The new look and sound to ITV


It’s always a big day in a radio station’s live when the new station sound arrives on air. Mostly for the on air and production team. For the listeners, it’s often a big change as the audio furniture, around something that many simply listen to, has changed. Sometimes it’s a huge change. More often than not its a more subtle one.

When a TV station changes it’s branding, the look is often more radical. Think of when BBC One changed from the balloons to the current suite of circular idents. A big change of look and sound. The same will happen soon across all BBC channels – and it’s interesting to see how important the sound of the idents is compared with the look. Often, it feels like its more of an afterthought.

Today, the ITV network has changed the way it looks and sound on air.

Take a look

What I particularly like is that there is a pretty distinctive audio identity on most of these idents. It’s a three note theme that blends within the music. Whilst an esoteric blend of audio themes does complement a visual identity, such as that of Channel Four, for me, a more distinctive sound that adapts and matches with the visual look always helps to enhance the overall branding.

You can find out more background on the ITV rebrand at the iMediamonkey blog

Time to look again at online video?

Image from

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..


Learn Radio (and TV) Production Skills for free from the BBC

BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place at the ...
Image via Wikipedia

The BBC College of Production website  has just launched.

 Now, anyone – not just BBC staff – can get a basic insight in the skills needed to make great TV, Radio or Online content. There are profiles of jobs, background “how to” films and details of talks and training courses.

In the radio section, there are details of music scheduling, setting up microphones, making a trail for Radio 2, and the role of a station sound producer.

For budding TV producers, you can learn about self-shooting, special effects, developing programme ideas, and how to shoot on green screen.

And if you need to know more about blogging, there’s a section on that too.

It’s a vast (and I guess constantly evolving) resource. See more at

Play My Song and I’ll Say What You Like

Wow – I love NRJ in France. They have all the big stars on air and on their TV ads:

But hang on – I love Capital FM in London the UK – and they’ve got a fantastic new TV ad too:

These artists can’t surely love both NRJ AND Capital?

Can they?

Both these adverts are great examples of bringing brands closer to the music. They take a huge amount of planning – but give so much payback. They aren’t necessarily the sort of thing you can do if you are a small station with little real-time access to the big artists. But for Capital and NRJ, with big events to draw these stars in, increasingly, they are part of the deal. I’m not sure if any money changes hands with these things, but let’s face it – if you get to associate your face/name/band with the big stations in the market, and they hold events/play music/ do contests promoting your album/single/gig – then who loses out? And they got Justin Bieber  and Rihanna speaking French too.

Of course, radio station TV ads don’t always need to feature the music you play or the stars of the station. But I can’t imagine NRJ or  Capital would ever run something like this!