Since I’m always being asked about the behind the scenes of radio, I thought I would share with you 4 Things You Did Not Know About Radio. Enjoy.
We Don’t Play Your Requests…Ever!
Well, maybe not ever, but certainly most of the time. See, radio stations have a pre-programmed list. It’s always been this way, at least since the early 80’s. Sometimes, we can trick you. For example; let’s say your favorite song is Despacito, and you decide to call in and request it. Then, suddenly, “your song” plays on the radio. I bet you thought the DJ played the song just for you, right? Wrong! Since Despacito is already a popular song, chances are it’s going to play at least once per hour. The fact that the song played when you called in just means it was already coming up. It amazes me that people still haven’t caught on to radio’s oldest trick.
No, We Won’t Add Your Song to Our Playlist
Thanks to technology, this doesn’t happen as often as it used to, but it still happens. Every local artist wants us to play their song on the radio. And, when we don’t help them out, they talk shit to everyone they know about the DJ and the radio station. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to play songs from local artists. There’s a lot of politics involved and most are with record labels. But, that’s just one piece of the story. Radio stations are a business. They must play hit songs and keep listeners listening as much as possible. If radio stations started playing songs from artists no one’s ever heard of, it’s the quickest way to lose our listeners.
At one time, radio stations had programs where a local artist could be spotlighted. Ever hear of the “make it or brake it” or the “slam it or jam it” type of shows? That was the place we could play a song from a local artist. Unfortunately, most radio stations are in a war with technology and no longer provide those avenues. Radio cannot afford to lose a listener for even a second. So, my advice to local artists is simple; pick your favorite music platform and share the shit out of it on social media.
The DJ Is Not in The Studio
That’s right my friend! There was a time in radio history (less than 10 years ago) where every DJ, or, Radio Personality, was on the air live. Times have changed and platforms like Pandora, Spotify, and XM Satellite, have forced radio into this ugly corner. Unless it’s the morning show, chances are the DJ has pre-recorded the show. Shocker!? I know! To be honest with you, I love the idea. I think it makes for a much cleaner and focused show. Of course, the negative side is that there isn’t much interaction with you, the listener. But I do believe that if the content is great, and you are being entertained, then, we have done our job.
Most of What You Hear Is Not Real!
A while back, two of my radio acquaintances had been accused of paying actors to help their ratings. People were making a big deal and saying that it was cheating for not bringing on real content. The truth is, radio is pure entertainment. Nothing we do is ever real. Sure, there are times we can pull off those Jerry Springer moments, but for the most part, we stage almost everything. Think of your favorite sitcom. Do you get mad at them because what they are doing is not real? Of course, not! That is ridiculous. Well, it’s the same with radio. In fact, we should be staging more content than not. How else can we bring real entertainment to the table? I truly believe that if we did more staging, we would keep our listeners glued to the radio instead of sending them off to other platforms. Check out my podcast episode “Wrong Number Hook Up” as an example.
In my opinion, we need to bring radio back to the days where 95% of our content was staged or creatively produced. Today, most programmers want you to be “real.” I always ask “why!?” Why do we need to be real? People have enough to worry about. The last thing I want to do is be “real.” I prefer to come up with games and contests along with funny topics to keep my listeners glued. I’d rather create shocking moments that seem to be real, than to be real. “Theater of The Mind” was a constant saying in our business. I rarely ever hear that anymore. To see what I mean, check out my podcast. The first episode features a fun game called “Wrong Number Hook Up.” Enjoy.