Why The Audience Now Wants Shorter Breaks

By: Sean Ross

When radio’s spotloads became unbearable in the early-to-mid ’00s, leading to stopsets that could last seven minutes, some broadcasters began to entertain the notion of shorter, but more frequent breaks. Nobody was suggesting a return to the ancient model of two songs in a row, followed by two spots. But would three breaks of moderate length each hour be better than two endless ones?

At radio’s behest, Edison put that question to audiences a number of times. Listeners are not radio station traffic managers, and the only conclusion at the time was that listeners didn’t have a strong opinion on the subject. It wasn’t that listeners were sanguine about spotloads — they knew they wanted fewer commercials. It just usually happened that three separate four-minute breaks researched the same as two six-minute stopsets.

In Australia, the top 40 Nova FM stations were successful for several years with a “never more than two ads in a row” policy that lasted until 2010. In the U.S., the question lost momentum in the mid-’00s after a brief industry-wide burst of resolve that took spotload from the draconian to the merely wearisome. Then PPM measurement came along and spurred broadcasters back to fewer interruptions — two breaks an hour at :15/:45 or :00/30, as if by legislative fiat.

But please turn your attention to the just released format breakouts from Edison Research and Triton Digital’s “Infinite Dial 2014.”  Edison gave more than 2,000 respondents a choice between more (but shorter) commercial breaks, or fewer, longer stopsets.

The clear majority (54%) went for shorter/more frequent breaks. Only 31% voted for fewer-but-longer breaks. 15% didn’t know or had no opinion.

By format, the results were more dramatic. Here’s the percentage of P1s opting for shorter, but more frequent spot breaks:

Country — 62%
Classic Rock/Classic Hits — 61%
Urban — 61%
Top 40 — 59%
Religious — 58%
Rock — 50%
AC/Hot AC — 49%
News/Talk/Sports — 46%
Public Radio — 40%

Having personally worked with stations that went from three breaks to two over the past several years and saw significant improvements in PPM, it was easy to view these numbers guardedly at first. Was this a considered opinion, or just, “yeah, sure, shorter interruptions, great!”? But this is the most decisive that the audience has been to date on this issue. And the landscape has changed in a way that explains their new resolve.

Specifically, the 31% of the Infinite Dial respondents who listen to Pandora every month have gotten used to more frequent interruptions, but dramatically shortened breaks. Ten days ago, I clocked an hour of oldies programming on Pandora. There were six breaks, each containing a :15 or :30-second spot. Given the length of the songs, even three-songs-in-a-row could get you less than ten minutes of music between commercials. And yet the total spot time in an hour was just over two minutes.

For listeners to broadcast radio a decade ago, neither “2 x 6 minutes” nor “3 x 4 minutes” may have been attractive propositions. That was more a choice between long and longish. And how quickly can any commercial break pass, really, if it contains the hard-sell debt-relief spot into the hard-sell tax-relief spot into the hard-sell student loan relief spot? Or if every radio station in the market has chosen the exact same time to break?

I have maintained for nearly five years that Pandora and other pureplays were redefining what listeners would consider an acceptable spotload. By modeling the combination of more-but-truly-shorter breaks for the audience, they may have also redefined the discussion on the number of breaks as well.

Because these differences in spotload are so severe, broadcasters often glaze over when the spotload issue comes up. I recently spoke to a group of broadcasters who were atypically open to discussing spotload. What would be reasonable? I floated six-minutes-an-hour, three times what I’d heard on Pandora, but about the lowest spotload that any viable station had ever run. The lowest spotload that anybody in the room could even consider was eight minutes.

But if you divided eight minutes into three breaks, you’d still be making your radio station better and more viable. It’s also easier to ride herd over the quality of a three minute stopset. At six minutes, the old trick of starting with the most entertaining spot just guarantees that the stopset will become more unbearable as the commercials get worse.

However respondents may have arrived at the conclusion that they would prefer more-but-shorter-breaks, it is further evidence that what listeners will consider acceptable has changed. Journal Broadcast Group was correct last week in unveiling its Radio League app with seven custom stations that are committed to a limited number of spots (and presently have almost none). Because, if broadcasters don’t take control of the discussion, a new landscape will continue to be provided for them.

31 replies
  1. Tracy Austin
    Tracy Austin says:

    Great stuff Sean. I was in Brisbane for the tail end of the ‘never more than 2 ads in a row’ format on Nova. I always thought that it might be a viable format here, but when you look at the PPM listening patterns it just scares you to death. I do think Pandora is re-training the minds of people. What I find surprising in the survey is that the listeners to talk radio don’t think they want more shorter breaks, but isn’t that the place it makes the most sense? I guess music is a better carrot to dangle after a break than interrupting a hot phone topic. Curious to know your thoughts.

    Reply
    • Steve Kowch
      Steve Kowch says:

      Been a talk radio PD for 15 years+ and can tell you the reason listeners hate too many commercial breaks is because it stops the flow of the talk. There are more commercial minutes in talk radio (15 minutes an hour plus traffic, weather. PSAs and news)than in music radio (about 8-10 minutes)

      I tried to build 10 minutes of uninterrupted talk segments into each half hour clock. Dropped bottom of the hour news (outside drive periods) to place traffic and spots. Banned spots after a newscast to get right back to talk.

      I always thought music stations were killing the golden goose with long spot breaks. Squeezing two minute spots between a set number of songs is more tolerable. But stopping talk radio for two minute spot breaks when you have 15 minutes of spots an hour means stopping the talk 7 times … it won’t work.

      Also, remember listeners think all commercials are a minute long. Run six 30 second spots in a row and listeners think the commercial break was six minutes.

      MORE spot breaks will just push the talk audience to NPR in the U.S. and CBC in Canada where there are 0 commercials an hour.

      Reply
      • Tracy Austin
        Tracy Austin says:

        Very interesting points re talk radio, thank you. The right compelling conversation and personality talk has a better shot at getting AQH than a 4 minute song (targeting the right demo of course). With that in mind in the PPM world, and so much online competition for music outlets, do you foresee growth in talk formats which we may not see yet? Of course there’s a talk show on every subject you could ever think of on BlogTalk and Live365 but most are awful. But there could be some future talent in the bunch somewhere.

        Reply
  2. Rick Alexander
    Rick Alexander says:

    Several thoughts about more and shorter versus fewer and longer stopsets:

    1. Fewer stopsets means longer music sweeps and less perceived clutter. I believe if you have two stations playing the same music, the one with fewer stops will feel like “The More Music” station and will less likely to be in spots at any given tune-in than the station with more stopsets.

    2. Stopping the music is always a risk. With three stopsets an hour, that’s one more tuneout risk to take.

    3. Finally there’s what I call ” the cost of stopping down”. Unless you go into spots with a recorded liner or promo, you will probably have more down time per hour unless you have the most disciplined airstaff on the planet. Even then, many Jocks look to a stopset as a place to “spread their wings”.

    Reply
  3. Rick Stacy
    Rick Stacy says:

    Hey Sean when are we going to discuss the reality out here. Try 13 minutes an hour then pile on a promo, a sales promo and maybe traffic! Not only that it may be 13 minutes an hour on a good day but you have to add the 5s & 10s freebies and then pile it all in an 11-13 unit stopset and now we’re talking. What were the parameters of the study?

    Reply
  4. Drake Donovan
    Drake Donovan says:

    I concur, Sean. This will also help with streaming giving stations shorter spans to cover. As an imaging voice, I try to monitor my client stations online. Yesterday, I used TuneIn to check out one of my CBS stations. In one stopset I heard the same Buffalo Wild Wings Spot back to back along with several incarnations of CBS Local promos for restaurants, cars, shopping deals, etc. and a plethora of CBS primetime promos, most were pretty dated from the start of the fall season (the one for “Intelligence” even said, “On January 7th…”! Talk about listener fatigue!

    Reply
  5. Bob Glasco
    Bob Glasco says:

    I always enjoy your columns Sean. I read about this yesterday and liked Larry’s comment about this needing to be tested in the PPM world to see if it’s real or perception we’re dealing with. This will continue to be a problem as long as stations practice give-it-away rates. We can’t price fix but everyone needs to wake up and realize sell at any cost may end up killing our golden goose.

    Reply
  6. Bill Conway
    Bill Conway says:

    Rick Stacy’s point is the relevant reality. How to deal with it is how to succeed. I have always been a 3 set guy over 2 sets and have been a victim of the conventional wisdom that Rick Alexander brings up but his logic seems to be outdated and is disproven by this study. When almost everyone is doing 2 ginormous spot sets how can you compare though
    The other thing is the quality of the commercial production. Companies have skimped on this by having fewer commercial production people and resources which makes for poorer less entertaining commercials. Odd since this is one place where the station actually touches the money and the result is the client gets inferior service/results. One of the axioms of the “good old days” was cut DJs, administrative staff, promotional budgets, etc but never cut expenses that correctly or incorrectly dealt directly with the client/money

    Reply
  7. Dave Beasing
    Dave Beasing says:

    The radio industry’s debt load will not be paid next month if we try to compete on spotload. Our only realistic option is to provide content so compelling that listeners will sit through the commercials.

    It’s showtime.

    Reply
  8. Brian Burns
    Brian Burns says:

    Commercial Content needs to be addressed.

    The Triton study showed AM/FM radio has the opportunity to deliver local content that is more relevant to listeners. Unfortunately, sales has become a function of quantity, not quality;

    1.Advertisers whose products and/or messages are not demographically aligned with the target audience’s tastes, wants, or needs. YELLING AT 18-34 MILLENIALS DOES NOT SELL CARS! Neither do car dealer remotes! That’s some listener experience you’re shoving down their throats!

    2.Content/copy that is written by an unqualified sales department; AKA the Herb Tarlock business model.

    3. Book the business and drop it in a production room basket. There are no copy writers, no creative conceptualization, only a multitasking Production Director who is voice tracking three stations, producing station imaging, scheduled for those antiquated remotes, and changing oil in the station van.

    4. Spots don’t sell products in 2014. Purchase interest is also on-demand; IE: comparative shopping on Amazon! Sell the advertiser benefits in short, digestible doses. Then use a mobile web site or app for detailed inquiries and capturing cookies to “push” the particulars!

    Just my observation, but music is no longer a product; it is a commodity, available on demand from multiple sources. The creative between the music can be an advantage. Spend your budget there, not on a mist tent at the corporate office where it will remain worthless!

    Reply
  9. GP Brefini
    GP Brefini says:

    Two things I see are spot on (no pun intended?):
    (1) Number of breaks/lengths
    (2) Content

    Let me address #2 this way: Keep the annoying shouting ads or ‘ear worms” off the air. The latter I am thinking involves a cute kid singing about cars.

    As for #1, take the Pandora and Internet broadcaster’s view of it because they know any spot break length should be gauged in length by how much trouble it is to reset the URL on smart phones and/or PCs. That is where the listener says” is it worth it or, wait it out”. That should be your guide. IMHO break no more than 90 seconds. Play at least two perhaps three songs and then break.

    Reply
  10. Jack Taddeo
    Jack Taddeo says:

    Very interesting data. 54% isn’t a wide majority yet.

    RE: “Specifically, the 31% of the Infinite Dial respondents who listen to Pandora every month have gotten used to more frequent interruptions, but dramatically shortened breaks. Ten days ago, I clocked an hour of oldies programming on Pandora. There were six breaks, each containing a :15 or :30-second spot. Given the length of the songs, even three-songs-in-a-row could get you less than ten minutes of music between commercials. And yet the total spot time in an hour was just over two minutes.”
    I would have to blow my brains out if trying to listen for one hour of music while being hit with 6 breaks for the purpose of airing just 2 minutes of spots. Pandora can have that to themselves. I am sure the fact that Oldies is a format of 2 minute songs makes it easier to stomach. Try that with Classic Rock. Goodbye PPM ratings.

    Reply
  11. Jaye Albright
    Jaye Albright says:

    This is not just a great conversation to have started, Sean, but the savvy and experienced folks adding comments can’t be ignored!

    Back when John Hayes ran Corus and Canada was just starting with PPM, with the help of the brilliant Bob Michaels (I STILL miss him so much – a smart researcher and a wonderful communicator!), all Corus stations were mandated to do six two minute breaks and promote that they go back to the music faster than anyone else.

    Finally, after more than a year of disappointing ratings all of the Corus music stations went to two six minute breaks per hour and the ratings improved almost immediately across the board.

    In Canada, BBM doesn’t use “five minutes equals a quarter hour” as Nielsen Audio does, so it’s absolutely a “most minutes” wins game and all of the Canadian country stations we work with are doing exceedingly well right now sticking with the “hour glass” or “bow tie” approach, so I’m welcoming anyone else who wants to take your advice and “go first.”

    My sense is that this is a case of perception vs actual habits.

    TV commercials are all run at the same times so that viewers then are forced to choose their favorite shows based on the content not the commercial load and I believe that the same is true with radio when the measurement is PPM.

    The major consolidated US group owners have shown me by their actions in PPM that it’s possible for one station to play one minute more commercial time than a direct competitor and still win by carefully placing their clusters to maximize the time measured by the PPM, which like your cell phone “knows what time it is,” so a few seconds can be the same as a minute depending where a tune-in or tune-out happens.

    Perception still drives expectations, which does make listeners go to one station “first” over another, but when at that station “time matters” much more than perceptions, I maintain. Great content drives usage in the moment much more than the image that if I am patient I’ll hear more of what I want in the long term.

    Each “stop” causes a huge loss in the “switcher” audience and the more times per hour that happens to stronger that image of “it’s worth waiting for something terrific” must be, my current experience still indicates.

    Reply
  12. Jaye Albright
    Jaye Albright says:

    One additional point to ponder, re: Nova FM. Australia is still measured by diaries, not meters. 50 years of history has proven that perceptions drive diary ratings. With PPM it’s a completely different ratio of image and usage.

    I think there’s a reason why Pandora doesn’t subscribe to PPM services.

    Reply
  13. Fred Buc
    Fred Buc says:

    Fascinating discussion!

    Look….we (radio) built this sandbox ourselves, and now we’ve got to play in it. If we had not sold ourselves so short and given away the store for all those years, there would be no need for seven-minute stop sets in the first place.

    If we had given ourselves some credit as an industry and sold our inventory for what it was truly worth (unfortunately, that doesn’t apply anymore today), we could’ve upped the value (price)of our inventory and not the number of units in an hour to achieve our budgets.

    The damage is done…we can’t go back… and as mentioned above, Pandora is “re-training” people on their perception of how they listen to (and totlerate) their chosen audio content.

    Reply
  14. Fred Buc
    Fred Buc says:

    Fascinating discussion!

    Look….we (radio) built this sandbox ourselves, and now we’ve got to play in it. If we had not sold ourselves so short and given away the store for all those years, there would be no need for seven-minute stop sets in the first place.

    If we had given ourselves some credit as an industry and sold our inventory for what it was truly worth (unfortunately, that doesn’t apply anymore today), we could’ve upped the value (price)of our inventory and not the number of units in an hour to achieve our budgets.

    The damage is done…we can’t go back to shorter stopsets and survive financially… and as mentioned above, Pandora is “re-training” people on their perception of how they listen to (and tolerate) their chosen audio content.

    Reply
  15. Sean Ross
    Sean Ross says:

    The concept of shorter breaks/more interruptions is definitely at odds with current “PPM law” and perceived best practice. There’s no naiveté here about that, the possible perception/reality issue, or even the history. Jack Taddeo, although he didn’t mention it, was in the market to witness then-rival WLS-FM Chicago’s short-lived experiment with more/shorter breaks which, like the Corus changes, solved a problem that didn’t exist for many listeners at the time.

    That problem likely does not exist for Canadian stations either. One that I work with went from three stopsets to two, along with numerous other ongoing improvements, and flourished in PPM. But that station’s breaks are listenable. Spotloads are lower. The ads are well-done, less hard-sell. Ads are mostly :30s. There are no streaming insertion issues. As important, there’s no Pandora in Canada. Any impact on TSL that available streaming services have is less noticeable, or less documented.

    U.S. stations can’t say that. The need for broadcasters to make a big statement on spotload remains and even the more/shorter strategy assumes a manageable spotload. Otherwise, you’re arguing over the best way to divide 14 minutes, and the answer is that there is no good way. I understand any reticence on more/shorter, but if that’s not part of the strategy, there still needs to be one.

    It’s interesting that in Ottawa, a Canadian diary market, Corus’ Ronnie Stanton, the PD who was part of the initial Nova Australia strategy of “no more than two minutes of commercials in a row” recently went the other direction with a new CHR that always plays 90 minutes of music at a pop. In that market, he is up against an established rival with a typical spotload. In Australia, diary system or not, Nova was competing with a public broadcaster with no commercials. That’s closer to what broadcast radio faces here.

    One more thought. The concept of the fewest possible interruptions as PPM best practice, along with some of the research cited, is now 2-3 years old. In that time, a lot of our other PPM beliefs have been adjusted. Otherwise, every market would have four successful CHRs, all would be mostly cold segues, and playing hit ballads would still be ratings suicide. But even if fewer interruptions remains best PPM practice, it’s with the asterisk that we’re managing lower listening. The larger answer may go beyond PPM ergonomics.

    Reply
  16. Jay Philpott
    Jay Philpott says:

    For reference (and fun), here is an actual breakdown of an hour of one of the greatest radio stations of all time at its peak: KFRC/San Francisco, 1976. I have the actual recording of this hour, and the aircheck is carefully transcribed. And believe me, this station COOKED.

    KFRC – SAN FRANCISCO 1-3-1976 (12M-1A… SHANA)

    Legal ID + TALK

    Go All The Way – Raspberries
    1202 STOPSET 1-:60
    JINGLE TO MUSIC
    I Write the Songs – Barry Manilow

    1207 STOPSET 1-60
    JINGLE TO MUSIC + TALK (request lines)
    Love’s Theme – Love Unlimited Orchestra

    1211 STOPSET 1-:30 (LIVE READ)
    JINGLE TO MUSIC
    Heatwave – Linda Ronstadt
    SWEEPER – “KFRC: 1970”
    Too Busy Thinking About My Baby – Marvin Gaye/Tammy
    Terrell

    1217 STOPSET 1-:60
    WX INTO SONG (no talkover)
    50 Ways to Leave Your Lover – Paul Simon

    1221 STOPSET 1-:60
    PSA
    JINGLE + TALK
    Rocky Mountain Way – Joe Walsh

    1227 STOPSET 1-:60 (LIVE READ)
    JINGLE + TALK (ARTIST NAME ONLY)
    Heart of Gold – Neil Young

    1232 STOPSET 1:-60
    JINGLE + TALK
    Theme from S.W.A.T. – Rhythm Heritage

    1237 STOPSET 1-:60 (LIVE READ)
    JINGLE INTO MUSIC (no talkover)
    Black is Black – Los Bravos

    1241 STOPSET 1-:60
    JINGLE INTO MUSIC (no talkover)
    Theme from “Mahogany” – Diana Ross
    SWEEPER – “KFRC: 1971”
    Bitch – Rolling Stones

    1249 STOPSET 1-:30 (LIVE)
    WX INTO SONG (no talkover)
    Love To Love You – Donna Summer

    1253 STOPSET 1-:30 (LIVE) + 1-:60
    JINGLE INTO MUSIC (no talkover)
    Monterey – Animals

    14 SONGS
    11 STOPSETS
    SPOTLOAD: 10.5 MINUTES – 12 UNITS (5 LIVE READS)
    RATINGS: #3 12+ (7.5) Arbiitron J/F ’76
    (#1 Music Station)

    Reply
  17. David
    David says:

    Using Pandora may be dangerous. The internet model is shaky at best and if and when Pandora decides to up it’s game we’ll see longer stop sets there. Just look at streaming TV from the Networks. A few years ago the average commercial varied from :15 seconds to a minute, now try to stream TV without 3 minutes of adds every 10-15 minutes. Pandora is still relatively recent and their :15 to :30 sec Model will not last forever. Especially with the “your not paying the artists enough” crowd become fairly vocal.

    Reply
  18. Dave Dunaway
    Dave Dunaway says:

    Respectfully, you cannot compare TV show stopsets with radio stopsets, the visual over rules the audio, turn all the lights Off in the room you are watching tv in during a tv spot, look away to the other wall, notice the “strobe affect” a :30 sec tv commercial changes visual frames at least 24-25 times in a :29 sec tv spot, this is done on purpose to capture your eye movement, ever watched a show for a bit then asked, ‘why am I watching this’, that is the visual affect on your brain. Radio Wishes it had that affect; Radio can only make better stopsets with better production, challenging now with clustered stations, and the churn it out mentality. Mr Pittman/CC has recently stated part of this Issue, “Radio is Under Valued…”, how many times have you heard, “I’ll just bonus them some spots..that’ll make’em happy”, when the Value of the product rises to the Level, We as programmers value it, and when creativity can trickle back into stopsets, Then maybe we get smaller stopsets, because spots are priced correctly. Scuba tanks will now be passed out so those holding their breath don’t turn blue.

    Reply
  19. Bill Hennes
    Bill Hennes says:

    Great topic and discussion Sean. People always use the PPM as the reason for the longer and less stop sets. If memory serves me correctly, When i was programming WMAQ in Chicago from ’77-’82, my good friend, john Sebastian was already running programming in Boston and Chicago on rock stations, where he had ONE long stop set per hour and eventually went with two. He had great ratings in a non PPM but Diary ratings world.

    The listeners “listen for the MUSIC!” Living in the past may be good for older thinking programers, but it is about the listeners. If the station is presented in a well paced atmosphere, with the air talent, keeping it short, up, fun and bright, I do not think a return to more but shorter stop sets will work in a 2014 music listening world.

    However, I do believe that radio should insist on, better sales people, stronger rates, less freebies and keep a limit on the two stop sets.
    6 minutes twice an hour max, and that should include promos & contests)

    Reply
  20. bill hagy
    bill hagy says:

    Hello Sean,
    My goodness didn’t you strike a nerve!
    All of the comments are interesting and at least food for
    thought.
    Having been a programmer for a lot of years, it is always interesting to get the other sides point of view.
    In my position of Program manager for Bristol Broadcasting
    we made the decision years back to stay the course with the more breaks but shorter duration at least until we saw some effect in the ratings.
    The competition did embrace the PPM mindset dealing with stop sets.
    The latest book indicated a double digit advantage for XBQ over everyone else.
    Never known as an early adopter, I don’t see a reason to go the other way.
    Out of all the suggestions and observations the one I feel could bear the most fruit is the suggestion that
    we (the individual station) are in control of the copy aired.

    Best,
    Bill

    Reply
  21. joe patti
    joe patti says:

    I think if the move to shorter/more breaks happens very slowly, over the period of two-three-four years, it could work. It’s all about training the listener, and getting them slowly acclimated to it. I don’t think anyone here is saying we should make an immediate move from 7 minutes twice and hour to 4.5 minutes three times an hour. But I agree that we definitely need to address the issue.

    Some stations have already started. TownSquare just told its GM’s they need to cut two minutes of spots out of each hour. That shouldn’t be a problem anywhere if you have the confidence to you know what time on your station is really worth. If you’re intentionally low-balling rates to get business, then you certainly aren’t as confident as you can be. Or worse, you’re scared.

    I’m sure TownSquare did the math and said the rate increase needed to cover the cutback is minimal enough that most clients will spring for it, and at the same time it rids them of the low-hanging fruit that drags down the average. They obviously believe their stations are worth more per spot than they currently get.

    And for god’s sake, get rid of all those crappy “get out of debt” ads and others of its ilk. They make us sound like the low-rent district. It might be worth it to kill off most of the barters (prep services, music research, etc). Getting rid of those instantly makes the station sound better sound gives the sales department those avails to sell to real clients for real money, over and above the value of those barters. then perhaps you can buy what you need instead of bartering for it, which will also make you think twice about whether you really need that prep service, etc…

    And one more thing….ENTERTAIN!!! Nuff said.

    Reply
  22. Jeff Schmidt
    Jeff Schmidt says:

    I’m more intrigued by the difference between what people SAY they prefer and what they ACTUALLY prefer in their real life activities.

    Don’t we have PPM data that shows which actually performs better?

    Reply
  23. Bob Walker
    Bob Walker says:

    I know this is a programming discussion, but thinking big picture one has to factor-in and give weight to “results for our clients.” The businesses I talk to that have embraced digital site one reason: Results.

    Reply
  24. Sean Lisle
    Sean Lisle says:

    What I’d like to see is the percentage of listeners who bail out at the beginning of a stopset. It would be interesting, too, to see how many spots (or minutes) those who remain are willing to stay until they’ve had enough, too. The 6 minute stopset came about from the presumption that – once you break – they’re gone. This study also brings up the question of what people SAY they want versus what their habits SHOW they want.

    Reply
  25. Scott Huskey
    Scott Huskey says:

    While this argument has been going on for ages, we’ve have forgotten the essential ingredient. That is, quality content. We can play around with the mechanics all we want , ie longer vs shorter breaks and where to place them but if the copy/content isn’t quality then it doesn’t matter.

    Reply
  26. Steve "Kiletboy" Michaels
    Steve "Kiletboy" Michaels says:

    I have programed “oldies” formats for years and my philosophy has ALWAYS been: “Never make your stop sets longer than the records you play.” So my stop sets are never longer than two and-a-half minutes. (12.5 minutes per hour max) I have FIVE stop sets an hour (08-22-36-42-55) so we are in and out so fast the listener barely has time to respond! My stations have been number one in the market and have the longest TSL of any oldies station in the U.S.!(over 7 hours per day)
    I have now developed a format that plays the top 40 hits of 100 years: 1900 to 1999 and more! Check it out:
    http://tunein.com/radio/1045-The-Vault-s164357/

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] When radio’s spotloads became unbearable in the early-to-mid ’00s, leading to stopsets that could last seven minutes, some broadcasters began to entertain the notion of shorter, but more frequent breaks. Nobody was suggesting a return to the ancient model of two songs in a row, followed by two spots. But would three breaks of moderate length each hour be better than two endless ones? Read the complete Edison Insite here. […]

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