The most frustrating thing I face in my work with Integr8 New Music Research is talking with a station who really wants callout research, but whom we simply aren’t able to help.
Sometimes, the cost of customized local new music research—even for the most bare-bones program we can offer—doesn’t financially make sense for the station. In a few cases, the station is in a market that’s too small for us to reliably recruit enough listeners.
I’m sure it’s far more frustrating for those stations’ PDs than it is for me.
Historically, if you couldn’t get custom local new music research, you couldn’t get real research—at least not from us or other respected music research firms. It was your own local callout or nothing.
That’s left stations in small, medium, and even many large markets with subpar resources, from using Mediabase or BDS Radio (R.I.P.) to see what big city stations are playing (with the assumption that they have and are effectively using good callout), to scouring Billboard charts or trying to decipher streaming data.
Radio deserves better.
That’s why I’m excited to announce Integr8 USA. And while I shudder to think I’m sounding like your sales manager here, it really is a big freakin’ deal.
WHAT IS INTEGR8 USA?
Integr8 USA is a nationwide subscription new music research service, available for individual stations and groups for whom custom local callout research doesn’t make sense. When it launches this June, Integr8 USA will offer CHR, Hot AC, Alternative, and Country stations access to real new music research. Since it’s nationwide data that’s shared with other subscribers nationwide, Integr8 USA costs substantially less than having your own local callout.
A truly nationwide sample of radio listeners recruited specifically for Integr8 USA: Unlike other offerings, Integr8 USA is not a Frankenstein mashup of data we’ve collected for other stations. (As always, that data remains the proprietary property of each client.) Instead, we’re recruiting radio listeners that truly reflect the whole USA, from big cities to small towns, from Manhattan to Modesto, from Destin, Florida to Duluth, Minnesota. Integr8 USA breaks out data into five distinct regions mirroring U.S. Census Bureau designations.
Real listeners who really are paying attention to the music: Integr8 USA uses the same multi-methodological recruitment we use for local clients to ensure we’re finding a representative cross sample of relevant radio listeners. It also uses the same 17-factor quality control system Integr8 Research uses to ensure listeners are who they say they are and are really paying attention to evaluating the music.
FIVE THINGS INTEGR8 USA TELLS YOU ABOUT EACH SONG
There are plenty of numbers you can find about new music; airplay ranks, streaming plays, iTunes downloads. Integr8 USA is different. You’ll see a complete picture of how Americans who are fans of your format react to each song:
- Do listeners love a song, or do they merely like it? Some songs have a cult following, but never catch on with a broader audience. Others might not elicit strong passion, but they’re songs listeners universally like. Integr8 USA will give you the information to program each song accordingly.
- How many listeners hate a song? Simply examining airplay or streaming data can’t tell you how many listeners hate a song—and for radio, haters matter. They tune out when you play songs they passionately dislike. Integr8 USA will help you identify the songs that might garner plays on Spotify, but will drive away your listeners.
- How familiar is a song? Integr8 USA you can spot the songs that all your listeners know verses which songs have strong potentail if more listeners get to know them.
- How do different segments of your audience feel about a song? In these times, there are songs that are wildly popular among Gen Z listeners, but simply don’t connect with Millennial listeners. You’ll spot which songs enjoy wide appeal versus the songs that have passionate but limited fan bases not only by age, but also by gender, ethnicity, and region.
- When should I move a current to recurrent? Integr8 USA includes our proprietary Hitcycle® measure to tell you exactly when listeners are ready for you to move each song to recurrent rotation.
This information is the same depth of insight Integr8’s customized research clients receive. Integr8 USA delivers that information in MusicMeetingSM, the same online interactive report platform our clients with their own local callout use.
So, what’s the catch?
While there’s no catch, there are compromises when compared to having your own callout.
SHARING SAVES MONEY—BUT DOES COME WITH SOME SACRIFICES
Subscribers to Integr8 USA share the research. That means you share our cost of recruiting, vetting, and interviewing listeners to your format. As with any shared resource, you will have to give up some things our custom local research clients have:
- You won’t have total control of the test list. We’ve partnered with a team of top programmers to select the most relevant current music in each format. As a subscriber, we’ll solicit your feedback to know if there’s a song or two you think we’re missing. You won’t, however, be able to personally compile your test list.
- You’ll need to filter the results to mirror your station’s audience. For Integr8’s local research clients, we tailor the sample specifications and reports to precisely reflect that station’s market and music strategy. In contrast, Integr8 USA interviews a broader makeup of American radio listeners for your format, which means you’ll need to drill down to those listeners that matter most for your competitive situation. For example, you may wish to only examine Caucasian listeners if your market doesn’t have a large Hispanic population. Fortunately, Integr8 USA’s sample of hundreds of respondents per week allows you to dial in your demographics.
- It’s not local. There are times when a song simply hits differently in your town than it does nationwide. While our clients with local Integr8 New Music Research see those differences, you’ll have to interpret Integr8 USA’s nationwide information with your own gut knowledge of your market. If your market has too much advertising revenue at stake to not understand your own local market, Integr8 USA isn’t for you.
For stations whose market size and revenue potential simply make callout cost prohibitive, Integr8 USA changes the math.
HOW TO DISCUSS THE DETAILS OF INTEGR8 USA
We’re offering Integr8 USA to both individual stations and radio groups. You can fund Integr8 USA with cash or barter.
Interested? Click here and my colleague Scott Musgrave will connect with you about the details.
I’d especially love to hear from you if you’ve tried to work with us before and we couldn’t help you affordably.