Big Data – for radio programming and formatting


What skills do you need to be a great producer? And how do producers take a radio programme to the next level? In a riveting masterclass, some of the world’s finest radio producers and presenters give their insight in making a range of radio shows.

Joel Sucherman, Senior Director, Digital Products at NPR, turned radio on it’s head, by asking if the standard hourly clock is still relevant. By highlighting the app ‘NPR One’, he showed how a listeners hour now starts when they turn on the car, and that your routine on Monday may be radically different to what you do on a Friday – at NPR, they’ve made content more accessible and adaptable in relation to who is listening.

By thoroughly scrutinising how the app is used, and the podcasts it hosts are played, it allows them to be better producers, and make good radio shows. Sucherman demonstrates this with analysis of when listeners to a new politics podcast turned off. Noticing trends in the time an audience stopped listening, they were able to get to shorten, to cut the ‘naval-gazing’ and to get to the content quicker. Now, in app analysis, they can see that listeners are staying for longer.

Ask E. Loevschall-Jensen, an Audience Researcher at DR in Denmark, presented a case-study showing which type of radio retains most listeners – and how we can learn from this to keep our own.

We learn that the format of your show is as important as the content: if you’re not reflecting the audience’s routine, if you’ve not thought about how they’re listening, and – most importantly – if you’re not starting a programme well, you’ll never keep people tuned in.

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