The Jingle Bell Ball Rocks

I remember writing, back in June, about 95.8 Capital FM’s Summertime Ball. My conclusion was that the event was great, but the online coverage were pretty average.

This weekend, they ramped it up 1000 per cent – and gave a pretty much perfect example of how this sort of event can live and breathe online and on air.

If I’d been a listener getting ready to go to the ball, there was pretty much everything  I’d have wanted. From online travel guides, to background on all the artists. And as the weekend arrived, the content ramped up too.

From their YouTube channel, there was this clever  preview of the stage going up:

And as the event progressed, all the backstage interviews arrived here too. From Ne-Yo to JLS, to the most viewed at present – Miley Cyrus.

But my favourite part was the online blog, and more impressive – the Twitter update feed. This gave a really interesting insight into the whole event, from the buildup to what was going on backstage. Even the iPhone app had photos and content updated on it throughout the evening – great for listeners on their way home listening to the station.

And from the look of it – the listeners enjoyed it too.

As the promos said last night – “only Capital could do an event like this” It was big. It was in your face . And it was 2 sell-out nights at the O2.

Nice one Capital.

Seacrest Gets Viral

Twitter is taking brands – whether commercial, radio, or celebrity – to a whole new level. It allows consumers or “fans” to get something extra. Some of it is an interesting insight into people’s lives and some is dull. But it certainly furthers the levels of interaction. In radio – loads of people are doing it. I learn what’s going on from Absolute Radio. I get the latest travel news from Southeastern trains. And I find out what the new big tunes are on BRMB via Tweets from Darren Lee.

In America, Ryan Seacrest has taken it to a whole new level. Not content with being on air in Los Angeles on KIISfm,  his show is  also syndicated across the country. Plus he does American Idol. And wherever he goes – he tweets. He’s great at interacting with his followers. And you get updates on all his sites as well. In short – he (and his team) – are masters of self promotion.

And if you’re as well known as Seacrest – why not join up with one of your other Twitter chums like Ben Stiller  – to up the number of followers with a viral video?


Absolute Get it Wight

Image from
Image from

Do you picture this lot as typical listeners of Absolute Radio?

Last week, I wrote about Capital FM’s coverage of their excellent Summertime Ball, and how the online offering was a little lacking for the tech savvy, online audience. I also hoped that Absolute Radio’s forthcoming coverage of the Summer’s festivals would prove that online content can be engaging, fun and also in some cases perception shifting. Having photos of listeners like those above helps them shift perceptions from being a blokey station to having a wider audience profile.

To me, Absolute’s coverage of this weekend’s Isle of Wight Festival punched well above its weight. Not only were there tons of photos posted during the weekend – both official and user generated. But there was a fair degree of interaction with their audience away from the event.

Via twitter, I got updates on when the acts were onstage and when new content was available online.


I also got a few updates live onsite from reporter Andrew Bailey via Audioboo

This was rough and ready live reportage – giving a bonus behind the scenes feel to the coverage. For the station – it was simple to create – needing just an iphone and a free program -plus the simple know-how to link to it via various platforms.

In addition, the audio from a number of stage performances is online – not with video but with photo slideshows. This again was something that could be achieved fairly easily with fewer resources needed than creating full video packages. It was also supplemented by video interviews by the key artists.

The beauty of Absolute Radio’s coverage however is how every piece of content is neatly tagged – so that music fans can search for their favourite band and easily find all the relevant content from them. Searching on Stereophonics for example brings you the backstage interview from the festival, plus backstage interviews from a couple of other events. Alongside that, there’s an artist biog and links to buy songs. But more importantly, a link to the 1,189 other Absolute Radio VIPs who also like the band – allowing more interaction and enhancing the station’s online community.

Having seen this offering, I’ll be interested in seeing what they continue to offer across the Summer of Live.

And this is how they did it..