You’re driving back home from work. The car’s radio is tuned to the classic hits station. You tap your fingers on the steering to the retro tunes as you drive along. When the traffic light turns red at a junction, you stop. At that precise moment the station plays Simply Red’s Money’s Too Tight. Your fingers stop tapping, you sit upright in your seat, you’re hit with an acute sense of Déjà vu. The same time yesterday, the station had played the exact same song.

Déjà vu and modern radio

We have all experienced listening to the same song played on the radio. The frequencies have to juggle the number of songs on their playlist while keeping it fresh for their listeners. Sometimes they succeed, sometimes they don’t.

Standard format elements can play villain as well. Day in day out you have the same competitions, the same traffic news, and the same announcements. When songs are played within this straightjacket one can’t help but feel a sense of jaded repetition.

Eliminate the Déjà vu

The format elements of a radio station need not be thrown to the wind. Instead, fill the framework with different styles and tones, giving the listener something new to listen to every day. Even if the song is repeated at the same time, but with a different lead in, the sense of Déjà vu is mitigated.

Consider this: if there is a standard way of presenting a topic, try and flip it. Present it in a manner that is the exact opposite. Or, differentiate the station from its competition by covering topics and material they won’t.

Get Creative, Sound Fresh

If the audience believes that they are being treated to a new listening experience every day, they will tune in. The formats can then be used to position the station and manage listener expectations.

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