You Don’t Say The Calls Enough – A Real Life Story

“We love radio.. we listen all the time, it’s free and this one station plays great music.  The Blitz - can we listen to the Blitz?”  

Moving back closer to family in Columbus Ohio has its good (and bad) points. The other day, I was “volunteered” to transport my niece and three of her girlfriends from campus to a “secret party location” (that way they would be forced to spend the night or safely Uber home.) They all piled in the backseat and begged to stop at the gas station on the way for cigarettes and six-packs (they were all old enough and uncles don’t judge.)  Once we got on the road they were excited to ask me questions and talk about music and radio.

“We love radio.. we listen all the time, it’s free and this one station plays great music.  The Blitz – can we listen to the Blitz?”  

I wasn’t surprised.  99.7 The Blitz – WRKZ is active rock featuring artists like Metallica, Nirvana, Soundgarden and Tool. Not my cup of tea, but I was just the chauffeur, so I flipped it on and started to ask some questions when I was interrupted.

“No not that station, The Blitz – 96.3”  

I tried to show off my radio knowledge – “Are you sure? The Blitz is 99.7..”

“No, no we listen every morning.. it’s 96.3, the station that plays the really good old rock music.” 

WLVQ, QFM96, was one of the original “classic rock” stations, switching from Beautiful Music in 1977, which didn’t make my mom or grandma happy that day.  I switched the radio to the girl’s delight as they heaped praise on Billy Idol and Aerosmith.

“This is great music, we love it.”  

“Thanks, Mark.  I listen in the morning to that guy with that comedian and that other girl, it’s pretty funny.”

And we spent the rest of the trip grooving to Van Halen, Boston and David Bowie as they put on their makeup and scowled at me because I wouldn’t let them smoke in my car.

Did not see a PPM device hanging off anyone’s purse, so I’m not sure it affected the Columbus monthly coming out in a week. I wanted to know so much more about their media use and awareness but we arrived at the party. They thanked me profusely and merrily went on their way. Perhaps Nielsen is right about AM/FM radio usage and younger adults. (As one of the girls said – “I hate Pandora, it plays a lot of slow songs and uses too much data.”)  And PPM will get this one right.  But maybe we might get better music and perceptual research by hiring Uber drivers to ask questions and track radio requests.

Mark Elliott is the CEO/President of Mark Elliott Radio where he consults stations across the country. Connect with Mark on LinkedIn.

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