“I want it all. I want it all. I want it all. And I want it now”. And so sang Freddie Mercury back in 1989.
Back then, the thought of an “on demand” world was little more than a pipe dream on “Tomorrow’s World”. But I have seen the future , and it sits in my living room now. I fire up the Virgin Media box and that’s pretty much what I get – down a fibre optic line. Want the Christmas “Doctor Who”? Simply select the BBC iPlayer and it’s there on screen in seconds. Fancy an old episode of “Spaced”? Click on 4OD and it’s there just as quick. And maybe anything from a massive catalogue of stuff from Warner Brothers TV in the US – just as easily.
So has this really changed my viewing world, when just a few short months ago, I was singing the praises of the Freeview recorder box that we watched everything on – never in real time? Not really – but now I can get the iplayer or 4OD (and soon ITV content) whenever I want it.
So what about radio? Will I ever consume it in a similar way? Sure – there’s the iPlayer to catch up on whole shows. Or the many shows (both BBC and commercial) that I can download as podcasts. But maybe I don’t want it quite that way. Maybe I want to become the scheduler just like I can be on my TV. Maybe I want my “radio” to be exactly how I want it.
In my future world I’ll want to be able to do this…log on to “My BBC” and create my whole experience to take away on my iPod – something that updates according to my choices every day. I’ll choose what content I want and choose the music as well from my iTunes library. My music that I own and the BBC content that I’ve paid for. But why just BBC content – why not let me have the best commercial radio can offer as well (served up in a data packet with an advert bolted on)?
So maybe my morning commmute will have me listening to this 30 minute example on my Ipod – which I will have synced before picking it up to leave the house at 7.30.:
Random ipod track
BBC News from 5 Live
Most recent BBC Travel from BBC London
Random ipod track
Chris Moyles show guest from yesterday
Radio1 session track from the Live lounge
A guest from Geoff Lloyd’s show on Absolute radio (with an ad bolted on)
Business news from the Today programme
A most played track from my iPod
Sure – there’s a million and one things to prevent this happening – but when websites can pull together content and generate meta data tags to personalise the visiting experience, I’m sure there are ways and means of exporting this data into an application that works with my portable music device – or even to my DAB radio. Don’t ask me how – I don’t work in R&D – but I bet someone here could make it work.
But how would you promote your content when people weren’t consuming the media in a traditional way? Well there’s a topic for a long night in the pub…