Netflix’s new dystopian series “Squid Game” has been captivating and enthralling viewers from all around the world with its high-stakes competition and lethal penalties. The South Korean fictional survival-based competition revamps traditional children’s games, such as “Red Light, Green Light” and “Marbles,” into competitions with a chance to win ₩45.6 billion if they make it to the end. All of the initial 456 contestants are in deep amounts of debt, and trying to make a better life for themselves and their families — with the caveat that if they lose any of the competitions, they will be immediately killed.
Over its first month of streaming worldwide, 142 million Netflix members have watched the series, amounting to approximately two-thirds of the platform’s subscriber base, something the service, in a press release, called “mind-boggling.” Additionally, 89% of those viewers watched at least 75 minutes of the series, and 66% finished the series’ first season in a mere 23 days. Recently, it was the number one streaming program in 94 different countries, including the United States, resulting in the addition of 4.38 million subscribers in the third quarter, nearly double the figure from this time last year. The show has generated nearly $900 million in impact value, and cost $21.4 million to produce, meaning Netflix figures to substantially profit from this series, which has already been renewed for a much-anticipated second season.
So what does this mean for sports media? Well, on Wednesday morning, “Karsch and Anderson” on 97.1 The Ticket in Detroit spoke about their experiences watching this global phenomenon. Then, they played a game of their own, transforming show listeners into viewers while emphasizing the impact cross-platform integration has and will continue to have on radio today.
“I did power through another episode of Squid Game,” said Doug Karsch, co-host of the morning-drive show, who is in the midst of watching the series on Netflix. “It’s interesting; I want to know what the hell is going on.”
Show Producer Khang Huynh, who, along with co-host Scott Anderson, has already finished the Netflix hit, proceeded to draw the listening audience to 97.1 The Ticket’s Twitch live stream of “Karsch and Anderson” simply by using a standard, white index card.
“I have not met or read one review after [someone has] finished [‘Squid Game’] say something different,” expressed Hunyh. “I have a white index card; I’m going to write four words down. As soon as [Karsch] finishes ‘Squid Game,’ he is going to say these four words.”
In anticipation of Hunyh’s revealing the four-word message, the viewership on 97.1 The Ticket’s Twitch stream proliferated from 166 to 472 viewers in the span of about a minute-and-a-half, demonstrating the power a complimentary video live stream can have on a sports radio show.
Without the video live stream, the secret index card message could not have been as easily and instantly disseminated while simultaneously entertaining the audience without it serving as somewhat of a spoiler to Karsch. By utilizing Twitch, “Karsch and Anderson” kept viewers engaged in their conversation, and compelled many of them to switch over to the Twitch platform, some for the first time, expanding their potential audience and future capabilities on that avenue of transmission.
As for Karsch, finishing “Squid Game,” he puts his chances in doing so at over 50%. “I’ll just come back the day that I finish watching, and see if I say that exact thing.” Anderson can’t wait for the day that happens, as his feeling was analogous to that of Hunyh’s regarding the thrilling ending of season one.
“I can’t wait to tell you what I was going to say, because it was so close!”
SURVEY: 16.9% of All Sports Radio Listeners Are Streaming
The survey found that in May 2022, 16.9% of sports talk radio’s audience tunes in via the station’s online stream. That news comes as Nielsen reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
According to Nielsen, All Sports radio stations are the third-most streamed spoken word format, just behind Talk/Personality and News/Talk/Info. The trend is continuing to show that streaming is on the uptick.
The survey found that in May 2022, 16.9% of sports talk radio’s audience tunes in via the station’s online stream. That news comes as Nielson reported that 11.3% of all radio listenership comes thru a stream, up from 6.9% in May of 2020.
Nielsen notes that in the 45 PPM markets they are grabbing data from and the 4,800+ stations that stream in those markets, just 30% of them are encoded. That encoding allows for Nielsen to accurately measure the streams. They used the listener data from 1,500 stations across the U.S., in its latest report, AM/FM Radio Streaming Growth in PPM Markets.
The survey also showed that streaming levels differ widely by radio format. Spoken word formats display strong streaming listenership (Talk/Personality: 31.2%, News/Talk/Info: 19.1%, All Sports: 16.9%). In fact, Nielsen found that 1/3 of all AM/FM streaming in PPM markets is to spoken word formats.
New Study Finds Listeners to MLB on Radio Are Willing to Spend
More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team… 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.
When it comes to advertiser’s attempting to reach an affluent and engaged audience, sports talk radio might have a whale on their hands. Major League Baseball play-by-play features an audience that has money and has no problems spending it.
In a recent MRI-Simmons study, data shows that consumers who listen to MLB broadcasts on the radio are the perfect audience for sports marketers. According to the analysis, done by Katz Radio Group, nearly two thirds (62%) of those surveyed consider themselves “super fans” of baseball. That number is 58% higher than the average.
Those “super fans” are willing to spend to support their team, as well. More than one third (34%) of the respondents recently purchased clothing/apparel that features their favorite team. Those fans are also far more willing to make the trip to see their team. The study found that 27% have visited a ballpark in the past year. That compares to only 19% of the average MLB fan base has made an apparel purchase to support their team while just 11% have gone to a game in person in that same time span.
The news continues getting better for advertisers. Continued analysis reveals that 66% of listeners are currently employed and have a median household income greater than $106,000.
Listeners to MLB games on the radio are also 34% more likely to place a sports bet and 106% more likely to be a participant in fantasy baseball.
Jeff Dean Signs Off At ESPN Tucson for The Final Time
Dean said on Facebook: “…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”
Fans will no longer be able to tune into ESPN Tucson and hear Jeff Dean hosting his show. Friday morning was his last show, according to his Facebook and Twitter pages.
The Jeff Dean Show had been airing from 7-9a MT weekday mornings. Dean took to social media to relay the news and the reason behind him stepping away from the microphone. Dean said on Facebook:
“This morning I signed off from my radio show on ESPN Tucson for the final time. I have been devoting too much of my life and my time to working multiple jobs…the years of burning the candle at both ends has taken a dire toll on my health and for the first time in my life, I’m going to put myself and my livelihood first”
Dean went on to emphasize that he isn’t stepping away from ESPN Tucson, he’s just taking himself off the air. He also added that “gladly, I will be continuing my position as PA announcer of University of Arizona Football and Men’s basketball.”
Dean would also go onto Twitter to add even further context for his self-removal from the ESPN Tucson airwaves. He added, “It’s not a decision I arrived at hastily, as it’s been a 6 month mental grind to make the ultimate decision that had to be made, and I’m not particularly happy about it, but I have to put my health first, we all do, and make sure we’re around long enough to enjoy life”.
Dean had been ESPN Tucson’s morning host since November 2019.