It’s not TV. But I like it.


This morning’s Chris Moyles Show was streamed online to allow you to see the whole show – in all it’s behind the scenes glory. And I really like it. 

On the Radio 1 site, it’s viewed via the Visual Radio Player. This allows you to see live video of the show – cut live by Radio 1’s online team plus a load of enhancements such as moderated text messages, a realtime show blog and also song details/artist biog etc which display instead of live video when the songs play. I didn’t try accessing it on my iphone and guess it may not have worked – but a mobile option would be great – particularly on the train (bandwidth issues notwithstanding).It’s an enhanced listening experience – but is it TV – or radio with pictures?

Radio1 have done this before online – and it works as an added extra – not so good if you’re on the move, but a fantastic extra, particularly for the many people listening at work – have it open on the desktop and click on it if you really want to see what’s going on. It would work especially well if  the show was live at an event – say backstage at The Brits or all weekend at Glastonbury – as an enhanced experience. 

It worked today because they did the show as normal – not really playing up to the fact to the cameras being there – and that’s the main point. This is still visualisation for radio rather than creating a TV viewing experience. But that’s not to say that radio shouldn’t be an enhanced experience. The idea of being able to listen to a station on the move, click on the application to bring up travel information or buy the song playing is available on most radio station websites. But added extras and new ways of presenting the information are all things that differentiate one station from another.Compared this to the trial last year when the Scottt Mills show ran on BBC 3 as a TV show; it worked really well – but many of the features felt like they had too many contrived visual elements.

So this is the BBC – big resources, big ideas and fairly big budgets. But what about those who need revenues to do the same? 

This application from 95.8Capitalfm does a similar thing (in smaller measures)…

ipod2-1228758140-article-1Whilst it works best in a wifi area-  (data usage is quite high) – it allows you listen to the station, get “now playing information” and, really useful for a local station, live tube data and traffic camera pictures. It also allows you to switch between a number of Globalradio’s services – keeping it in the family.

Of course, if you can see the presenters doing their job on screen – how long before  video  well and truly kills the radio star? Will  “a good face for radio” still be acceptable? 🙂

I want it all. I want it now.



“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…