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Radio Formats

:
  1. A Radio Communication System
  2. Basic task and applications of Radio Engineering
  3. DOVER RADIO
  4. FM Radio and the Fragmentation of Rock Music
  5. Government Regulation of Radio
  6. Internet Radio
  7. Radio Consolidation
  8. Radio Ethernet
  9. Radio Waves

format the personality of a station organized around the kind of music it plays and the radio personalities who are hired to introduce the recordings and advertisements

music style the aspect of a radio stations format that refers to the type of music the station plays

music time period the aspect of a radio stations format that refers to the release date of the music the station plays (that is, contemporary, oldies, etc.)

music activity level the aspect of a radio stations format that refers to the measure of the played musics dynamic impact (that is, soft rock, smooth jazz, etc.)

music sophistication the aspect of a radio stations format that refers to the simplicity or complexity of the musical structure and lyrical content of the music played

format consultant an individual hired by a radio station to analyze the competition and select a format that will attract the most lucrative audience niche possible

narrowcasting going after specific slices of the radio audience that are especially attractive to advertisers

listening patterns the habits that describe peoples use of radio

 

 

If you think about it, you'll realize that what music-oriented radio stations produce is an overall sound: a flow of songs punctuated by the comments of the DJs, the commercials, the station identification, the news, the weather, and sports. Radio industry practitioners call this flow of on-air sounds a format. A format is the personality of a radio station. As such, it attracts certain kinds of listeners and not others. In the highly competitive media environment, radio practitioners have found that the way to prosper is not to be all things to all people. In both commercial and noncommercial radio, profits come from breaking the audience into different groups (segments) and then attracting a lucrative segment. For commercial broadcasters, a lucrative segment is one that many advertisers want to reach. For noncommercial broadcasters, a lucrative segment is a population group that has the money to help support the station or that corporate donors want to impress.

The fragmentation of the radio spurred the creation of many different radio formats, as radio executives struggled for ways to reduce their risk of failure amid enormous competition. They hoped that the formats they created would help them hone in on audiences that would be large and desirable enough for local and national advertisers (or donors) to support. As Table 11.3 shows, the popular format with the largest number of stations is Country music''. It is carried on over 2,000 stations. According to Arbitron, it also garners the highest share of audience listening per average quarter hour (AQH) between 6 a.m. and midnight. For example, it lassoed 12.7 percent of the audience in spring 2007, whereas News/Talk/Information,'' #2 in station numbers, was also #2 in audience share, with 10.7 percent per AQH. Adult contemporary," Contemporary hit radio," Spanish," and Urban" formats had lower shares of the national audience.

DETERMINING A STATIONS FORMAT A radio station's music format is governed by four factors:

Music style

Music time period

Music activity level

Music sophistication

Music style refers strictly to the type of music a radio station plays, regardless of how the music is packaged for airplay. Music time period refers to the time of the music's release. Current" music generally refers to music released within the last year, contemporary" music generally refers to music released within the past ten or fifteen years, oldies" generally refers to music released between the mid-1950s and the mid-1970s, and nostalgia" generally refers to music released prior to the mid-1950s.

Music activity level is a measure of the music's dynamic impact, ranging from soft and mellow to loud and hard-driving. The names of some music styles include built-in descriptions of the music's activity level: hard rock," smooth jazz." Music sophistication is a reflection of the simplicity or complexity of the musical

TYPES OF FORMATS Table 11.4 presents a guide to radio formats, giving the format's target demographic, and a brief description of the people in the format's target audience. This list of formats, although long, is not exhaustive. By some counts there are more than forty different formats, including Hawaiian and farm, with every format having variations. Moreover, new formats are born each year.

 

SELECTING THE RIGHT FORMAT Because the format is the basis for attracting a target audience, radio station executives spend a lot of time developing itoften hiring format consultants to analyze the competition and choose a format that will attract the most lucrative audience niche possible. Most of the formats are based on music, but to format consultants the bottom-line issue is a stations ability to gather a distinct audience for sponsorsnot the aesthetics or diversity of its sound. People in the industry often use the term narrowcasting to describe the activity of going after specific slices of the radio audience that are especially attractive to advertisers. One well-known radio consultant explained that a radio stations need for distinct listeners was the reason behind narrowcasting. As the [audience] pie gets thinner and thinner [because of the large number of competing stations], it's not so much whether you have ten thousand listeners at any given time... [but] what's the difference between [stations] A, B, C, and D.

 




: 2015-01-30; : 45 | |




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