Broadcasting, Programming, Advice

The Importance of Updating Your Radio Station Programming

Once you have your station up and running with some awesome programming, it might seem like a good idea to just leave it be. While it's not necessarily a bad idea to approach your programming with a "set it and forget it" mentality, it's important you don't get stuck in the confines of your programming as time goes on. And by that, we mean updating your programming should be an ongoing process. Because there's always an older, newer, or trendier song you can add!

Updating your programming is important for retaining listeners as well as improving and growing your station. Even if you have really incredible programming, there's always room for improvement. And without improvement, there is no growth. Improvement can be as big as redesigning your programming completely or as little as switching a few songs in and out of your library.

Not only is it important to strive to improve your station, but updating your programming is crucial for ensuring your station doesn't get stale for loyal listeners. Put yourself in their shoes: while hearing repeat songs here and there can be enjoyable, too many repeat songs too frequently gets old real quick. This is especially the case for your listeners who tune in multiple times a week - perhaps even every day for extended amounts of time. So, it's best to keep your loyal listeners engaged by updating your programming. That way, you can be assured you're delivering value to all of your listeners, not just new ones.

Let's talk about the ways in which you can update your programming!

New Shows

Whether you currently have shows in your radio programming or not, it can be a great idea to brainstorm show ideas and implement the best ones. If you already have some successful shows, you might consider adding another one that you think would fit nicely into the mix. If you have any shows in your programming currently that have been in the lineup for a while or seem to be missing the mark a little with engagement, you might want to cut those shows and add a new show or two in for variety.

On the other hand, if you simply have no shows in your programming, creating a show could add some spice to your broadcast. You can create a show around anything you want and it can consist of talk, music, or both. You could even do an audio drama! There are truly endless possibilities for new shows for your station.


Aside from having shows as scheduled events, you might have playlists as scheduled events. Playlists are a great programming option for those that want to have total control over what music is played. However, if you really rely on playlists, then that means you've got to take the time to keep them fresh. This means creating all new playlists as well as simply updating playlists by removing old tracks and adding new tracks.

You might have awesome playlists with themes you are proud of, in which case, there's nothing wrong with keeping those playlists in rotation. However, in order for those playlists to remain engaging, they've got to be updated with new songs. Those old songs that have played countless times on your station have got to go!

You might also find you have a great new playlist idea to add to your rotation. Or, you might have the realization that a playlist, while it may have been fantastic at some point, has just run its course on your station and it's time to remove it. Since playlists give you the ultimate control over the music played on your station, it is especially crucial that you make updating all of your playlists a high priority. If you don't update your playlists, you can be assured your listeners will be hearing the same songs over and over again in the same exact order. Which is definitely not enjoyable for any listener.

Adding & Removing Songs

If you use AutoDJ at all, it is absolutely essential you regularly remove and add songs to your library. Since AutoDJ just randomly selects songs from your library to play, you have to be even more aware of the contents of your library because you aren't individually selecting the songs to be played. Although AutoDJ randomly selects songs and the DMCA restrains how frequently songs from the same album and artist can play, there is still plenty of room for repetition, especially for loyal listeners. Even if you have a massive library, repetition can and will happen. Even if you decide to use ClockWheels, ClockWheels in AutoDJ mode, or determine your AutoDJ separation rules to specify how tracks are selected, it is still important you frequently update your library.

If you update your library regularly by removing a few songs and adding new ones, you can avoid having to take several hours down the road overhauling your library. And you can even make a rotation of removing certain songs for a few months, then adding them back in once those months pass. If you add and remove songs frequently, you can be certain your library is fresh and your listeners will enjoy both new and old tracks at all times. Overall, this means the perfect amount of repetition for all listeners...which translates to a more engaging station!

Keeping your programming updated might seem like a lot of work. However, it doesn't have to be so daunting if you simply spend a little bit of time every week or so adding and removing shows, songs, playlists, etc. In fact, dedicating small amounts of time regularly is the best way to keep your station programming updated. Make it into a habit, and your audience will thank you for it!

There are always new songs and albums released each week you can consider for your programming. Keeping new playlist and show concepts as a revolving thought in your mind will likely bring you the best ideas. Whatever you do, just be sure you update your programming! It will improve your station in general and keep it fresh and engaging for all of your listeners.

For more info about how to keep your programming updated, see this article about freshening up your music library. And make sure to always check out the Live365 blog for news on music releases, playlist ideas, and radio industry trends. We hope you have fun updating your programming, and happy broadcasting!.

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About Michelle Ruoff

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania