Radio looks to the future
I’ve written on more than one occasion about my concerns radio in the UK is settling in as a back-seat passenger in the digital revolution.
With print and TV and online finding new ways to innovate all the time, the radio bods have turned up the “hits and memories”, closed their eyes and pretended it was still the 1990s.
Some evidence radio is still a little hesitant to jump in, though, with one session entitled “Spotify: Friend or Foe?” (rule #1 of the internet: embrace or die) and “Why Radio Must Go Digital” (a debate threatening a schism in the industry).
It wraps up with what promises to be an entertaining Blackburn v Bacon.
Unfortunately the £300 ticket price is a bit beyond my means, but here are the things I would say if I were there…
Share your content – it adds to its value! With news Bauer is pulling its Kiss FM content from Absolute’s innovative Compare My Radio Player, it seems we’re a long way off this mindset with some companies.
Remember what the first pioneers of radio must have felt when they invented radio for the first time. The first time someone used it to create a package; the first time someone used it to read out letters from listeners. We are very lucky to live in the first age where it’s possible to reinvent radio. What a shame to waste it.
Outside the BBC, Absolute Radio so far seem the only ones even bothering to try. It’s paying off though. Their One Golden Square Labs have already brought out several innovative products, including Compare My Radio & Dabbl.
New platforms means new content
The top-ten-at-ten on a smart phone is exactly the same as the top-ten-at-ten on FM. Invest time (not necessarily always money) in new content. Surprise your listeners!
Remember what radio is good at…
…speech! Radio is such a powerful medium for getting across ideas and emotions, and yet here were are, with only a couple of totally speech stations in the entire UK. I know it’s expensive, and “risky”…but in this scary new world, fortune favours the brave. And no-one can put you down for trying. Radio 4’s 10 year high in listening figures proves the demand is there.
Radio At The Edge is on Monday 9th November at 9.30. Thanks to James Cridland for the hattip.