I want it all (and maybe iCloud will give it to me now) UPDATE

Back in 2009, I wondered whether one day I’d be able to listen to what I wanted, when I wanted it on my commute to work. I wondered whether I’d be able to switch on my portable device and get the latest news, the latest weather and maybe a selection of content alongside the music I wanted.

Yesterday’s announcement by Apple of the new iOS and also iCloud made me think that maybe this idea could be getting nearer. It looks like, along with allowing me to sync up anything I’ve bought from iTunes, by using iTunes Match, I’ll be able to (at a small cost) match up what I already have on iTunes and sync it with the cloud.

But, surely, there’s more to it than that. From what I understand, and I may be wrong), I’ll be able to sync my iphone up wirelessly with my library. So I’m hoping that since my library not only contains music but also podcasts, that they will sync as well.

If this is the case, this surely offers some interesting options for radio broadcasters.

In a post yesterday, Radio Intelligence asked “is podcasting radio’s enemy?“. The conclusion is that it’s not – but there are some broadcasters who still disagree.

It would be oh so nice if the radio trades spilled some digital ink on these types of broadcasters rather than creating the impression that radio can simply step into a tricked out DeLorean where it’s always 1999.

There has been much discussion of how radio still has a place within the music industry. One of these roles is that of Music Curation. This could be as diverse as new music from Radio 1, or Capital FM bringing you the latest hit record first. Does this always-synced future from Apple now mean that Capital FM should be publishing Smart iTunes playlists that contain the weeks new releases? If you are a Capital fan, you could have this on your iTunes account. Each week, as it syncs, it would show you the new songs that Capital has added – and that you could then buy (maybe with a nice partnership deal for Capital and Apple to get a share of revenues).

But there’s more. If my iPhone now syncs podcasts, couldn’t Capital FM produce a daily podcast that is in effect a topical call to action, a setup of an online-only contest entry or quick excerpt of that days big guest from the breakfast show. Maybe there could be a series of short “blipcasts” – no longer than 60 secs – that have a showbiz update or maybe a daily contest. If there were a way to combine this into a smart playlist with the biggest songs from the Capital playlist – then maybe there’s a way of reaching potential Capital listeners who don’t listen on the move.

And, (thanks to Radio Intelligence for the Twitter suggestion), I’d call it Capital Fm On Demand

Now whilst this may not be possible yet – and indeed the iCloud may not yet offer this – maybe my hoped for future is starting to get nearer.

No more music buzz?

Universal Music Group
Image via Wikipedia

Sony Music and Universal Music have announced that from next month they will be simultaneously releasing some singles from their acts to radio and for sale online.

This will probably lead to articles asking “is music radio dead” and “why radio has no place in the music business”.

The music business is a commodity based one, reliant on shifting units (tracks/albums/downloads). As such, they need to make their products available wherever there is a customer base and demand. This change is feeding in to the “on demand” “right now” culture that we now find ourselves in. It was tested out pretty comprehensively during last years X-Factor where performances were available to download almost immediately after the show aired.

But does this mean anything for radio?

Previously, radio would play a large (though not exclusive) role in hyping demand for many singles and albums. The plugging arms of the record companies put much effort in offering exclusives, spot plays and playlist additions. These happened weeks out from release and added in to the highly planned pre-release publicity schedule including interviews, contest winner gigs, live sessions and much more. This record company pre-release marketing effort also provided much programming and contest content for stations.

This is purely another way of marketing the product. It means that the record companies (like everyone else) will need to work harder and smarter to target their consumers. They will probably make preview clips available online beforehand, and build up social media buzz in a highly targeted way. And the result will hopefully mean higher sales in the long run. And I’m sure radio will still get content driven promotions via the record companies – they may just need to come up with bigger ideas.

Image From http://www.pure.com/
For radio, it will be increasingly important to have links to technology that lets the listener “buy it now” – either through the station website, via mobile listening platforms, or directly from the radio via Apple or Pure Flow Songs. This technology already exists – but I guess it’s set to become all the more important – particularly for Commercial radio who can monetize their listeners.

And what if there were a station that could play the song you voted for – a sort of live jukebox service with an online presence on mobile devices? You could vote on the song, get it on air and buy it for your mobile device – all at the same time. Absolute Radio tried it with DABBL with new/live music.

This format exists now – to a degree – in the USA. It’s called Listener Driven Radio. How long before someone tries it again here?