Moneyball: What Would You Ask a Big Sample of Radio Listeners?

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“Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.” Those words are typically attributed to Teddy Roosevelt, though Roosevelt himself credits it to Bill Widener. Nevertheless, those should be inspiring words if you’re running a radio station or a cluster of stations in a market today. You’re likely running those stations with fewer people, less budget, and sparser resources than just a few years ago. Making the most of everything still at your disposal is key.

The challenge of those faced with such responsibilities is in our heads at NuVoodoo as we come together to draft the questionnaire for our 24th Ratings Prospects Study. We ask some questions in every one of the NuVoodoo Ratings Prospects studies because they’re important to our marketing team as they design programs for client stations. Knowing which Social Media platforms are growing and which are shrinking – and with which demos – is critical.

In a number of our studies, we’ve looked at where people are most likely to pay attention to ads, but we began drilling down with our last study to see further down the funnel and learn which ad media are most likely to get consumers to take action. It’s one thing to fight for your share of a listener’s attention, it’s another thing when you need them to take the next step to register for your contest or remember to write down the time they spent listening to your station.

It’s like Christmas morning for our team when we get data out of the field on these studies. We’re looking for the shifts in perceptions on the questions we can trend from prior studies. And we’re all fascinated by the responses to questions not asked before. Do the answers fall as we’d imagined? Is there an unexpected story within the data? Of course, we maintain our focus on the respondents who’ll have the biggest and quickest impact on ratings: the likely ratings respondents for which our studies are named and the small subset of that group with big TSL to broadcast radio.

We’ll be looking at the best catalysts to get listeners to give up an email address or mobile number so stations can collect first-party data in hopes of deepening their relationships. We’re continuing to trend the information we’ve been collecting on the prize amounts needed to engage listeners – and the contest activations to which listeners are most likely to respond. And we’ll update how many are aware of group contests and how they feel about them compared to contests played only in a local market.

We’ll be looking for listener reactions to the concept of AI hosts on music radio and learning what listeners predict they’d do if they learned they were listening to AI hosts. AI is such a hot topic; we’ll also check to see how common listeners believe AI-hosted shows already are.

If you have ideas about what you’d like to know from a big sample of radio listeners, please share them with us. An email to or gets our attention – and we promise it’ll also get you a response. We’ll be sharing the results of Ratings Prospects Study XXIV on NuVoodoo Live events this summer to help radio shape programming, promotion, and marketing plans for its fall report card from Nielsen.