Lee & Stone consider the question: Who’s Listening?
Lee Kantor. It is time again for the Producer’s Blog, Mr. Stone. How are you doing today?
Stone Payton. Doing well. I think it is a good choice you made for the intro music. I think it is a keeper, let’s go with that.
Lee Kantor. That’s the new, official Producer’s Blog music.
Stone Payton. That’s right, the PB music.
Lee Kantor. Today on the Producer’s Blog I thought we would discuss a question that comes up quite a bit when I am talking to people about what we do here. It is the listenership question. Do you ever get that?
Stone Payton. Yeah…What’s your listenership? Who’s listening?
Lee Kantor. What I tell people is, “You. People like you are listening. Other people like you are listening.”
Stone Payton. What do you think is driving that question? They are wanting to get that message out to as many people as they can so they are thinking, “I want to get on the roof tops and should out my message and get it to as many people as I can.” I guess that is why they are asking. Right?
Lee Kantor. Right. But, I think they are torn. On one hand they would like it to go out to a ton of people, lots and lots of people and that would kind of validate that it is worth their time to be part of this. On the other hand, I think, they would also like it to go out to the people that could buy their stuff. If we were blasting this out to India and we could say millions and billions of people are listening but none of them are going to buy your stuff, I don’t know if they would be pleased with that answer as well.
Stone Payton. Hold on, don’t let go of that. That could be our easy out on this thing, because we are not conventional radio and we don’t have a footprint of middle Georgia. We have a global footprint and maybe that’s an easy…I don’t know whether there are six million computers, maybe that is the answer.
Lee Kantor. It is the reach question. What’s the reach of our show. The reach is everybody with an internet connection.
Stone Payton. I like that, maybe that is our answer. Or, do you already say that and they push further and say, “Yeah, but who?”
Lee Kantor. That “Who” question is hard to answer because the “Who” varies dramatically from show to show and from guest to guest. What we do is not a mass media. This is not a mass media, this is very targeted.
Stone Payton. That’s very counterintuitive. You think worldwide footprint, it is a mass media, but it is funny it is really much more of a target niche media.
Lee Kantor. I would like to think that people just come on to Business RadioX and just leave it on all day.
Stone Payton. You don’t think that’s happening?
Lee Kantor. Maybe your mom does, but I don’t think other people do. What happens is one minute we are doing the Eugeria show that is after senior service people and then the next hour there is a CFO show and then a show about inventors and professional services and startups. I don’t think the same guy listens to all those shows.
Stone Payton. I’m sure you are right. There seems like there should be some sort of formula or something where you could assign a weight or a value to the listener. If you have a listener that tunes in every Tuesday at ten o’clock to listen to that show that is one kind of listener, if you have the listener that goes on the internet and says, “You know what, I want to get some content about senior issues” and because this is such a great platform to juice up your SEO, then they find Eugeria and then they go listen to it. That’s a different level of listener. What do you think about that idea?
Lee Kantor. I agree wholeheartedly. That person that’s interested in senior services is going to search out and find that show and that’s who the people who host that show want to be listening. Most people don’t care if CFOs listen. But, our host of the CFO show cares about the CFO that listens and doesn’t care about the senior service person.
Stone Payton. Then there are the listeners, we see it happen day in and day out around here, there’s the dynamics that are happening in the studio with great in depth conversation and you are learning about people and you are learning about their business, is that a listener?
Lee Kantor. That’s a listener too.
Stone Payton. That is the ultimate listener, right?
Lee Kantor. Right. In my mind that listener has more value. A person you are spending an hour with listening to their story and then listening to your story is a more engaged listener than a person that has ears. Any person with ears is a listener and the person who is sitting across from you for an hour is a listener. I wouldn’t give them the same weight.
Stone Payton. This is all very intellectually stimulating, but…
Lee Kantor. We still haven’t answered the question…
Stone Payton. Right! So if you are talking to someone about hosting their own show and they say, “What’s your listenership?” Let’s do some real math, let’s get real for a minute…a typical weekly show, people will have an average of three to five people in a week, let’s just say an average of three people on their show a week. Let’s call it fifty weeks, we’ll give them a two week vacation or do you have earn a vacation around here?
Lee Kantor. You have to earn it.
Stone Payton. 150. In real numbers for that sort of high quality,
Lee Kantor. Highly targeted…
Stone Payton. Highly targeted, new business relationship, that mega listener; if someone asks you what’s the listenership? Can you just say 150 or would you have to explain it?
Lee Kantor. I think you’d have to explain it. 150 in depth listeners. That’s one level of listenership, you have them for an hour, they listen and you know for sure 150 are active and engaged.
Stone Payton. They are active and engaged, they are not passive just letting it wash over them while they drive to work.
Lee Kantor. You have 100-150 of those and that is a pile of listeners you have in your pocket. Then you have the casual, more passive listener that is maybe listener at work or downloaded the podcast and is listening…
Stone Payton. We can’t discount that whole geometric…this will sound like multi-level marketing, “You tell three people and they tell three…”. But there is something to that. Everyone who comes through here, they have their own little community, their own fan base and some of them do have mom’s that are going to listen.
Lee Kantor. Sure!
Stone Payton. Let’s don’t totally poo poo that listenership too. I just think it is gravy. That is not the main core listener.
Lee Kantor. I think we are only keeping track of the engaged listener, the actively engaged listener.
Stone Payton. The AEL.
Lee Kantor. And I think the other media are keeping track of the other ones, the passive, not engaged listener and they are bragging about that like it is nobody’s business and we don’t even count those people.
Stone Payton. Does that make us better or just cool?
Lee Kantor. Of course. We are just different. That’s the best way to describe it. Also, I think listenership in our business is different in that we have the live radio broadcast and that gets some listeners, but the vast, vast majority of our listeners happen after the fact and then that number keeps growing. That number gets bigger every single day.
Stone Payton. It never gets smaller.
Lee Kantor. It is not like terrestrial radio where you are on the show and that number is that number of people, period, the end. It is perishable. That is perishable, ours lives forever on the internet so our number gets getting bigger. There’s stays the same and in fact it probably diminishes .
Stone Payton. That’ makes sense. If I’m a host and have my own show, or I’m considering getting my own show and I’m asking this question that I think with this kind of conversation I can get my arms around that. But, now I’m a host and I’m going out to the community and I want to recruit the most interesting guests that I can, I’m occasionally getting that same question from prospective guests.
Lee Kantor. Yes. And the way that I answer this and I have to go through the same gyration of the podcast and the download and it get bigger. But, I feel confident that you can say that hundreds of people are for sure going to listen, it could be thousands. How big is your audience? If I have Dr. Phil on the show I am going to get a lot of listeners.
Stone Payton. That happens sometimes. We had Ken Blanchard on one of these shows and the network almost broke down.
Lee Kantor. That is going to attract a different number. So there is Dr. Phil, from Oprah, and he comes on the show and that is a lot of listeners. I have Dr. Phil from Alpharetta who has a dental office, it may not be. They are both Dr. Phil but there may not be as many listeners as the Oprah Dr. Phil.
Stone Payton. It is back to that pool of mom plus one. A lot of it is on them and what are they going to do before the show and after the show.
Lee Kantor. Before, during and after. Before the show, are they telling everybody to listen in? During the show are they tweeting, “Hey, listen in!”. After the show when they have the link are they sharing it with their people? That could impact listenership by one hundred times.
Stone Payton. Here’s my thing, you tell me if this is too surly…fortunately I’ve had the presence of mind and the social tact not to actually blurt this out, but I have thought on occasion when a guest asks that question or a prospective guest, I’m thinking why is Fox News wanting to have you on that same day at that same time? What am I competing with here? What if the answer really is eight or ten people, are you weighing that against going on with Katie Couric or something, are you trying to make a decision? Go on Katie’s show and do my next week.
Lee Kantor. The thing is they will have this content forever. It is a question we get asked a lot.
Stone Payton. And we have to address it. It is one I would like to get answered and move on.
Lee Kantor. In a way that everybody is happy with the answer. I am okay with not knowing exactly how many people are going to listen to a given show.
Stone Payton. I wonder who is listening right now? Hi, mom!
Lee Kantor. That’s the thing, how many people are listening right now and then how many people once we post this are going to be listening over time? We know it is going to be a lot more.
Stone Payton. I wonder if we could put some kind of little gizmo when people click on this that says, “You Are listening”, like the “You Are Here” button, that is always so helpful in the mall. I am ready to host my own show and I am happy to be a guest on your show.
Lee Kantor. On any show!
Stone Payton. I’m sold!