In Radio, there are many types of formats. These describe the main type of content that would be broadcast on a station.
Three of the more common formats that you may have heard of are;
- Sports Radio (TalkSport)
- News Radio (LBC, BBC Radio 5 Live)
- Music Radio (Capital, BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 5 Live Sports XTRA)
One radio format I’ve always loved is Music Radio. Whether it’s Clyde 1, Capital FM, Kisstory or Scotland’s newest station, PURE Radio, I can always find something to listen to.
The one thing that draws me to these stations are the presenters – their passion for the product is fantastic and we can all learn something from it.
If you’re wanting to work at a music-based station, one thing I would advise you to do is become passionate about the music the station plays.
There’s nothing worse than tuning in to a radio station and hearing a presenter “not care” about the next track they’re playing. To be honest, you may have heard the brand-new Selena Gomez or Jax Jones tune 50 times in the past week, but it might be the first time the listener has ever heard it, so your job is to make the listener want to keep listening!
In previous tips, I’ve told you all about knowing your audience. This ties in well with Music Passion because if you’re playing a song that doesn’t fit with a certain demographic, they will more than likely change station.
An example of an OK link could be;
“… Coming up I’ll be telling you all about how to *insert ridiculously boring topic here* after Jax Jones”
In some people’s eyes, that might be a good link (It’s not) but look at it again & analyse it through a programme director (PD) or presenter’s eyes.
What’s wrong with that link?
- What’s the name of the song?
- Has it been in the UK charts?
- If it’s been out for a while, are there any relevant facts you can tell the listener about
- Is the topic you’re going to be talking about relevant to the audience you’re speaking to?
If you don’t provide the listener with a reason to listen to the song and to stay listening to you, they will turn you off!
One song I really don’t like is Pitbull – Timber.
As radio is a “performing art”, If I was to play this, I would throw all my feelings aside and put on the best “performance” I could.
That link would sound something like this;
“… In the next 10 minutes I’ll be playing you some Pink and a bit of Lewis Capaldi, but who doesn’t love this! It’s the ultimate party tune & he’s the only man I can think of that could rhyme Kodak with Kodak. This is Pitbull with Timber on *station name*”
On the other hand, a song I really like at the moment is Stormzy, Ed Sheeran and Burna Boy – Own It.
I tweeted him a few weeks ago to say it was one of the ebst produced tracks I’d heard in 2019, he replied by saying “Thank you” – This could give me some content to use for my link.
If I hadn’t had that interaction & I’m on-air looking to bring some music passion for that song, it could sound something like this;
“… I’ve got some Harry Styles and Lewis Capaldi on the way for you but first, this is the BRAND-NEW one from Stormzy, he’s teamed up with Ed Sheeran & Burna Boy for it & I think you’re gonna love this. From his BRAND-NEW album, Heavy is the Head, it’s called ‘Own It’ on *station name*”
However, if I try to inject that interaction into the link with the passion, it could turn out like this;
“… Coming up in the next 10 minutes, I’ve got some Lizzo and Post Malone for you, but last week I tweeted this guy saying how much I loved this song, he tweeted my back saying thank you, so I think that makes us best friends now! This is the brand new one from Stormzy & I think you’ll love it as much as me. This is “Own It” on *station name*”
Depending on how long you’re link has to be and whether you’re talking up to the vocal (or hitting the post), you don’t always need to rhyme off every collaborator for a song.
As long as you get the necessary information in there and show that you really like the song, you’re on to a winner!
Give this a try the next time you’re on-air. It might just make a listener become a fan of how you present.