Imagine your premiere talent DVR-ing the Super Bowl on Sunday and then watching it on Monday so they could talk about it on Tuesday. They were just too busy to watch it live. Sounds absurd, right?
I once worked with a talent who never participated in any of the Super Bowl breaks the day after the game. I was listening that morning to prepare for our call. During the conversation, I asked why she went silent when the rest of the show was talking about the game, the commercials, the anthem, and their parties. She told me she didn’t like football and by not watching, she was being her “authentic self”. That sounds crazy, too, huh?
Folks, you can’t make this stuff up.
Both items above continue to happen with big content choices the entire country is aware of.
The Oprah interview with Harry and Meghan was the 14th most watched conversation in television history. And while the actual numbers were smaller in comparison to what’s at the top of the list because of fragmentation (Oprah and Michael Jackson in 1993 are number one with 62 million viewers), it was near-everywhere the day after. Yet there were still shows that opted out, choosing less relevant content that day. Some because they don’t care personally about the royals. Others because they needed to be in bed by 8pm and couldn’t watch.
P1s tune into their favorite show on average twice per week for ten minutes. That’s their snapshot of the program. It’s all they know about their favorite morning show. What you choose to do in those ten minutes creates perceptions that drive listenership. Not being on the biggest topics of the day means we’re not relevant when they tune in.
All missed opportunities to be where the audience is. Yes, talent could make the case that the royals are irrelevant, but Oprah got them to tell stories and give us a peek inside the family. And many times over its two-hours, things were said that created immense buzz. It was riveting.
It’s not if listeners watched, it’s are they aware of the topic that validates doing it. That’s what matters when choosing content. Awareness. To make a music analogy, when it comes to pop culture content, play the hits. Oprah’s interview was a big hit record. On things like this, there is no watch it tomorrow.
As I told the talent who wanted to be her “authentic self” not watching the Super Bowl, there is no way she can participate in pop culture conversations on the show if she doesn’t consume them in real time. While I’d never tell her what to say, every great talent needs to own a perspective and then be honest with the audience. You can only do that if you experience it first-hand, even if you hate it. That’s part of the job to create connection with listeners. Interesting talent are curious and jumping into every topic means you’re curious. I want to wonder what my favorite personalities think about whatever is going on.
When it comes to these big, disposable pop culture stories, we must consume them because there is no tomorrow for these topics, unless there’s a new development. Then we need to be there, too, as the story evolves. As Oprah proved to us on this one: there is no tomorrow.
Did I tell you about the talent who told me he didn’t watch Harry and Meghan because he no longer has a TV?
Just when you thought you’d heard it all.
I’ve gotta write a book…