What is the biggest tune-out factor at your station?


Bad DJs? Burned music? No. All of that counts as tune-out factors. But, you wouldn’t hire a bad DJ. You test the music. And how many times did you broadcast some stupid/boring commercial ad? Commercial ads are the biggest tune-out factor in many markets. And commercial blocks are equal part of your clock, just like music. Just like spoken part. If you have 12 minutes of ads per hour, that is 20% of your whole program.

During the last 15 years of active radio programming, I have done and analysed many researches about radio, have listened to many lectures and conferences and came to conclusion that most of radio stations lose their listeners during commercial breaks. Last research that I have made gave the same results. It is quite obvious that there are many other massive tune-out factors out there, but commercial brakes in many markets are the huge problem.

People don’t want to listen to commercials

You’re quite right. But, you have missed one word. BORING. People don’t want to listen to BORING commercials. Good commercials are remembered. People love funny, unexpected, entertaining commercials.

Where are the problems in small markets? Why does it happen?

Many marketing agencies just don’t understand radio and how it works. Radio budgets are low, so agencies often forget the radio. And its power is way too much underestimated.
Clients don’t belive in the power of radio ad. And they are right! Because they had no experience with that power. They don’t belive in storyselling. Shame on us! Count it as big minus for radio people.
Many radio people don’t have much time to spend on commercial ads, and they broadcast audio ripped from TV ad (“Look at this chart. This explains why…”), or they put everything in ad (remember our phone number, our mail address, my blood type and shoes size).
No one wants to spend full attention to create 15 seconds of program (ad), because there isn’t almost any revenue for that time. (and it takes less than 15 seconds to read this tab)

But those 15 seconds are more than enough to lose your listener. Forever!

Yup, I think the same as you do at the moment – if we had a dollar every time we had heard “content is important”, we’d be millionaires. Ok, maybe not millionaires, but we could by an apartment in Belgrade (fyi, sqm is cheap enough). Let’s remember that radio is different media than others. Because we have passive consumers.

Radio campaign cannot be measured!

If we don’t measure campaigns, it doesn’t mean that it cannot be measured. Dick Taylor mentioned on his blog one great campaign during the 60s (last century…yes, we are old), the power of radio had been measured. One clothing store had radio and print commercials. Both were the same, with only one difference – radio had a mascot.


That mascot had started the power of mind, and the power of mind is the strongest weapon that can be used in marketing. Sorry TV stations, magazines and papers, billboards and many online marketing channels. This is a fact. What happened with that campaign in States, and how did they measure the power of radio?


Clerks had the task to ask customers if they know about the mascot and how/where did they hear about it. Many of them knew about the mascot, but they told that they had met that mascot in print media. They didn’t even wanted to get the fact that the mascot was present only in radio!


And the conclusion was that radio is very powerful media. It plays with our minds, but we just don’t get that. That is the fact which must be known if you work in marketing sector, and/or if you work on radio.


Ok, let’s go back in 2016…the listeners will accept the information about the product. They will accept the information about the brand. There is no need to tell them about prices, telephone number, mail address, your blood type, favorite football club, etc. And don’t yell at them. Be sure that no matter what you do in your ad, they will not violate traffic rules in order to get to your store, or call to buy your product. It is more than enough to be aware of the message you wanted to tell them. And don’t worry. If you sell white shoes in “Milk and honey butcher’s store”, they will google it later. The message must be clear enough. If DJs must be masters of storytelling, the Radio Ad must be the master of storyselling.


And that is why radio ads must be treated as content. Don’t try to make people do what you think they should do. Tell them stories and leave the rest to their minds. Radio ad tells stories. The little green dragon works perfect.

This website contains general information about radio. The information is advice and should be treated as such. Before starting radio campaign, you should speak to radio people. You must not rely on Google as alternative to great campaign. In case of emergency, use my contact page or consult radio professional. If you have any specific questions about any part of radio, drop a comment below.
Uroš Bogdanović, KrAn studio