So, you want to start your own radio station. Good on you. And you want to play music. Great. And your cousin has a hard drive with half a million songs – so you’ve got plenty of music – STOP THE TRAIN!
I know I’ve said this a thousand times, but…your goal as a radio station is to attract listeners of a certain demographic. You attract them by giving them what they want and need. If that happens to be music, you need to get that right!
Over the next few days, we will share a few simple tips that will help you build a music library that is enjoyable and effective in reaching your target audience.
Tip # 1: Get inside the mind of your target listener
It is much easier to programme for a demographic that you yourself are part of. In the same way, it is easier to make wise music selections if you are familiar with the music your target audience likes. If you aren’t, build a team of people to work with you who are familiar with it.
Get inside the mind of your target audience. Read what they read, watch what they watch. Find out what issues are important to them. Find out what styles of music or what artists they enjoy. This will take some time, a fast learning curve and…shock horror, a bit of research. No, I’m afraid you don’t know everything! Make time to talk to people in your target audience. Ask questions, and listen to what they say! Do a questionnaire, even. Remember, the big stations get where they are because they do research – and they pay very dearly for it.
A listener will be able to tell very quickly if you are genuinely on their side, or whether you are (as Simon and Garfunkel once said) simply faking it.
To sum up, wise music programming starts with an excellent understanding of your target listener. Everything else stems from that. End of story.
Tomorrow, we will look at music library size.