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

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Issue Date: 
Jun 4 2013 - 12:10pm

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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.

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