Most often music radio stations use tip sheets and charts in selecting and scheduling music. To overcome the disadvantages of these methods, some radio stations have begun to use music call-out research. Data are obtained through theatre studies, shopping mall intercepts, mail surveys, telephone surveys, or through a combination of these techniques. Researchers give audiences printed lists of titles, have them listen to "hooks" (short segments of a musical recording played over the phone), or send them sound sheets (flexible disk recordings). Most often, scaled alternative or scaled response questionnaires are used. Scaled alternative items consist of seven alternative phrases arranged along a numerical scale to represent a continuum of the listener's feelings about the music; scaled response items also use a numbered scale, but only the extremes are labeled with terms such as "like-dislike" or "familiar-unfamiliar." In addition to problems validating information obtained from scaled alternative questionnaires, current music research also lacks uniformity in sampling procedures, making cross study generalization difficult. Categorizing audiences according to their listening habits and loyalty to the station would improve this research, though programming would still be more an art than a science. (Examples of questionnaires are included.) (JL)
Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Speech Communication Association (Orlando, FL, April 6-9, 1983).