Want a fun way to connect with your radio station's audience and keep them engaged? Try out games! So long as you have social media for your radio station, a way to answer callers while on-air, or even an email address, you can play some exciting games that will keep you and your listeners entertained.
You're free to copy these 5 games or go the extra mile and add elements to make them your own. So long as there's some sort of prize or giveaway for winners at the end of each of them, they're good to use!
The classic, go-to station game. Pop quizzes are nothing new in the radio world and there's so many different ways you can go about them. Essentially, this trivia game requires contestants to answer a pop culture or music-related question correctly. Whoever gets it right first receives a prize.
You can carry out pop quizzes through a caller system or by having whoever replies correctly to a social media post first win. The harder the question, the bigger the prize should be!
Complete the Song Lyrics
This game is strictly phone-based. First, have listeners call in. Whoever calls first or is a certain numbered caller will compete on air.
Next, play a song. It can be a song you play regularly on your station, a popular song that's high on the music charts, or an oldie that most people know the lyrics to. Stop the song abruptly and have your caller sing out the next couple words of the tune. If they sing the correct lyrics without stumbling, they win!
The Cash Register
If you've got some prize money to spare and a long programming schedule, this game will make your audience go wild. First, announce a prize amount for the winner to take home. You should do this earlier in the day - either in the morning or whenever your radio station first starts the show. Listeners will have to write down the amount or have a sharp memory in order to win.
Next, ask listeners to send over their phone numbers if they would like to play. You could do this via social media DM, having people call in, or having your listeners send their numbers to you via email.
Once it's later in the day (say afternoon time or in the early evening), select a random number to call. If the person answers the phone and gives the correct prize money amount, they win. If they don't pick up or give the wrong amount, call the next person on your list.
You can even add other elements to make things more competitive. For example, the station Hits Radio has a rule where a player must pick up the phone after it rings five times. If the player misses the five rings or doesn't pick up, the station won't call any more people for the day. The Marty Sheargold Show on 105.1 Triple M has a similar rule where selected players must answer the phone in exactly four rings in order to be allowed to state the prize money amount. You could add in your own ring rule or include other elements like passwords to make the game more intense!
This is an easy game you can play on social media or by having participants submit emails. You could even create a Google Form or submission box on your station's website to help your audience out.
First, announce a topic for your listeners to submit a true story about. You could ask the community to write about an embarrassing memory or tell them to anonymously confess their biggest, darkest secrets. Give your participants a due date to write out their answers.
Once the due date arrives, review the submissions and choose some of the best ones to read aloud on air. You can either pick the story you like the most or have your audience vote for their favorite tale. Whoever's story gets the most love is the winner! If you're feeling generous, you could also assign runner-ups.
Name That Tune
Another classic radio station game. Similar to "Complete the Song Lyrics," this game is best played when it's all done over the phone. First, choose a caller to compete. Once they're ready, play a song on air without revealing the title. If the player guesses the name of the song correctly, they win.
You can make things more interesting by adding a time limit, a rule where the player must name the artist in addition to the tune, or by playing a song that matches whatever holiday season is coming next - like Halloween or Christmas!
Looking for more on-air games to play? Check out our follow-up with 5 more games to play with your listeners here! And alternatively, if you're looking for 5 radio games to play with studio guests, click here.
For some basics on keeping your listeners entertained, check out our guide on Keeping Your Radio Audience Engaged.
In the meantime, get creative, play some games, and happy broadcasting!
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