Radio 1, looking for a younger audience, goes to where the kids go

Tuesday, 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.

Digital closing gap on radio as "leading source of music" for adults, says Vision Critical

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 12:15pm

New research from Vision Critical shows what most North American adults use AM/FM radio as their leading music source, but that digital options are quickly decreasing radio's lead.

While two-thirds of American and Canadian adults listen to broadcast radio (either via AM/FM or streamed online) every week, leading online sources like YouTube, Pandora, and Spotify "have gained a strong foothold." This is especially true in the U.S., as Pandora and Spotify are not officially available to Canadians.

More than 1 in 4 American adults regularly listen to music online, according to Vision Critical, while only about 1 in 5 Canadians do.

Vision Critical's study was released in conjunction with Canadian Music Week happening now in Toronto.

YouTube to get into music subscription (and that doesn't mean Google Play won't)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 2:05pm

Late yesterday Fortune reported that YouTube will launch a subscription music service later this year. This service, apparently, will be in addition to the rumored Google subscription service (Google owns YouTube).

"The two new services are defined by their respective places in the Google empire: Google Play for Android is a digital locker for music -- users buy, store, and sort a collection of tracks; but on YouTube's coming service, anyone can listen to tracks for free," Fortune wrote. "Both services are said to be adding a subscription fee that will unlock additional features. For the YouTube-based service, this will likely mean ad-free access."

Read Fortune here.

Music festival video streams could mean an ad revenue windfall for show producers

Friday, October 12, 2012 - 12:35pm

Pollstar says, "this year might also go down as the year when (music festival) live-streams started crossing into mainstream."

About a third of this weekend's Austin City Limits Music Festival's 130 bands will have their sets streamed via YouTube. ACL will offer multiple channels from several stages, Pollstar reports, "and the production has increasingly taken on the polish of a live television broadcast." This year's Coachella festival offered three live streams of video; Lollapallooza offered two distinct channels.

AEG Digital Media has produced streaming for fests like Coachella. Chris Roach, the company's head of business development, told Pollstar, "We’ve seen the average view time is over an hour in one sitting. That’s a pretty engaged eyeball for an advertiser to put their dollar against." C3 Presents, which produces the Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits fests, says the number of stream viewers has climbed into the "high millions."

Read more in Pollstar here.

New company adds video to radio stations' web streams

Monday, August 27, 2012 - 1:10pm

VadioPortland-based company Vadio creates video channels out of a radio stations' audio streams. The service plays the music video (from YouTube of Vevo) of the song currently playing on a radio station. And during commercials, stations can display logos and positioning statements. Vadio can also incorporate in-studio webcams and is aiming to add more video ads, including pre-rolls, reports RadioInfo.

All said, it provides online users the option to "watch" radio instead of just listening.

Vadio already has two stations using its service (Seattle's Hot AC Star 101.5 KPLZ-FM and 99.9 Real Country WHFB-FM in South Bend, IN) with "many more" set to go live in the new few weeks, says Vadio's Bryce Clemmer. KPLZ PD Kent Phillips tells RadioInfo page views have increased eight-fold and time spent on the site is up 30% since adding Vadio. 

You can find more coverage from RadioInfo here.

YouTube and Facebook now have a place in music programmers' toolkits

Friday, August 24, 2012 - 12:35pm

Inside Radio leads today with a collections of testimonials from program directors revealing how they use social media to track the popularity of new music.

Facebook and YouTube now offer PDs a window into how popular -- or burned -- a song is becoming (see, for instance this article from The New York Times). Lincoln Financial Media CHR KQKS/Denver music director Michael Buhrman says, "Social media has gone to the next level in the past few years as a tool for discovering new music, and helping determine whether a song is compatible with our audience."

Inside Radio adds, "But he and other programmers say it’s just one of many utensils in their toolkit, along with callout, music sales, online testing, requests and other traditional means."

"There is no telling who, what age, or what country (a new song's Facebook) likes and (YouTube) views are coming from," cautions KQMV and KLCK, Seattle PD Maynard. "I feel very confident in our systems of picking music and using the internet or social media as more of a tie breaker or an additional information source." Wilks Broadcasting EVP of programming Jeff Sanders adds, "If I see multiple success stories — You Tube views, iTunes sales, Facebook likes, Twitter followers — then we’ll pay attention."

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