Probably not what you think
If you’re a fan of the NFL, this season has probably been one of the most frustrating — and enjoyable — in years.
Why? Because it is impossible, literally, to have any certainty that on any given week “the best” team will win.
And that is because randomness is a huge part of every sport, but especially those sports that have bigger teams, like soccer, and American football. The more players, the greater the chance randomness will strike and doom your bet, uhhh prediction.
And yet the NFL continues to be the most popular sport, by far, in America, just as soccer continues to be the most popular sport, by far, throughout the rest of the world.
Seems like not being able to predict with any degree of certainty what you will actually see happen as you watch increases personal enjoyment and ratings, even if your team is upset. It’s the outcomes that are unpredictable.
I think Radio is like this, or rather, I think Radio at its best should be like this.
Once your show or your station becomes totally predictable, the reason to listen continually actually weakens.
The very fact that I’m not sure what you will say, what I will hear at any given moment when I tune in, can be an attractant, especially if your content between songs is powerful.
I’m not talking about consistency, which is very different from predictability. And I’m not talking about your music, though I’ve always been a fan of occasionally throwing in an “Oh Wow!” song for this same effect.
I’m talking about what you, the talent, and you the PD, who produce the sweepers and liners and other between-the-songs stuff bring to the table each day.
If you are consistently unpredictable, I believe your TSL and cume will rise, assuming the content is powerfully connective emotionally. Of course, we’ll never know unless you try it. That requires great talent, and great courage, especially these days.
But if your instincts parallel mine, I’d love to talk to you about it. Pro bono.
ps. If you’d like to read the article that got me thinking about this, “Why Sports Needs Randomness,” click HERE.