If Amazon Ran Your Radio Station

Amazon Dash Button

Amazon.com is changing the retail game again with a new gadget called the Dash Button. The Dash Button is incredibly simple — tack it to your washing machine and when you’re running low on Tide, press it. Because it’s connected via WiFi to your Amazon Prime account you’ve just ordered more detergent. In about a half-second.

If you use coffee pods Amazon will send you a Dash Button to place near your coffee machine. And one for the bathroom so you can re-order razor blades.

Amazon knows what it’s customers want: simplicity.

If Amazon were put in charge of your radio station it would:

• Blow up your website, which is trying to be all things to all people. Don’t believe me? Check your site’s stats and you’ll see that 90% of your pages are hardly viewed. One InterPrep affiliate drops website features regularly. Its cut-off is 11% — pages seen by just 10% or fewer visitors are dropped. They look at the numbers every few months.

• Reboot your app. The first and maybe only thing your app should offer is audio — streaming and archived. Depending on your format it might also include local concerts, or top local stories (if you’re a news station), or local weather (if you’re known for being a weather station). For app simplicity, see the updated Fan TV. It helps you find a movie or TV show to watch now. You won’t find entertainment news or movie star personality profiles. And Fan TV’s interface is dead simple.

• Cut the on-air clutter. The Amazon website looks busy, but every feature is there for a reason. The company relentlessly tests, tweaks and trims so the user experience meets or exceeds expectations. Meanwhile you’ve been doing the Midday Double-Play for years “because we’ve always done it.”

You don’t have the research muscle Amazon does, but that’s okay because you’re not selling millions of products. In fact, you’re probably being asked by most listeners to provide less than 5 or 6 products.

Grab a legal pad and write down everything your radio station does. Start with “music”. Add “weather,” “live PSAs,” “recorded PSAs, “the deal of the day,” “Hollywood Headlines,” “the Lunchtime Music Quiz” and so on. Even time-checks. Write it all down. If you’re thorough you’ll fill two or more pages.

Now honestly ask if everything on that paper is what your listeners want or need. Start cutting. It’s only ink on paper so there’s no harm. But as you run a line through some of these station “products” you’ll realize much of it is useless to most of your listeners. You’ll re-discover the reason people really tune in.

You’re not done. After you take a break and get some coffee do this exercise with  your radio station app and your website.
Amazon Dash Button