8 Must-Run Bracket Ideas for Radio

Media Planet

Brackets are a huge win for radio stations, regardless of format. There are numerous topics that are ideal for engaging your listeners and driving traffic to your website. Brackets are another topic of discussion for your on-air teams. They provide excellent new content as well as an opportunity for listeners to engage with your media company online.

Here are some bracket ideas for your radio station to consider:

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Top Artists and Songs

There is no doubt that your listeners have strong feelings about the best music; allow them to vote for their favourites in a bracket. You can be as broad as you want. For example, favourite song of all time, album face-offs, the ultimate music video celebrity cameo or as specific as you want. For example, grooviest song of the 1970s, most epic heavy metal hair band, ultimate one-hit wonder. Furthermore, these brackets generate fantastic content for on-air discussion throughout the duration of the bracket. Encourage your on-air teams to bring them up each round, share them on their social pages, and discuss their favourites.

Shows and Programming 

Use brackets to pit your programming content and on-air talent against one another. Consider brackets a great way to collect listener opinions and research – have listeners vote for the funniest member of your morning drive team, their favourite in-studio guest, the cutest show pet, or even their favourite hilarious moment of the year.

Top Stories and News 

With a bracket, summarise your best news content or recent entertainment stories. This not only allows your listeners to tell you what they care about, but it also allows you to repurpose some of the great content you’ve already created – and give your on-air teams more ways to promote content online. Brackets such as the most epic weather story, battle of summer blockbuster movies, or most memorable story of the year week/month/year will engage your listeners regardless of how serious or light-hearted your content is.

Local Music 

Brackets are an excellent opportunity to highlight your city’s music scene. Find the best local bands, artists, venues, music stores, or music events by using a bracket. This can easily be turned into year-round content or integrated with live battle of the bands performances on-air! Share this with your sales team as well for sponsorship revenue from venues, events, and more.


Holidays provide you with a new way to engage your listeners with content they’ll enjoy – after all, who doesn’t enjoy a good holiday? The possibilities are endless with so many annual holidays. For example, use a Most Overplayed Christmas Song Smackdown bracket to allow your audience to remove one song from your Christmas rotation. Or, for Valentine’s Day, ask them to name the Ultimate Heartbreak Anthem using a bracket! Furthermore, you will almost certainly have opposing viewpoints, which will make for some great on-air debates.


Food is a universal language, so it’s a universally appealing theme that can be a huge hit in any format. Consider brackets such as the Ultimate Backpacking Snacks, Stadium Food Challenge, Top Gas Station Finds, Fast Food Battle, Treat Tournament, and Toddler Meal Mania. These are ideal for recurring revenue campaigns sponsored by a single advertiser.

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