Why Should I spend money to Image my Station?
In Hollywood, the quality of a movie is mostly referred to as the production value.
Basically, those films with bigger budgets tend to have higher production value because huge amount of money is being put on resources like the setting and special effects.
Why Production Value?
It is the aim of a film maker (depending on the genre though) to make the movie appear epic, attractive, realistic, relevant, stylish and expensive looking. This is what makes movie goers go to see a movie.
A James Bond movie is an example of a high production value flick, not just because of the protagonists cool gadgets, but also because of its expensive cars and its remote and exotic locations.
What About In Radio?
This is especially true in radio as well. The more expensive-sounding and intricately produced your station is, the more you attract listeners and more you will have them stay.
There are several elements that will make your station sound luxurious, it covers anything from investing in top of the line hardware: transmitter (in the case of terrestrial), high quality streaming (for internet radio); programming: acquiring a quality music library; and creative talents: (professional or trained radio personalities).
Investing on Quality Imaging and Production
Sung jingles will definitely increase the classiness of your station. They may sound cheesy on formats like Rock, but they work in CHR, AC, Oldies, Jazz, Dance, and Urban.
Sweepers are classic and they work. But diversify the stuffs that you air in between the songs. Instead of the usual liners, get power intros, beat mixes, or try something crazy as long as it doesnt sound ugly.
Get a unique and best fitting voice over guy or girl to voice your station, instead of using your in house DJ. Its like in a movie trailer. The actors do not do the trailer voice themselves; they hire a professional voice actor to do it.
Level up the production of promos and commercial spots by not using cheesy, mediocre or overused sounding bed. We often fall into the mistake of recycling a bed that is already used in a certain commercial.
Also, using pop songs as beds for commercials is really cheap sounding. And it is not cheap, though, because you could get into legal troubles. Some commercials are good just without a background track. Otherwise, invest in a production music library.
What this is all about is getting your station sound like a song produced by a major recording label.
Does It Have To Be Expensive?
Actually no. There are radio stations in the province that sound even better than those in major markets, production wise. Even some internet radio stations are expensive-sounding than FM.
Do these level 1 stations get the same amount of budget as the big shots do? Of course, not. The thing is, they did much with the little they have. Its only a matter of creativity, resourcefulness, and talent.
Imaging is just but one part of the overall stationality. It does not matter if you have the most expensive production library or on air equipment, what counts is what goes out from those speakers.
The best thing about radio is that your audience doesn't need to see you to know you have high production value; they only need to listen.
What do you do to increase the production value of your station?