Radio listeners not so dumb

The record fine against independent radio giant GCap shows radio listeners aren’t as stupid as they seem. There’s no shortage of people who can answer a simple quiz question on air but producers, who need to stretch things out, won’t let them on until they’re good and ready.

It’s bad enough that people have called premium line numbers to enter competitions they could never win, but what might be worse is the contribution it makes to dumbing down. Such competitions are alleged to prove the public are a bit thick and should be treated accordingly.

2 thoughts on “Radio listeners not so dumb

  1. Well that’s not quite true.

    Radio competitions are designed to make for entertaining listening.

    People constantly getting the answers right does not make for good, entertaining radio.

    People constantly getting the questions right does not make for a decent jackpot for the eventual winner.

    The premium rate numbers are necessary to create that prize money.

    Sometimes having someone on who gets it wrong can add to tension and convince people to have a go.

    I promise that contestants ARE NOT chosen BECAUSE they have got the answer incorrect.

  2. Ofcom clearly believe contestants were chosen because they had got the answer wrong. That’s why they hit GCap with a record breaking fine.

    The regulator found that choosing contestants they knew had the wrong answer was ‘a deliberate and premeditated means of preventing the prize from being won in that round… As a result, those listeners who had paid to enter the competition on these occasions had no chance of winning’.

    Everything else you said is true.

    It is also true that this kind of thing creates an impression that radio listeners are stupid. Questions are kept simple to create an impression that prizes are easy to win (if only you can make it on air) and so maximise entry numbers and, with that, income.

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