How radio stations remain relevant to their audiences music tastes | #BizResearch



Ask Afrika has been the preferred research partner for various radio brands for more than a decade.  Not only have they been prominent in radio advertising research, but also the pioneer in bringing music research insights specifically for radio to the South African market, in order to customise the music research bouquet with different market segments in a radio brand’s audience.

BizRadio’s Grant Jansen in conversation with Ask Afrika’s Client Services Director, Dr Amelia Richards.

Podcast | Click HERE to listen

Radio stations have been expected to remain relevant to their audiences, hence the importance of conducting music research to tailor playlist according to listener preferences.  Music managers more often than not found it challenging to choose between different music genres especially when the music offering has to cater for a variety of market segments.  With music being a large part of any radio station’s total offering it can influence:

  • Churn
  • Time spent listening to the station
  • Audience sizes
  • Radio station ratings and ultimately
  • Advertising revenue

Although music preferences are unique to every person listening to it, found that the 70’s genre especially 70’s disco is not a favourite among South Africans.  Other genres like rock, Afrikaans sokkie and Alternative Afrikaans music is preferred by specific market segments only and should be part of the overall mix, yet not dominate play lists, in order not to alienate other market segments.

Radio Moods™ surveys can be done telephonically, online or face-to-face but it is important first and foremost that music managers understand the demographic profile of their audience coupled with how they engage with radio as medium.  Are they mainly tuning in during morning and afternoon traffic, or do they rather prefer to listen to music whilst working?  Do they have children in the car with them?  All of these factors are important when the playlist is being put together.  The sample design must then also cater for the loyal audience as well as fringe listeners.  Music preferences scores are based on aspects such as:

  • Popularity score:  gives higher weight to respondents who regard this  as their favourite song.
  • Familiarity score: How well known the song is to the audience.
  • Positive score: Sum of Like it and Love it scores
  • Negative score: Sum of Don’t like it and Tired of it scores

In addition to the above mentioned, scores based on a “Burn” question could be added to the questionnaire where respondents were asked to rate how tired they are of hearing the song. This assists music managers in compiling song rotation periods.

In summary the playlists of radio stations are more than just music, it should facilitate and ideal mood state that compliments daily living.   It speaks to the brand promise and ultimately the diverse audience that the brand wants to attract on a daily basis.

Join Grant Jansen (@Kapetonian) every weekday morning from 10 to noon for the Daily Biz on Biz Radio. Stay in touch with Grant at @Biz_Radio on twitter, Biz_radio on Skype and [email protected] to mail him.


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