monetizing the Programming

In the past, it was only ad revenue that really brought in the money for radio stations. They had to rely on their sponsors and advertisers to make any money off of what they did. But that has all changed with the advent of pay-for-listen radio.

images1People who stream their radio froma mobile device or use their computer to listen to radio often have to pay for the services provided. Somestations will leave their streaming programming free of charge, but ask listeners to pay for a more premium experience. This could include such benefits as listening to the shows they like whenever they want to or being able to move their radio content from one device to another.

And with the advent of pay-to-listen has come premium radio stations. These are often niche stations that cater to listeners with particular tastes. Stations that dedicate their programming to a single sport or a single musical group are not an uncommon part of the pay-for-listen landscape.

Radio has changed quite a bit over the past few decades, but that has been to its benefit as it is now thriving far after many predicted it would become obsolete.…

The Habits of Audio Listeners

Those in the radio business are always concerned about how other forms of media are affecting their industry. The notion that the radio stars were made irrelevant by television stars may not be entirely true. But those in radio often feel endangered or encroached upon by the various forms of entertainment out of there.

After all, they are part of a very old technology. And as new technology comes along, the older ones are often seen as irrelevant. Now radio is certainly not dead, but it is not at the levels of widespread use that it used to be.

A study conducted recently by researchers in America found that of all audio entertainment consumed every day, 75% of it comes from the radio. This study is relevant to any developed nation where radio is competing against other forms of media. The Australianradio industry has seen its share of bumps in the road on the way toward keeping itslisteners tuned in and improving its customer base.

But these statistics are hopeful for the industry. While MP3 players and Internet streaming audio would seem to be quite prevalent among today’s people the facts show that these newer forms of audio entertainment are catching on mostly with the younger crowds. A majority of people still tend to get their news and audio talk shows from the radio. While podcasts are certainly gaining popularity, they have not even come close to eclipsing the radio listeners. Of course many of those so-called “technophiles” are avid radio listeners as well.

images1The industry is such an entrenched one that it is unlikely it will ever be replaced. While advances in technology can make way for newer forms of media, they don’t always replace them.

Consider an entirely different industry- that of tree services. The people who cut down trees and trim branches are using new tools and technologies from what they did 40 years ago, but the job is still being done. So too do radio hosts and entertainers provide invaluable services. Their tools are different, and the methods that they reach audiences may be different as well. But their services are still valuable and still a common part of many peoples’ daily lives.…

Radio Advertising and the Future of the Business

How often do radio listeners complain about the ads they are forced to listen to during their favorite radio programs? It’s a never-ending list of complaints, they have as well. They complain that the ads are too long, too annoying or not relevant to the shows.

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But they may not realize just how much radio relies on ads for its survival. For the most part, radio is a free service. But even the paid radio services rely on ads to an extent to keep them profitable. That is because the radio listener base has dwindled somewhat over the years. As more people get their news from their phones, computers and tablets, the radio has to fight for relevancy.

So while ads for Garcinia on a sports show may not seem like they are hitting the target audience, many times radio stations have to go with what they can get for advertising. Those Garcinia ads are popping up on your radio because that is the hot weight loss product, not necessarily because it relates to the show it is aired on. And because the radio stations are consolidating their genres, advertisers may be left with little choice as to which show airs their advertisement.

Decades ago, serials thrived on the radio waves. Theycould advertise their own products and make money from merchandising. But as listeners’ tastes have changed to sports, news and political discourse, merchandising becomes trickier. The radio stations have to rely on various advertisers to pay for the salaries, fund their giveaways and promotions and keep them in business.

And it’s a constant battle between entertaining and drawing in listeners and appeasing the advertisers. Stations that play ads too often or for too long may alienate their viewers. And as they lose viewers, they are less likely to get the ads they need to survive.

Radio is far from dead, but advertisers and listeners alike need to realize the tricky balancing act that radio stations have to play to keep everyone happy.…

Radio News Reports on Federal Spending Cuts in Australia

The Australian Federal Government is decreasing the amount it is spending each year on the Refugee Council of Australia. This came after two weeks of working on the budget and deciding which programs were in need of increased funding and which ones would do without as much as they were getting.

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As the radio news networks reported, the refugee Council members are firing back. One of their members has stated that the budget cuts are mean-spirited. The cuts will lower the council’s funding from $140,000 each year. This was set to last for the next four years. But since the budget meeting, it has been decided that those allocated funds will go elsewhere.

There are many on the council who see this act as something not befitting of a government organization. It reeks of pettiness to them. And they believe it might have been brought on because the council is often critical of the way the Federal Government does business.

Many council members already feel that the amount set aside for their department was inconsequential, and now it feels even more so.

The department was told earlier that these budget cuts would be felt all over and that it was a pain that needed to be shared. Meanwhile, cuts have happened to the government’s solar power incentive program over the last few years as well. Where once, solar power was seen as one of the best ways to provide alternative power, it is looking less so as the government backs off somewhat from its former stance on the matter.

It is not always a matter of policy with these budget cuts, however. Sometimes they occur because the government sees no other way to afford its yearly efforts, and cuts have to be made somewhere. They cannot always be popular choices.…

How Australian Radio Stations Have Mixed Things Up for Success

If an entertainment industry is to succeed, it has to change and evolve. Radio stations, in particular, have to listen to and respond to their fans. More than any other entertainment medium, radio revolves around its listeners much of the time. So when they ask for changes, the stations tend to listen. Here are some of the larger ones that have occurred over the years.

Gold FM used to be known as 3KZ and it covered what it called “Hits and Memories”. They probably saw it as an original spin on a tried and true format. But the unconventional naming wasn’t drawing in the listeners like they had hope, so they changed the stations focus to Classic Hits in 1991. EON FM changed numerous times in the past decades. What began as a rock station transitioned to a station that was covering top 40 hits. It later switched up frequencies and retuned to a rock focus by the 80s. Similarly, SAFM started as a rock station, turning to CHR later, then became a top 40 station for a while. By the late 90s, probably recognizing it was playing to close to its competition, switched up to a top 40 station with a CHR focus thrown in for distinction. One of the biggest rating turnaround ever on Australian radio occurred when Mix 106.5 became KIIS 106.5. It changed its focus from a Hot/AC station to a top 40/CHR one. The move paid off with a nearly 11 percent increase in listeners, made possible by the addition of a morning show in the form of the Kyle and Jack O show. It’s almost like an indie band that plays from behind garage doors, but then goes on to play a headlining gig the next week. The reversal was astounding. These are just a sampling of some of the biggest changes in Australian radio over the decades. We are likely to see many others attempt to copy these successful changes in the years to come.…