Listener Stats

It’s surprising how important statistics are to presenters.

My geeky self relishes statistics. It’s the main way in which you reassure yourself that things are working as they should. It’s how you measure progress and monitor how you are performing over time. It’s also an indication of what works and what doesn’t.

The main statistic of interest to anyone broadcasting on internet radio is how many people are listening. This can be a source of pride and pleasure. But it’s also the cause of much frustration, disappointment and occasionally, outright anger.

I’ve lost count of the number of people who rolled up for their first show on the 1 and expected to find a massive audience waiting for them. It’s natural to have some expectation of people waiting around – if only from the last show or those supporting the station generally.

Most radio stations seems to be quite insular – broadcasting to fellow presenters and barely working to bring in new ears. This is a double-edged sword. Having presenters supporting each other and listening to each others show is something special and contributes a lot to the sense of community. However, when presenters don’t stay on after their show or never pop in outside of their own show times, this leads to some ill-feeling and resentment. There’s an expectation that people should support each other and reciprocate listening. I don’t agree with this and am saddened when it becomes a source of contention and argument. Such discussions and the sense of “having to return the compliment” has lead to strange behaviour. I’ve often seen comments posted such as “I’ve got to go out but will leave the player on”. Does it really please the presenter to know his show is still belting out despite no one being around to hear it?

I love it when presenters try to check who’s actually listening. I’ve done it myself countless times. I’ll say something on air that requires a response in the shoutbox. When nothing happens, it’s simultaneously amusing and humiliating. I know Espy is one that will often throw something into the mix to flush out who’s listening and who’s muted.

Posted by Tim on Fri 15 Apr at 16:20 and viewed 1,308 times.

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