Read this: The Media Show Revolutions: Radio
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BBC sounds music Radio podcasts, this is the media show from BBC Radio 4 hello welcome to the BBC Radio Theatre in broadcasting house in London here for the latest installment of the Revolution series on Radio 4 the media show in his Revolution versions of the show we pick a sector in the media has find out how it's been turned upside down by technology and politics today.
We're looking at radio.
Let me introduce you to our guests Scott towards an is CEO of the wireless group over 30 national and local radio stations including talkSPORT and Virgin Radio Helen zaltzman is wuntu rewards dimension for her podcast answer me this and The Illusionist Helen Thorne is co-host of another chart-topper the parenting podcast scummy mummies and give us some expert insight this dual Hynde from Enders analysis Lindsey Chapman please welcome our panel.
Thank you so much.
Let me ask our podcast is conveniently both named Helen why do podcast have such crazy names, where is Radio 4 shows usually have most unimaginative titles possible Helen Thorne and also you have to stand out we could just be called the parenting show scummy mummies kind of raises an eyebrow, so that's why we went a bit silly without us, and we are I am I am a scummy.
Mummy is so what sort of says what it is.
So I think that's that's a wonderful thing about podcast you just have this to the freedom.
You don't have to be told by the BBC whilst as what to do, so it's lovely we are all the TV shows on the internet and since the internet you have to think of a name that people can find when they search for it and therefore nothing if you were searching for Media
And show the media so might not come up and you need to find them to other people aren't using which forces you to become a little more inventive.
Would you recommend we changed our name it does describe what you're doing now.
Got boring my snazzy Media show you what you're paying into present on Virgin that you can if you like but is he now the highest paid DJ in the history of British radio all that would be going somewhere to answer your question about what we played which is precisely what I would say that creasys.
Let me know that is the question is Chris Evans now the highest-paid DJ in the history of British radio.
I am not going to get drawn into work with pain Chris Evans Chris Evans joined us not just for the money.
You know if you heard Chris Evans last show.
When he announced he becomes a Virgin Radio what he said was that he was a mountain climber and he was he was fat above the highest mountain in radio in this country and it did he has the biggest audience in in pre-match an English-speaking world and that he wanted a new a new Challenger the new mountain to climb and sore Virgin ready was his spiritual home so I think that had a lot more to do with and go station with Chris than the money back to time still not going out to come.
I will come back to it.
So we're going to work out what's going on in the world radio and where it might go next with your help to a live audience hear the Radio Theatre time from Enders analysis, let's look first of what you might are you might call traditional radio? I'm in the age of unlimited On Demand choice.
How popular de stations on FM and dab remain Radio 2 breakfast that's good that 9 million listeners, but live radio traditional live radio has about 46 million listeners every weeks.
That's nearly 90% of the UK listen to radio so it remains incredibly large.
Are there some age groups and demographic Stewart on tuning into Lydia radio? It's much.
They wanted as much did absolutely so if you look at this and which is similar to TV but actually radios innervated.
I'm against the son of the competition of online much more than television has actually so what we have seen is that younger people are listening less to the radio, but they still listening on average for 2 hours per day, which is quite a large amount.
I might go some way to explaining why the BBC so keen affect everyone a Britain to download then you'd BBC Sounds app.
What do you think is there such strategic vision behind BBC sounds is it makes sense to you make perfect sense to me.
There is a lot of listening.
That's now online about 10% of radio listening is done online but BBC sounds and able to forecast for other types of music and speech radio actually.
There's one place that consumers know where they can access great quality content from the BBC and then hopefully from from some of the competitors as well in the future, so it makes perfect sense because it's drawing should be drawing the younger people back to the than the median of audio.
Taunton the wireless group at your own now by news UKCs 2016, what's the mission that Rebekah Brooks and Rupert Murdoch cover set you are looking to do is to extending the complementary Media that can help grow ultimately the prophet to the business extend to new audiences and and radio although within musical.
We don't currently own outside the wireless group any other radio assets and it was seen for the very reasonable here today for instance as a growth medium audiences are growing where that some traditional radio on podcasting and other forms and advertisers are understanding you know the benefit of using that medium to to get the commercial messages across so in a wireless is passed on its own in growing its own audiences.
Clearly you know we're looking to build the revenue and profit of that business, but also there's an opportunity for us to work in a complementary way with other parts of our business, so well.
That's the times of the sun in much the same way that the BBC would cross promote.
Across the various platforms of the house again you want you Chris Evans you will say grab some overseas test matches for talkSPORT and moved into new Studios next to the Shard in London Bridge river Murdoch Shook Up the world and newspapers the best part of 50 odd years ago.
He did the same with TV at around 30 years ago with a similar tactical shotgun or providing more competition take you on the establishment is looking to do the same now with radio and and competition what we look to his choice and and with the cricket for instance a talkSPORT just had the exclusive rights to the England tour of Sri Lanka and that was seen as disruptive in the sense that for about 50 years or so test match special have had those right.
I'm pretty much for themselves, but you know why shouldn't another player be able to come in and bring a slightly want to the output and to give choice to advertisers and two listeners, so whether it supports rights with its Talent we were talking about Chris Evans on Virgin in all the sportswriter cross talkSPORT you know what we're looking to do really is give listeners and additional choice.
And that also then opens up the world of of advertising for those brands who otherwise wouldn't be able to associate themselves with test cricket got lots of the one who could you maybe a bad but speaker sedative credit choice, but it wasn't choice because it was exclusive right to talk to me.
What's on BBC test match between off there is also talk to, I want to listen to test match special on Jonathan Agnew attach have competition but I don't see why competition should out price the BBC to provide a service where we are inundated with branding messages what I tell use first war had your given our commentary and opportunity you do realise we can have her but they actually one of things that we did do so as not to alienate the test match special audience was to make sure all parts of play.
It was commercial free and we bought a great lineup of Talent from McNicholas to Darren Gough coming back to it to cricket.
We use many the pundits on Sky so actually we were quite con.
So we didn't want to become a big change for those listeners from test match special and and the reason that the choice moved from test match special to to ask, what is that for the first time we found a commercial model that allows us to outbid the BBC and the BBC has had has long had a very dominant position in sports writing some of that is about the privileged position of the BBC finds itself in you don't have the vast bulk of national spectrum on on radio and nationally and and benefits from large budgets that can sit on the editorial side what we looking to do.
There is something slightly different in always looking with her crying tan Attax wearing calendar sports right in looking at a business plan on a case-by-case basis to you know.
What do we think we can generate in terms of the audiences? What might be the revenues that we can we can bring alongside out and if it frankly what does my profit for us in the long term? It isn't something that we would look to do so the piece that we find more difficult with the BBC is where the BBC extend significantly beyond its public service broadcast 3 minutes.
What podcasting I think it is a great example? I think they do some Fantastic Four cast but it does change the market euro in Australia of the US or elsewhere listeners to podcast and necessarily have the same challenges that we have here in the people of quite used to have in Commercial messaging sitting alongside that the funding of of the creative Talent and in-house fear becomes becomes more difficult and I think sometimes that has her as a chance of narrowing the choice if you look for instance again at sports rights, you know if it with the way broadcast in a Premier League game or five live is broadcast in a Premier League game the experience is pretty similar in a we're not behind a paywall it free to listen to and it we would often ask the question.
You know is the BBC thinking long and hard about all of the use of the very privileged position in in having that revenue available to them when they look at those right as opposed to looking at things that the commercial sector may not be able to do would it be good for the commercial sector in your view of the BBC stop doing podcasts all together? I had not necessarily know I think there's a complementary nature to lots of the public service.
The BBC does that lends itself to a podcast platform like this show you know so we can we can have the media show on Radio 4 it also generates.
You know a lot of interest and can get to a wider audience by running through to podcasting but there are other spheres the BBC may enter into so I think it is more of a challenge for us.
I do want to look now only technology is changing what we listen to It's a big theme of what we cover on the media Show podcast of course now become hugely popular for many of us.
It's important to distinguish between podcast as editorial propositions.
I chose it only go out on a podcast and platforms and podcast as a distribution mechanism which Scott alluded to earlier.
So you know normal radio shows that people listen to on catch up which is about two different thing let me bring Helen zaltzman.
I said earlier that she had too many awards mention, but let me at least acknowledge that some of their most recent ones and at this is British podcast Awards you to come podcast champion and a gold Award for The Illusionist at let's hear a clip from that podcast.
chocoholic labradoodle smoke televangelist Tanzania email fanzine jazzercise relax bromance velcro Angelina chrismukkah vodka breathalyzer, George modern English is awash with portmanteau terms words which have been formed from two or more words splice together the word portmanteau meaning of piece of luggage is itself a portmanteau word from the 16th century uniting the French words postie meaning to carry and Mondo meaning cloak hello why you squirming on hearing yourself smile reaction but also bad is he strange clip 2 cheats when you looked at Portman language a lot of production goes into The Illusionist what's it all about that well, it's essentially an entertainment show that is factual and centred around language predominantly the English language and
It's really to cheer people up on that commutes and so Island quote people's anxiety but to give them some information.
They can repeat to other people in a small dog situation if they need and people do you listen to in an educational context as well, but it is just meant to be fun and informational and he's got a high production values that still got the sort of the resourcing of it, how much how many hours do you spend on each Show August it's my full-time job but I also have another part time job making my other shows so it's kind of distressing to think about it.
It's a lot of long days, because it's also a team of one.
I do everything that show from conceiving the ideas to recording them to finding an interesting way to present them writing it then putting up online and doing all of that so all of the technical stuff all of the creative stuff.
I do you do a lot of travels reprint Argentina not long ago.
How much does it cost to put on the shows were other than your time are the biggest expense usually give their time to me for free and often I can do interviews over the phone or
Online but once time is an enormous expense so when people say podcast inexpensive to produce.
That's true in terms of investment in equipment doesn't have to be that much but people's time is underestimated and it's a democratic median of sorts in the loud people like me to make shows when we weren't been put on radio but a lot of people can't afford to spend the time to do that and take us back to when you first started out in podcasting.
Why did you decide to go? It alone as opposed to trying Francisco to show on Radio 4 book of the radio have resisted giving me any kind of show and had his photos to make my own and we thought it will be a calling card for radio and answer me this when we started that 12 years ago and it got quite a lot of audience really quickly and we went to radio stations and and the thing they would always says we like you.
We just don't know what to do with you and would point out.
What we were doing online is talking which is transferable to radio but it was as if that was not a mental leap, but most most radio stations could make a few of them did but most did not and Helen Thorne what's your podcast on about myself and fellow comedian Ellie Gibson interview comedians parenting expert and just people like basically about their experiences of parenthood and family life and since doing it for the last 5 years.
It should have actually gone away from parenthood.
We just get 1 people like because our audience of growing we've grown as mother's at kids at little anymore and frankly we don't want to talk about nappies and breastfeeding anymore, so well.
This is my world exactly but we've been very very nerdy and every two weeks Tuesday morning.
We have released the podcast without fail and and it's been fantastic and we've had listened to growing with us new ones every day.
Ah, it's been really rewarding as good of a unique sound let's have a listen to Helena can you remember the first time we met at is it selfish mothers events? Let's many clothes in fact two of us wearing clothes.
Yes, that was the first time that was ever forget that and you guys made me laugh so much make me laugh.
You make me feel comfortable being naked around you next party, Helen also squirming.
Rbvs negative be like at 4 body positivity read that what you will say.
Yes, so we got her on the on the podcast but I said yeah, that's what we like we can just choose the guess we like them feel comfortable with them as well items for the production.
Method was you doing this a different way, where do you do it? What's the technology? Do you need to do it from the very beginning with recorded at Higham in the lounge to Ellie's house? Just leave a very small Mike and hooked up to a laptop and it stays that way through the whole thing we have kept the same mic.
Even though might say probably got better, but there's something about I'm having that kind of atmosphere and we invite guests to our homes and they come over with usually have a glass of wine with them we record at night because it's when the kids are asleep all our listeners.
Write to us and saying I look at like hang out with friends and and the majority business may be at 7% and mums and they listen to that nights in the middle of the night and the lord and can't get out and say to have a podcast which feels like hang out with you.
You know basically you busy mate sand and saying look.
You doing fine everything is normal you going to be ok which for a long time when you had discussions of parenthood on some places like the baby seats at this is what you should be doing any know about rules and and you know that sleep routines and we would have telling it how it is basically to home from my sister's issue to our attention has been given to podcasts recently not least because of the launch BBC sounds podcast and actually is popular with people who listen to podcasts my thinking is the television actually is Netflix today.
It's still absolutely small support casting that has a huge amount of hype and we've heard actually the stuff that you can do on pocket and very very innovative and somebody that you wouldn't expect to hear on BBC so it's a bit providing a great source of pathway for Talent over all if you look at some of the whole of radio listening and put podcasts on top and podcast is only about and actually some streaming services as well podcast.
Only about 3% of listening having said which in terms of speech actually speak to you sometime radio radio about 85% music so I actually would looking for Castle speech.
They are getting closer and closer in terms of these terms of audience share begin to the financial Scott wireless have moved into podcast under your leadership.
Are there is profitable is shows on your social station at this stage, but some of the more profitable in their own right others are building an audience.
You know and to the to the point about one of the great things have podcasting is you weren't you can end up with an evergreen piece of content that actually having created a content the audience is much might come much might later and actually will build over time so you know you're investing in in that pieces as time goes on equally said not all about radio stations all programs are making profit at this stage rather Unilever station called talk radio which is pretty nude studded in in 2016 and the audiences are quite a level yet without station as a whole would be profitable say.
No audio platforms you going to find you know it takes time to actually get to a point where you make profits.
Hello thought I was just listening to a previous episode of scummy mummies and you had a sketch.
How are you and your clothes have done for a brand of kids toothbrush and tell me about your relation with advertisers.
Do you do anti episodes that are sponsored know and we'll get sponsorship microcast house which is a cost and they they put heads on but then we'll get a read so we have to provide a creative content and we really enjoyed that so we'll get a set fee and then we'll say they'll say makeup 60 seconds a funny material about this product with these sort of parameters and we do this funny and as in-house style as possible so at least they're getting some more funny content but we're very open that this is an add-on.
We often say this is an ad in I said I think so, I think because we need to feed our children.
You know we've been doing this for 5 1/2 years and it has been on in the last couple of years.
We've got the ad so that's how we do and we have had.
Sponsors approaches outside of the podcast provider who said I look will give you some wine for your Christmas podcast so would you a shout it out of all of us so we can be kind of flexible about that because Helen zaltzman.
What's your business following? Have you found this so much talk about podcast he's days, but is there is there revenue actually growing in proportion to the buzz around the whole industry interestingly it is more difficult to get hold of but I think it's because there's a lot of noise about different kinds of podcast in the last year and a half.
There's been a lot more daily news style shows and the money.
I find generally is coming from the USA still most popular sponsors are American based companies.
Are you also get money from the audience and most of wanted donate are in the US because they're radio stations have donation drives and so listeners used to directly paid for content as far as business plan.
Only one that doesn't involve kind of screaming and despair as the podcast.
But I think market crumble because people are worried that what happened to blogs will happen to podcast where it was big and then suddenly most of them couldn't make a living anymore and you or you just come back from and I thought of North America and their successor your podcast met you done lots of Regular radio work.
Have you found the North America's a huge potential open for you particularly in terms of events.
Are you able to do big event and hopefully eventually sent out places in that's the way of providing more reliable revenue than advertising revenue you sitting in your house making a podcast not having to move that is very convenient way to work this zero commute going to different cities having to work with different venues.
That's a lot of work part-time, but it's very exciting because you get to be in a room with people who like your work which when you're alone in your home doesn't happen you so how I responded when having to listen to my homework is anyone here got a present here the front.
Oh, it's the monthly podcast looking at how popular culture covers politics and I've also just recently done some research into political podcasts and why people listen to them and why people make them and it is I think that discursive freedom that you don't have on a short radio programme where you have to stop at a certain time you actually have the chance to have the kind of discuss.
I think a lot of people feel I'm missing from that.
He said she said stuff that you get on Radio 4 today or on the TV do you prolong a little bit for closest you left a thing as a lady with the left hand up and I listen to History season so I get a lot of like education from my podcasts.
How old are you going to talk to you and you feel that directly talking to the way that conventional radio doesn't yeah? I'm not I'm not a big radio listener.
Just because I think that it kind of Mrs my generation a little bit because I'm not in this room.
I just think it's just sometimes not with the times with like our perspective on the certain things.
I feel like it's kind of Mrs that guy or any content that I will want to listen to on the car when I'm in the car with my uncle he put on the road, and it's only taste of the first thing that comes up as someone talking about the views on brexit and all that for me.
Just depressing especially on a Sunday morning.
You know that if you just ever so slightly shifted dial you can you can find them in his extraordinary amount of choice and we don't see any contact that I want to listen to entering into but you do in the World podcast missing the time is the phrase and they're actually young people don't feel like they're being listened to think he's reflective.
I think it picks it up in places.
You know and it depends on what your choices.
Are you know and your interests people's assumption would be something like talkSPORT would be very old listener, but in fact over 30% of out of this.
What a 15 to 34 year olds, but I take the point that outside of the mainstream because on radio spectrum is so limited the the focus tends to be on more mainstream programming but the radio ones in a position where 55% of toward into 1534 as you know so there are there are areas that target that but I agree commercial ready could do more and Helen zaltzman started making answer me this are we really wanted to make sure that we would have enjoyed listening to when we were SE14 and it wasn't aimed us.
We were very conscious of when we're being condescended to you and I think people still are and if we could try to make a show deliberately aimed at 14 year olds it would have been very embarrassing should we like you but instead it was just trying to be funny anyway.
That's accessible even if you don't necessarily get all the references yet, and we have died this huge.
Adrian's people from 8 to people in their 70s.
We know listen.
You can't underestimate kids like the emails we get from them extraordinary and butter.
We try to cater to the movie whosie cringeworthy especially now late 30s these discussions in our evolutions Series by looking to the Future where will the Revolution in radio go next to Hinder vendors analysis am Spotify and Amazon I invested hugely in exclusive a speech programs apple is poaching Radio 1 DJs who played Charlie Sloth saying low if we looking for a serious challenge to radio companies like Scots is that where we should be looking at getting bigger and bigger and actually bought with finding as that actually that's taking the effect of people that used to listen to CDs so spotify's probably the one that's likely to be the biggest Challenger alverthorpe, because they're very curation and the recommendations is so much better than Apple and Amazon but what they're now going forever not going for the music Byres as much as those that a bit more passive listening.
So they look at those people actually are just quite like to listen to background radio and might be willing to pay that could be an interesting area.
Spotify to to get that some of the the music commercial radio music radio listeners and again Spotify again and now trying to go to podcasting as well, which I think actually is going to make a really good a big difference because one of the biggest shoes.
I'm sure you're at your we are fine at the moment about podcast is actually quite difficult to find podcasts to people find it easier to find podcasts that they will find interesting and that's when we could start to see a big jump in podcast listening guys.
Got tons of how are UK radio market be different in five Years Time Radio is a a platform as his podcasting has are smart speakers.
What where about in an audio centres about developing great content being as creative as we possibly can and I think radio listening will reduce but will still be the Lions share of of listening to audio content and you're not I think that's what you'll see is people using a breadth of devices to access their great audio there's also question 2.
Other Helen to make a living from doing what we doing and and also the radio takes a cue from podcasts In being a bit more innovative and less safe, but forgive me how to actually going to happen as they come from well at the moment the advertising market in Britain is pretty much untapped so I think they're a lot of companies that would benefit from podcast advertising sit really works better than radio advertising so far Helen Thorne I think I'll be a lot more women on the radio and I think we'll see a lot more diversity of programming and much more influence from the audience.
I feel like at the moment very much top-down.
We know what you want and I think what podcast of daddies listen to the audience and always react and so I think that's what will say hopefully in places like baby seeing Virgin Media that they actually respond to what what's happening in the world rather than telling us what we think we need in another nice note on which to win.
That's all we have time forward.
You got some here on a podcast very often.
Thank you so much to our panel today and above all to a live studio audience here and BBC Radio Theatre
Thank you for listening at home and goodbye.
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