Want to experiment with a new approach to drive times?

According to comScore, about 20% of your listeners now own smartphones. One implication of this fact is that those listeners could theoretically listen to on-demand streams of your programming during their commutes.

This opens up a plethora of potential new opportunities for you!

One possibility, for example, derives from my long-held observation that morning and afternoon drive air talents (on a music station) are doing a four-hour show, yet your typical listener only tunes in for a half-hour or so of it, which means that a lot of great material goes unheard.

How’s this for an idea? From 6-10am, your “Mike & Melinda” morning show could do their normal four-hour shift, in which their mic is open for, say, about 15 minutes of entertainment material each hour. From 10am to 12n (or maybe starting even earlier, before the live program ends), one of your interns could stitch together an MP3 file consisting of 40 or 50 minutes of their best material, interspersed with spots for three title-level advertisers.

Then, starting at 12n, you could post the “Mike & Melinda Entertainment Hour, brought to you by Dave’s Pizza, Butternut Coffee, and The Bedding Experts.”

Once that’s posted, your afternoon drive listeners (or your next-morning listeners) could have the option of listening to a tight, bright, topical (i.e., only a few hours old) “best of” program — which might, for some of them, be a preferred drive-time listening experience.

And if Dave’s Pizza, Butternut Coffee, and The Bedding Experts get appropriate exposure within and around the show, you could end up making more money per listener-hour!

Is anybody doing this now? Or does anybody want to give this a try? I’d love to hear if it works!

Kurt Hanson