On-air teams must own listener engagement measurement.

Recently, I had the opportunity to share a stage and an audience (European public broadcasters members of the Sandbox Hub) with Sven Lardon, Strategic Advisor at VRT (Flemish public broadcaster) Radio in Belgium. Several times, I’ve heard Sven talk about how radio makers usually don’t engage enough (some even show indifference) with traditional methodologies of quantitative* audience research, like diaries.

  1. Top-down distribution of insights: Learning happens far away from the on-air-team when results are presented in the meeting room at the presidential floor of the building. The message dilutes through several organisation layers before reaching on-air professionals.
  2. Lack of granularity: On-air teams have difficulty in acting upon graphs with yearly resolution, showing market share trends per quarter. This information does not easily apply to their creative role, with the on-air professional day to day job.

Voizzup, giving the wheel to the driver.

Those who have watched Game of Thrones are probably now very familiarised with an expression used by one of the main characters (Daenerys). That expression is “to break the wheel” and, in the series, it relates with the idea of Enlightened Despotism: “Everything for the people, nothing by the people”.

  1. Insights reach the screen of the show host or producer, daily. A dashboard including an audio player for contextualisation shows how listeners behave. Best and worst performing elements of the show are ranked based on audio volume changes and tune-outs, two dimensions (passion vs. cold facts) of the same reality.
  2. Millions of listeners’ reactions to on-air content, second by second, are intelligibly displayed for the observation of the show team. In a matter of days, your team will already get familiarised with trends and curves. You will start finding patterns and having conversations about your listeners’ reactions. You can start making small tweaks to improve the content, and later confirm or disprove your assumptions.

Small steps take you further, faster.

Some big organisations tend to design their data strategy in meetings of engineers, software developers, product managers, data-scientists trying to collect as much data as possible, without talking to the final users of the insights they are intending to produce. In our case, on-air teams.

Founder of Voizzup and formerly radio Programme Director. Introducing continuous improvement in radio, both for on-air content and talent. www.tommyferraz.com

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