“That sounds a bit complicated…”

My-Name-is-Jack

A listener called today. She was mid 60s, with a name like Maureen or similar. She listens to JACK fm..as do many of her friends.

“Hi there. I’m trying to listening to your station and I can’t hear it today..”

“Where are you listening?”

“I live in Midhurst..”

“Well, that’s on the very edge of our area so our signal may not reach that far”

“Well, I can normally hear you, but some days I lose reception, so I switch to Smooth Radio. Can I get you on Digital Radio – I have a digital set but haven’t really used it..”

We are on digital radio. Have you looked for us”

She looks and lists the stations she can see..

“I can see Absolute, BBC stations, Premiere radio. No, I can’t see you..”

“I’’m sorry. Have you tried listening online – or maybe tried our mobile apps”.

“Sorry dear – I’m a bit old fashioned – I just want to listen in the kitchen – that sounds far too complicated”

“Ok – we’ll hopefully you’ll get the signal back soon”

“I’ll do that. I love your station. Do you know why I listen?”

“Tell me..”

“I found your station and started listening because you have the same name as my son. He’s called JACK too”.

I’ve heard many reasons why people listen – but never because the station is named after a family member.. but what are the real reasons people choose to listen to stations? The fact that she liked the name hooked this listener (someone who is out of our target). She likes the music (though I’m not sure what our overlap would be with Smooth Radio).

But the thing that struck me the most was her comment :

“Sorry dear – I’m a bit old fashioned – I just want to listen in the kitchen – that sounds far too complicated”

She’s an older listener.

She’s open to listening on Digital.

She can’t be bothered about how she gets the stations she wants.

She just wants them in one place in one box – and she doesn’t need to think about how to find them.

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We’re not making things easy for people like “Maureen”. They are getting the digital message. They  are starting to understand the range of choice. They want to listen to the content. But some of them just don’t understand how to get hold of it or can’t be bothered with the hassle.

The sooner someone cracks the connected box that has a menu that lists the stations and tunes to the station whether its via FM, DAB, online stream the better. It’s great that the team at UK Radioplayer (with others from Global Radio and Absolute Radio) are doing just that. This is the sort of radio I want..

As for us, we’ll just home the wind is in the right direction for Maureen to listen on FM. Or maybe I’ll record some output and post it to her on a cassette…

UPDATE:

Matt Deegan posted a blog today that included a presentation from James Cridland – all about the need for user experience to be better in all digital radio. It’s certainly worth a watch.

When the Aliens Take Over

Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 09.28.34You’ve all heard about the time when an Orson Welles radio broadcast sent America into panic, right?

Well, it’s happened again. This time, at The New Star 94.9 in Tuscumbia, Alabama.

It started when the station started broadcasting a test signal featuring “Aliens” talking about how they’d taken over the station and would make an announcement about the change at a certain date and time. It seemed to backfire as the station was flooded with calls, children refused to go to school and in a bad case of Chinese Whispers, an alien invasion turned into a bomb threat. As attention to the stunt grew, the station quickly updated the messages. My favourite part is when the Aliens bring in a PR consultant.

The reaction was more than likely down to Social Media – and probably seemed to surprise the station.

“People are saying we’re broadcasting threats to the community — I’m like, what in the world are they talking about,” program director Brian Rickman tells the Shoals News. (INSIDE RADIO)

Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 09.28.17The great thing about this project was how they quickly managed to update it all. This was mainly due to a decision not to make the aliens sound how you’d typically expect in a promo, but to utilise the text to speech voices found on any Mac. Production is incredibly simple, really nicely written and funny too. It actually makes me think that a fun show could easily be created this way on some formats. In fact, this could be a fun thing for a station like FUN Kids or similar to do – easy to make and easy to have fun with.

Of course, in the UK, we’re all familiar with the Birdsong test transmissions. Well, the aliens are too:

It’s all a little knowing, certainly tongue in cheek – but really creative. And really simply produced too.

And it’s got them a whole load of press too.

So – the result. They’ve morphed from an urban station to a format described as “Modern Hit Music” – anything from Genesis to Pink, Kings of Leon to Lenny Kravitz, Imagine Dragons to Adele. A pretty broad playlist – maybe one for John Ryan’s Listened In blog to analyse..

If you are going to relaunch or stunt – a project to analyse for ideas, flaws and improvements?

UPDATE

I’ve not listened since they were in their test transmission phase, but judging by their Facebook updates, they really are listening to what their audience wants and are asking for honest feedback too. How many other stations would be brave enough or open enough to do that these days?

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Time to look again at online video?

Image from Youtube.com

My former GCap Media boss Dirk Anthony shared this article yesterday.

According to the article, YouTube’s skippable ads now make Google “as much revenue per hour as ads on cable TV”. That’s according to YouTube’s global head of content Robert Kyncl.

This is a huge deal. The talk of platforms such as Apple and Google eventually becoming a new way of consumers consuming content are long gone. These platforms are already there – and by logic, will overtake the traditional platforms in a matter of years. The question is – what are traditional broadcasters (and I mean TV and radio), doing about this?

Now some will argue that advertising online is dead as viewers can simply skip it. This is what is happening on TV. Currently most TV I watch is recorded on my Hard Disk recorder. I can skip AD breaks at the touch of a button – so never need to see them. And with the content I watch on iPlayer – I never see trails for programmes since they are only broadcast on the linear TV platforms.

But viewers skip ads don’t they?

According to Robert Kyncl at YouTube:

 We’re making ads optional. Users can skip them if they don’t like them. That’s a big deal. When advertisers pay only when ads are watched – and when viewers are watching only the ads that they care about – they won’t and they don’t mind paying.

Therefore – the ads and trails that they watch are ones that interest and engage them. And whilst this post is about visual content, radio promotions need to be equally efficient at doing this too.

The argument should be – how do we hook the consumer in to watching the ads or trails? Are we intriguing them? Are we exciting them? And is there some clarity to tell them what we’re selling them?

With YouTube ads, it’s pretty easy to integrate extra targeted overlays. This technique could be particularly useful for relevant Tx details which could be targeted to viewers.

Since people like the BBC now have YouTube channels, you’d guess that pretty soon, we should be expecting relevant programme trails to be scheduled to appear here – around the content that already exists. There needs to be a way where potential audiences to linear programming become aware of it on digital platforms. And whilst there are no trails on iplayer at the moment, surely there needs to be some thought as to how content is promoted to BBC online viewers on that platform. The argument up to now has been that people must always opt in to auto playing content. I think this is sensible since not everyone wants it. But maybe the ability to opt in would be useful.

As long as its relevant and targeted, it’s unlikely I’d skip it. Agree or disagree. Let me know..

 

Thinking Big

Image: TBWA\NEBOKO

Sometimes you just need to add and add to an idea.This new Ad from Heineken does just that. Why drink at just any old bar? Open your world! It’s thinking big on a huge scale..!

Music: Clairy Browne & the Bangin’ Rackettes – Love Letter
Agency: TBWA\NEBOKO
Director: Martin Krejci

Mobile Link here http://youtu.be/MZtDqpdvy7s

Originally found at Ads of the World