From Falling Over The Dog In A Race To Be Caller No.10 - To Simply Sending A Tweet - How Our Interaction With Radio Stations Has Changed

Interacting with a radio show has certainly changed over the years. Long gone are the days when you had to be the 10th caller or the 9th texter to win a prize or the only way to get your favourite song played on air was to call or text.

Now with the abundance of connected devices and social platforms, being part of the show has never been so easy. But the latest JNLR reports shows that 16% have interacted with a radio station in some way. Is it just me or does this seem to be quite a low figure?

For me when I was of a younger demeanour growing up in the countryside of Wexford texting in to pirate radio station Kiss FM had a sense of rebellion to it and probably what drew most was the belief that you were being listened to and your song or text most likely would get aired.

But since the bubbling arrival of social media radio stations can be reached at a click of a button,  be it a like, a comment, a Tweet etc.. So for me the fact that 16% state they have interacted with a radio station while 84% are listening daily seems to be a figure that is at a simmering stage of gas mark 2 with potential to reach a bubbly gas mark 5.

Why only 16%?

For many reasons people don’t want to engage with a station and that’s always going to be the way be it they enjoy the simplicity of just listening, perhaps they are intimidated and believe their opinion will get lost, maybe they are happy with what they are hearing and don’t bear a need to drive change, or for me most likely it’s down to the content that is being aired and the audience listening.

If the show is reaching a specific audience with specific content that will spark conversation with listeners they will engage. One show that has a higher than 16% interaction rate is Off The Ball on Newstalk.

Here at Mindshare we recently conducted a study that shows us 26% of males aged 25-54 have interacted with Off The Ball. Males 25-54 are certainly the group who will have the most views on sport and these stats show they are willing to get those views out on air or on social media.

How are they interacting?

70% of those who have interacted do so through text message which is still the outright leader in terms of how we as a nation engage with radio shows. This is something that is embedded in our culture of how we interact and something that is still strongly pushed by most radio stations.

Social interaction is a long way behind the traditional SMS as 23% interact via Facebook and 19% Twitter which I can only see growing in 2015.


So while the national average for interaction is at 16% this percentage certainly increases when we look at a unique audience listening to a unique show with a distinct following.

For me what drives interaction with Off The Ball is the realness of the presenters, they are a group of lads chatting about sport something quite a few males aged 25-54 do when with their friends. They are not complicating  matters, they speak their views and give their opinions and always add in listener’s views and comments.

Interaction that goes beyond prizes will come when delivering personable content that resonates with a unique set of listeners.

While I do reminisce about the rush of being that 10th caller or thinking if only I hadn’t tripped over the dog when running to the phone then I would have been the lucky number 10 instead of the utter useless caller number 12 - for now interacting through Twitter is definitely my preferred means of reaching my favourite presenters and shows.