6/4/13: BBC Radio 1's latest stars honed their craft on YouTube

Paul Maloney
June 4, 2013 - 12:10pm

In an attempt to recapture the attention of younger audiences, BBC Radio 1 is fishing talent from a platform that's been far more successful in that regard: YouTube.

The broadcaster has hired online video sensations Dan Howell and Phil Lester, as "Dan & Phil," to try and reverse the trend of an aging audience. Radio 1 is officially tasked to target the 15-29 demo; it's average listener is now 32 years old.

Howell and Lester feel that commercial television and radio in Britain has abandoned the country's youth to the Internet. "Young people just don’t listen to radio anymore," Howell told the UK's The Independent.

"They are trying to identify a spot where radio becomes a visual and internet-based experience, building on their successes on YouTube, where Howell has amassed 1.7m subscribers for his 'Danisnotonfire' channel," writes the paper. "Lester has more than 900,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel 'AmazingPhil.'"

After less than six months on the air, the two were voted the UK's favorite radio presenters at the industry Sony Awards.

The BBC is not unique for this strategy. After unsuccessfully trying to leverage broadcast content on YouTube, major television networks and film studios are hiring and working with talent "who built their understanding of YouTube from the ground up -- people who have proven their ability to grow and engage with audiences on the platform," reports PaidContent.

Read more about Dan & Phil from The Independent here, and more from PaidContent here.

Paul Maloney
June 4, 2013 - 12:10pm

In anticipation of its Internet radio service, Apple is recrafting its iAd mobile advertising service in a way that will sell and deliver ads more reminiscent of Pandora, and even broadcast radio.

Apple is now reportedly courting major advertising companies and big-name brands to the iAd platform, and has mobilized both engineering and sales staffs in this effort.

The iAd platform is an ad network that can deliver ads to apps run on Apple mobile devices. Ads can be targeted to consumers based on other apps, music, movies, and books they've downloaded.

Businessweek explains that the iAd unit was initally created to run ads from third-party developers to encourage sales of the software they create and sell in Apple's App Store. Apple cofounder, the late Steve Jobs, "bought mobile-ad network Quattro Wireless to start an advertising platform in 2010," writes Businessweek. He "wanted the service to help developers make money so they would remain committed to making software for Apple’s products... The service was intended to make money for developers -- not Apple."

One obstacle Apple needs to overcome to convince big markets is iAd's lack of fine control over which apps will run their ads. What's more, advertising on it can cost more than rival services, and campaigns are limited to apps on Apple mobile devices.

To counter this, Apple has reportedly reduced its number of different charges and cut rates. They're also allowing agencies to use purchased inventory for more than one client, and have begun to accept ads for alcoholic beverages.

Part of Apple's licensing terms with labels, sources say, is an advertising revenue share. Though the company is hoping to announce the service at its developers conference next week, the iRadio service won't be publicly available to consumers until later this year, sources say, when Apple releases its iOS 7 mobile operating system.

Read more in BloombergBusinessweek here.

Paul Maloney
June 4, 2013 - 12:10pm

Streaming technology provider Backbone Networks is behind the soon-to-launch TalkersRadio stream, which will be hosted by talk radio industry news source TALKERS magazine.

The 24-hour online radio station will be a "laboratory" / "farm system" / "showcase" for new concepts, talent, and shows for talk radio. In addition, the stream will carry TALKERS magazine live events like conferences, and a regular rotation of programming to give it "the feel and consistency" of a real radio station, according to TALKERS publisher Michael Harrison.

The stream will also serve as a showcase for Backbone Networks itself, for its technology "that makes it extremely convenient and affordable for talk show hosts to do a fully produced program – with live callers and guests – from an amazingly simple technical remote and portable set up," according to the press release. The live (and archived) audio from RAIN Summit West in Las Vegas in April was produced by Backbone (and streamed on TuneIn). 

Read more on TalkersRadio here.

Paul Maloney
June 4, 2013 - 12:10pm

In a national vote, Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists members have approved new, three-year contracts with the advertising industry to cover commercials produced for -- and repurposed for -- television, radio, and "the Internet and new media." (An example of this could be when a spot voiced or produced by SAG-AFTRA for radio is streamed online.) The new contracts go into effect immediately, retroactive to April 1, 2013, and remain in force until June 30, 2016.

According to a press release, the new contracts result in "wage increases and other payments totaling $238 million for all categories of performers, improvements in cable use fees, increases in payments for work on the Internet and new media platforms, an increase in the late payment fee, and an increase in contributions to the health and pension/retirement plans."

Read the press release here.