Listen While You Work

It’s science

When we listen to music, our brains release dopamine, the “pleasure chemical.”

The amount of dopamine released is directly connected to the element of surprise. That makes sense.

An unexpected song we love, especially one we’ve never heard before, floods our brains with dopamine that makes the song immediately following feel better than it might have otherwise.

It’s one of the reasons Steve Jobs insisted that iPods have a shuffle feature. He knew this science and he knew predictability is the enemy of passion.

But Radio has an inherent advantage over iPods when it comes to unpredictability. We can play new songs listeners love. In fact, the most successful music stations always have.

Yes, you can play too many new songs to attract a mass audience.

As I told a friend once, he had found 100% of the 1% of listeners who loved hearing nothing but songs they had never heard before. If he found just 2% of the remaining 99% of listeners in his town who preferred mostly familiar music, he’d double his ratings instantly.

Use this natural advantage your station has to expose your listeners to new songs they will love.

Surprise them.

Make the connection personal by endorsing the song before you play it, something the streaming services cannot do.

Don’t just use research to screen songs out of your library. Use your instincts and your ears to share new songs knowing you’re grounded in science just as valid as AMTs.