Music Research Options for Uncertain Times

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Last week I laid out marketing options for stations that are just getting their budget approvals as the fall book is underway. I also had the chance to video chat last week with NuVoodoo marketing guru Mike O’Connor about the newest additions to our marketing arsenal. A recording of that session is available on YouTube. In about twelve minutes Mike adds great depth and color to what I’d published.

A great marketing program maximizes performance of a well-targeted, well-programmed station – even at this late date. Conversely, marketing a station with flawed programming brings new listeners to a station they may dislike. That risks making the job of getting trial next time that much harder.

If you’re not 100% confident that your on-air product is dialed in, you can act now to fix it (or just hope for the best when the numbers come in). As we’d learned in our June Ratings Prospects Study, too many bad songs are as damaging as commercial breaks that last too long or happen too often. Programmers don’t have a lot of control over commercial inventory, so getting the songs right is all important.

Library music tests are a quick solution in most cases – getting results back on up to 600 songs all at one time, within about four weeks. Even with the music testing advancements available by conducting interviews online, 600 hooks is still a lot of hooks and NuVoodoo is as concerned as any programmer is about fatigue. To deal with the shorter attention spans in our multi-screen-always-connected world NuVoodoo founder and president Carolyn Gilbert came up with an elegant solution: The EXT online music test.

The EXT takes advantage of abundant online sample. Samples are screened perfectly and rigorously checked for quality – as they always are at NuVoodoo. We over-recruit by a factor of two or more for a 600-title test. Each respondent rates HALF the music hooks and answers ALL the perceptual questions in the test. Technology allows us to match up sample monads so that every song is rated by a perfect representation of the contracted sample (usually 100 respondents balanced by target demographic, ethnicity, station cume and preference).

Since shorter interviews are less expensive to conduct, pricing for the EXT is the same as it was for a longer-interview OMT. Carolyn explains the EXT concept in a two-minute video. If your library doesn’t require testing 600 titles, we have a 400-title test with 100 respondents, the OMT Lite, that can be delivered in less than four weeks for less than $10K.

We can help you avoid bad songs, but we can’t help you control the length or frequency of commercial breaks. Reach out to us for more information at