BBC said to be working with commercial firms to build on-demand subscription music service

Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 6:45pm

The BBC is reportedly in talks with commercial music services to build subscription, on-demand access to the hundreds of thousands of music recordings in its vast archive.

The new service, dubbed Playlister, would be a "music equivalent of (the BBC's) iPlayer catch-up service," The Telegraph writes. The iPlayer allows users to access any BBC programming that has aired in the previous seven days and stream it online. (BBC Radio content is streamed on the UK Radioplayer.)

A BBC spokesman told the paper, "The BBC is regularly in conversation with digital music providers about how we strengthen radio’s position as the number one place for discovering music in the UK."

The Telegraph explains, "The BBC has talked about the idea of making its vast archive of music recordings public in the past, but has always run into trouble clearing the rights." The BBC is now reportedly "in talks with Spotify and similar music services, such as the French-run Deezer and Apple’s iTunes music store in an effort to side-step the problem... Partnering with commercial operators could also help the BBC avert a potential row with private sector companies over whether the corporation is treading on their toes." (Note the parallel here to reaction in Canada to CBC's music streaming here and here.)

RAIN is in Berlin on Friday for RAIN Summit Europe. Our keynote speaker is Jonathan Forster, Spotify General Manager Europe & VP Ad Sales. Also appearing are Deezer Deputy GM, Head of Ad Sales David Deslandes and UK Radioplayer Managing Director Michael Hill.

Read more from The Telegraph here.

37 years of legendary John Peel shows digitized for streaming

Thursday, September 13, 2012 - 12:20pm

A Soundcloud user from Yorkshire, England known as "+dB" has reportedly digitized and uploaded all 458 episodes of the late legendary John Peel's radio show.

It's over 900 hours of content, spanning Peel's 37-year career from his 1967 pirate radio debut through his final BBC Radio show in 2004.

While it appears the files are no longer available through SoundCloud, points to Google's cache here.

Read more here.

SoundCloud Head of Audio Manolo Espinosa will join us Tuesday at RAIN Summit Dallas for the "Social Radio" panel (covering song sharing, recommendations, listening rooms, and other social tools that can impact brand awareness and drive audience growth). More on SoundCloud and Espinosa in RAIN here, and more on RAIN Summit Dallas, including registration, is here. wraps up Radio/Podcast Webby Awards category; 2 People Voice nods to Pandora for Music

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 - 1:10pm

The popular lecture site (now an NPR show and podcast, see our coverage here) nabbed both top prizes in the Webby Awards Radio/Podcast Websites category. Winners of the 16th annual "Best of the Web" awards were announced today. beat other nominees CNN Podcasts, New Yorker podcasts, NPR, and The Cocktail Party Statement for both the academy-awarded Webby Award, and the People's Voice (as decided by popular voting).

Pandora won People's Voice awards in both the Music Websites and Music Mobile & Apps divisions. Indie music blog Pitchfork and Spotify, respectively, won the Webbies for those categories. (Spotify had also been nominated in Music Websites.)

Other winners included Google Music (People's Voice for Best Visual Design (Aesthetic)), BBC News (People's Voice in News Websites), NPR (People's Voice in News Mobile & Apps).

See all the nominees and winners here. Our prior coverage of the nominees is here.

Radioplayer a testament to cooperation, fairness, and product-focus, says The Telegraph

Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 11:40am

You many know Radioplayer (see RAIN coverage here) is the online aggregate of radio in Britain, 315 streaming audio channels and on-demand content. It's a not-for-profit cooperative co-owned by the BBC and (most of) the UK's commercial radio industry, launched one year ago this month.

Today Radioplayer boasts seven million monthly unique users. And it represents a victory in successfully transitioning traditional media to an online platform, compared to television in the UK, says Emma Barnett, The Telegraph's Digital Media Editor.

"Where British TV companies have failed... the radio industry has genuinely managed to build a successful aggregator through clever cooperation and by focusing on the product, rather than the potential new revenue streams," she wrote. "British TV content crucially still doesn’t have a single web player."

Each participating station is given equal prominence in the player, and each displays their own advertising and content. And there is total autonomy for each contributing station. Radioplayer managing director Michael Hill credits the platform's success to "its fairness, openness and its not-for-profit status."

Radioplayer also generates revenue (which goes back into developing and improving the player) by licensing its technology. Two such improvements are the coming mobile app and an app for Internet connected television systems (more here).

Read coverage from The Telegraph here.


Cridland explains his definition of "adding visuals to radio"

Friday, February 24, 2012 - 11:00am

"I’m specifically not talking here about video," self-christened Radio Futurologist James Cridland blogs. "I’m talking about things that allow audiences to engage when they want to, and discover more about what they’re listening to."

Cridland's long promoted the idea that digital media allows for a "visual radio" experience. But in his recent blog post, he contrasts his thinking against that of a video/television approach. "Stuff that enhances a radio broadcast – stuff that can be completely automatable, and stuff that reflects what’s on that radio station," he explains. "It’s not television."

What Cridland's after is more along the lines of Capital FM on the Radioplayer (here). "Static slides appear containing news, travel information, now-playing stuff, weather, pictures of the DJs, and more glanceable information," writes Cridland. Another example, BBC Radio 1's homepage (here)."As you listen, more information appears to let you learn more about what you’re hearing. Images of songs, tweets and Facebook messages from the audience, promotion of other things on the station, and links to video and more. Once more, it’s glanceable information that allows more interaction when you’ve the time to do so."

Read Cridland's blog here.

70 years of spoken word content from BBC, other b'dcasters, to be available on-demand

Friday, November 4, 2011 - 8:10am

The BBC has announced it will launch a new website -- called "Audiopedia" for the moment -- that will offer nearly its entire archive of speech radio programming dating back to the 1940s. The site is slated to go live within the next 12 months.

BBC "on air"
BBC logoOther publishers, as well as the general public, will be able to search, listen, and share audio ranging from every one of the annual Reith lectures (like Robert Openheimer, father of the atomic bomb; and the first lecturer, Bertand Russell), hundreds of episodes of Desert Island Discs (including appearances by Tony Blair and the Duchess of Kent) to audio of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain declaring war on Germany and Alfred Hitchcock explaining how he picked music for his movies. 
BBC Radio 4 presenter Sue MacGregor writes in The Telegraph, "Just a quick click allowed me to listen to Sir William Beveridge announcing his proposals for a new welfare state, Richard Dimbleby recounting the horrors of Belsen, and Jon Snagge reading the formal announcement from Sandringham that King George VI had died peacefully in his sleep."
"The BBC is working on how best to present Audiopedia at the moment but most people will probably access the new on demand content via other pieces of related content they are already listening to across the BBC website," BBC Audio and Music director Tim Davie told The Telegraph. "Audiopedia will not be a closed library. We will link to other broadcasters’ content." 

Read more on Audiopedia from The Telegraph here and here.

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