Boeing FA-18 Hornets – Andreas Glöckner/Pixabay

Recently I saw “Top Gun: Maverick.” One of the best movies I’ve seen in a few years. “Top Gun: Maverick” is loaded with parallels to the radio business.

There’s a saying in radio, “just play the hits”. Sure, there was a time that deep cuts and B-sides were cool, but the masses have always tuned in to hear the most popular songs. Do you know who knows how to play the hits? Top Gun: Maverick.

The producers knew something we in the radio business should embrace: Your audience expects the hits. So, play the hits. This is something you might think doesn’t need to be said but some stations just miss the mark.

In spoken word formats a topic that’s of great interest to your audience is a topic “everyone else” is talking about, there’s a good reason why. Your audience listens to your station for a reason. Play the hits.

In Talk Radio you need to have a sense of knowing when a topic is over. If a talk show is driven by calls, callers will let you know when a topic is no longer of interest. If you’re not caller-driven, you have to develop a feel for your audience, so you know when it’s time to move on.

Some topics never die. If you have a Sports Talk station, then you know listeners have one thing in common, football (Pro or College depending on the market). On any given day, nearly every show has some amount of football content included. In some cases, the entire show is football. Play the hits.

There has always been some air talent that believe listeners are listening for the entire show. That’s of course a myth. Few listeners are there for the whole show. The majority of listener tunes in and out as their schedules dictate. Also, air talent should never assume listeners have heard certain content. That’s a false assumption and why we commonly advise not to say, “As I mentioned”. Play the hits. “Top Gun: Maverick” is a great summer movie that evokes the same feelings I had when watching the original. The one thing in common with the movie: we are both forms of entertainment. Radio entertainment is really a simple formula, just play the hits.

About Radio Consulting Services

Radio Consulting Services is the multi-format consulting and programming services company advising stations on how to grow their audience. Every day, our winning Programming and Consulting team keeps radio stations on top.  For more information on how Radio Consulting Services can help your company gain more listeners, achieve higher ratings and grow revenue, contact Jon Holiday. or 303-690-9093