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Squaring up to the tech giants…

BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from BBC Radio 4 down with this session with youth how about we obsess over older people instead baby boom after all there in the Habit of actually watching and listening to Linear telly and radio and some of them even have money to spend after watching or listening to adverts the thinking behind a new radio station.

No not Samsung digital platform available on smart devices are real actual radio station on DAB is called boom radio.

It's aimed at boomers.

Get it boom radio and its founder is with us life meanwhile.

There's been a massive beef between the Australian government and Faith leading to the social media giant blocking every news organisation from their platform in Australia that's been big story of the past week.

What does this display of Mike from Facebook mean for other countries reading themselves?

To regulate big tech including Britain let me introduce you to a guest David Lloyd is the brains behind boom radio is also a presenter on the station and has been an executive in the commercial sector years David getting a station of the ground quite an achievement in a pandemic.

How did you manage to do it? It's just crazy is that I mean we're running it on a handful of people and I'm sitting where the about the heart of the radio station in my sock drawer used to be got presenters across the country broadcasting the Attax in bedrooms, but we've done it yet.

We've got this new radio station here serving people who are over 60 and what's wrong with that so you're in your bedroom right now.

This is the part of boom radio it is yeah, my husband three three bedrooms away the cables dangling over the place to get there and we're running this do this national radio station is how big is eustachian tube Overground and pandemic.

We've got working on it and they're all working from their own homes and yeah.

It's just been great because somebody's presenters were still doing some work others words.

You know 78 year old get their finest as authentic communicators, but actually weren't doing any work and there was one we were trying to get to sort it out with install the kit that aren't you any computer in the house before we got the set-up they did a dry run and I really like to say that was great and they burst into tears and said you don't know how much that means to me.

So this this story is not just a story about the letters.

It's a story of Us near pensioners.

Get it together and doing the sort of your great Marigold Hotel and say come on we can have her own radio station surely.

Good on you is quite an achievement.

We're going to dig into your strategy, but congratulations on getting off the ground at that.

We just heard that exhalation was from Gillian Reynolds a legendary figure in the world of radio and with good reason.

She spent seven years as the radio criticat the Guardian

Amir 42 years a Daily Telegraph and not so long ago poached Gillian by the the Sunday Times what have you been listening to this week today because David didn't like what I wrote about this radio station last Sunday so I thought I will be 30.

I will turn around so I turned around so I've listened to on music radio this week, and I'm still pondering it but I want to congratulate David but haven't got himself on today be because I couldn't hear you on any of the dab.

Will text I have all around my house my flat.

I could only get you on my oldest two tuna and today if you came on your great time Julian about 7 minutes from now on Australia and will.

Goodnight to discuss shortly, let's look at the big story this week.

I mentioned at the top people around the world have watched on at in astonish astonishment as Facebook is blocked all news pages in Australia briefly from Thursday until Tuesday this week Facebook users in Australia couldn't view or share the pages of the Sydney Morning Herald the Guardian the Wall Street Journal any other news organisation that ban all that blackout has now been reversed after deal was reached a book is a regular contributor from the Sydney Morning Herald in the age is Australian titles, but it's based here in London that take a good to see you again.

You just explain the concept please for this rather complicated story, what is it the tikka that Facebook and the Australian government were arguing about so the government has been trying to introduce a code.

It's basically legislation that has gone through the Parliament it's going to be rubber stamps probably tomorrow morning and what is code would have done was allow this training government to designate a tech company now only talking to.

That's Google that Facebook and what's that code would have allowed the Australia government to do is for those companies in to negotiation with the established media company so for example.

My maths kids are owned by a television channel called 91 of the big players in the Australia Media landscape of course is Rupert Murdoch's news corp, so at first Google and Facebook both threatened to withdraw from Australia entirely rather than breach what they said was their business model and the open internet now Google came to the table and struck someone deals with my company with news caught with 7west our arrival and Facebook was playing footsie with the company's.

It was negotiating all the time up-to-the-minute where it says no, we're going to pull out of Australia now as of this morning.

I was still can't post on my Facebook page any news links so Facebook have come.

To the government and said well if you makes them some minor changes to this code which is basically someone mediation time then we will restore Mews pages and so that the situation at play now and I should just stress that under this code if the Tech companies don't negotiate their own deals with the media companies it would go to arbitration.

So that will be forced to not just a Samsung money that the actual some would be specified by an independent.

So this is huge interventionist policy and it is trying to address the Monopoly that Google on Facebook have had over advertising revenue Excel briefly the thought it was saying I'm very impressed because it's what time someone took them on because it Monopoly is it in any market and not a good thing what is interesting to say that because as you can imagine this incredible news blackout on Facebook be very close to watch bipolar.

And regulators Around the World in the UK that take on Monopoly junior the regulator most likely to to do something about this is the competition and markets authority and Dr Andrea cosheli originally from Palma in Italy is it's chief executive at and on Tuesday I asked him what his reaction was to Facebook pulling the plug on news in Australia I thought was a symptom of a number of the problems that myself and others think are there in the sunset you cannot need I think when opoly like power to feel confident you can take this type of approach because first walk you know it's important to bear in mind.

This is a democratically elected Parliament following due process and trying to introduce specific legislation so it feels to me the bar for a company to decide to go against the Collector Parliament in this way is pre-high and Softly you know.

He wore it if something like this happened in the UK a second.

I think you need to feel pretty confident that your customers cannot have nowhere else to go because in essence The Clash in Australia you can assume the number of people feel very strongly about it.

You know the reality is there are ecosystems today on Facebook or Instagram such that is very difficult individually to switch away because all of your friends and family are there and you know unilateral is very difficult to see well.

You know so unhappy about this particular action that I'm going to take us a standard do something different so for me.

It's a signal that it's even more urgent what we are saying that we need to go with economy power because in many ways.

I think this is now was indicative of the degree of political power whatever comes with economic power that forms send publishers traffic they also down.

Consumers from a competition point of view if technology platforms paid publishers much more and number of governments and parliaments in democracies are struggling with this question which is that the business model for high quality independent journalism has been struggling for numbers early years and years were sent in original as end number people argue that the bargaining power of the plot 16 extremely strong against the publishers and is quite a number of the store so I personally in favour of mechanisms that try to think about what is the right balance It's Complicated I think they're Australian approach is a sensible one who just tried to for the company's into proper commercial negotiations with the backstop over possible intervention by regulator.

That's one way of doing it as you probably know the French I was dealing with.

Why because they're using the copyright directive so I think your number people struggling with the same problem trying to come up with slightly different Solutions and in my view is very much that platforms need to be part of the discussion and this type of approach is kind of hard boil approach is clearly not helpful and it's symptomatic of wider problems the Facebook pulling out in the way of dealing and it's behaviour with symptomatic of its Monopoly power Julian Knight the select committee told the BBC that the Facebook movie was bullying represents the worst type of corporate culture, what do you make that? I mean? I think they're all so commercial negotiations were people frightened pool contact so Princes in the US as you know a story that been disputes between content providers and cable operators and they were were called Blackout

Play some point and the content providers said well.

That's it.

You're not going to give you my content to you for the next month so this happens in terms of commercial negotiation.

I think the problem is that this is in the context of Parliament trying to deal with a problem for democracy for Society and approached the Facebook decided to take was very much a commercial approach, but against a democratically elected Parliament which is personally what I fine problematic forget the moment.

We don't think that you're so the government this right from Tim Berners-Lee the creator of the World Wide Web because he told an Australian senate hearing that he opposed the idea of forcing companies to pay for certain least because it makes the Wi-Fi working but what do you think that? I did I mean look at that his opinion and I'm interested in his opinion.

I just don't don't don't really agree with it.

I think they're number factors that you need to consider in.

Start from the assumption that the current situation is not a satisfactory one in terms of the sustainability of high-quality generation content so I lost the fair approach.

I personally think we're acting this organisation proposed legislation benefit smaller these companies.

Would you think there's an argument that actually this all comes from Rupert Murdoch's immense power in Australia actually the main beneficiary is rather big newspaper Empire how do we know that this relation is gonna to take away from how do we know this kind of new approach would actually benefit a smaller people that you what am I understanding is it's very much of the intense or the legislation of what the government wants to do so hopefully war that's what they wanted to make sure the whole ecosystem is supported by it is always in this market if you are stronger position.

You're in a better place than someone else but the legislation is very much about the whole ecosystem.

About individual companies regulations around the world, what is it about Australia that means they've been at the forefront of this? Why have they proved to have such a brave voice is the traditional the same problems with head and to some extent the brexit negotiations have snow down or Parliament in total thinking about domestic legislation so I think we are slightly behind just because of a band with pointing obviously covered has not helped but in many ways.

They have been concerned about these issues and I felt so did you just get on and deal with it and a lot of the conversation and discussion are really very similar to what's happening here.

That was a rather at Dr Andrea coscelli.

Is the head of the competition and markets authority and you can hear a much longer version of that pretty news interview in the media podcast look in the BBC Sounds app.

Atika book Andrea cosheli suggest that Facebook holds a monopoly position in the Australian news ekosistem, and I seen a graph of the referrals the publishers were get from social media after Facebook blackout drop off a cliff so how relied are Australia's news organisations on Facebook i.e.

Where's the power actually like publication.

We made a concerted effort a couple of years ago remember Facebook announced after the Cambridge analytica scandal that was changing its news feed away from articles now and things and back to the original Henty Facebook which was a people's and their friends posts now traffic fell off a cliff then so we made a concerted effort at that point in time and it was part of our editorial strategy anyway, which was the actually what we want are subscribers because subscribers oil they appreciate a journalist and my support our journalism.

They're very engaged.

We have a real.

Readership and that model has served us very well.

Not just to withstand this but also during the pandemic and so I subscribe a model and a Focus for us has been very good transition and so we will quite happy to see you know what it's like like if you don't have Facebook based on the previous dangerous, because you say Mark Zuckerberg could turn off the taps anytime you like what's the what's the public made of all this in Australia whose side are they on this legislation is so there is support from the left and right for this code in terms of the public.

It's really interesting.

There are a lot of people in this work out first recorded soundwell Facebook to bed.

I'm not so sure it's not full of people that have not read the article that are commenting on at the dinner those who were desperate for them using agent.

They sort and finally Facebook made a huge blunder.

Didn't just turn off news pages.

It turned off turn off public health authorities pages.

He turned off charities emergency services to the rest of the world ends Australians that a big company and silicone ballet was bullying little old Australia which is just trying to get it makeup make a go of Supporting Australia's Australia's first having little this story is developing fast because Nick Clegg deputy prime minister Britain Facebook's vice president of global affairs said in a Blog today and I quote Facebook would have been forced to pay potentially unlimited amounts of money to multinational Media conglomerate without even so much as a guarantee that is used to pay for journalism let alone support support smaller publishers.

What does this episode I mentioned it in the interview with Dr Andrea Bocelli what does this episode?

Reveal about the power of Rupert Murdoch in Australia today so although this is supported across the Parliament this legislation there has been a ventilation at this is Rupert Murdoch now.

This is a conservative government that is putting this legislation through and the critics of that do say this is basically to take childhood the traditional Media model coming along and being forced by the government to hand over money to existing Media conglomerates that perhaps in the old days might have seen The Gatekeepers of information used and one of the MPs who's actually being critical of this even those Paddy supports.

It is a labour MPs use it very well informed on this makes this quite he says as of today.

We've got Google and Facebook heading over tens of millions of Dollars today's companies.

There is so fun.

No obligation and no transfer.

Requirements on those media companies to state how many journalists they will hire with that how exactly they will spend that whether that can be transferred immediately to shareholders or not.

So this is alive criticism and it's not the case that everybody thinks this is a good form of regulation even if Facebook has missed play That Time hand, please bring you in at this point this reliance on Silicon Valley must be something that you thought about it.

You're getting your business plan together for boom radio given that you are not on FM presumably you like quite heavily on Amazon to play a station on a smart speakers on DAB in London and having trouble getting on the motorbikes and several small ones Manchester and Glasgow and dab is the principal way the printer people consume radio these days of the gods certain demographic we're targeting.

The lion's share of that of course increasingly people are going to their smart speakers Going to the laptop.

Phones for their radio stations in that that's that's going to be a graph that only going to go up and you know we have had a few problems in getting easy smart speaker access for boom radio and you know you do feel a bit impotent because you can't phone the the person that the transmitter side.

It's not as simple as that so yeah, it does pose challenges and we are no longer The Gatekeepers always too well.

Let's talk about beta boom radio.

So you know it's done that Valentine's Day and you're aimed squarely at baby boomers generation born between 1945 and 1963 there were roughly 14 in the UK have you got any early indication of how many listening all I can say really is because without any official radio radio figures and the audience figures because nobody has at the moment and they won't come through for some time and I can say certainly when we look at our streaming figures and when we look at the response we have had in my 40 years of radio.

I have never read so it's crashing at response for a radio station as barely a week also.

Blown it out the water funny word isn't it? Could be good could be bad couple of hours and it's been phenomenal.

OK Google who just say you have created something that I have been missing so just on the figures and certainly we have in a business plan an idea of the sorts of streaming levels etc blows out the water in white one but we might risk hearing advert on the BBC this is just a random blast of boom radio from this afternoon.

We used to be down and things before that Gerry and the Pacemakers and their second number one I like it Gerry Marsden leader of the Pacemakers sadly died on 3rd of January but his music lives on now trying to blow the dust off another one of these David Hamilton hot shot.

That is that is a very particular sound David Hamilton I'm not a legend again.

So I just did he of course presented at the final of housewives Choice back in 1967 you got a very old school radio jingle we got some Close harmony singers that seems to walk straight out the Golden Years I want a rattle through your business idea.

Very quickly day for getting a ring Gillian quickly, what's the ownership structure who owns been radio is a handful of people who been on the radio business a long time who actually would tend to buy this proposition.

So you don't a handful of private videos myself Phil Riley and if you won't believe how many how much money do you have you got news bulletins, how much do they cost you just a few photos and they're from and what's your unique selling proposition? We are targeted at people a 6275 and they are not addressed by Greatest Hits radio Gold scar.

Absolute Radio 2 we go back 60s and 70s where we predominate a sprinkling of fitness and more recent material there is there is nothing quite like the mix we buy houses of songs variety but set in those cheap the 60s and 70s Gillian Reynolds what's your take not too much the music because I defer a course to David Guetta expertise in this but if tuna around you have quite a lot of the same music on Caroline which is on DAB on greatest hits of Bishop replication Union Jack bit of cross but I think it's in the presentation presentation.

Is it comfortable? It's homey.

It's radio like it used to be where people talk to you then.

Do Lincoln Lincoln house with over to the competition it's much more conversational and I think that is in way what distinguishes warmer and people feel at home with it like they felt.

They haven't felt at home and it just shout at you and starts another desk in that the argument which is about a hearing a lot this argument that local radio stations are even Radio 2 and now chasing a younger more diverse audience and therefore have abandoned the people that they was going after if you think that's fair.


I saw very interesting letter this afternoon to the controller Radio 2 about the recent musicals series and this letter was polite the addressed and it said why would he shows on so late and the reply said because we want to drive consciously older listeners to sounds and the dry absolutely astonishing.

Happened and well, you know not everybody wants to listen to designs not everybody wants to go and find the other service want to turn the radio on it's a friend.

It's a purse you have in the kitchen with you the person you go to bed with it if you if you don't mind me saying so it's a different relationship.

I think it's hard and how easy do you think it is due for a newcomer like David I mean, it's obviously extremely logistical challenge getting a pandemic.

Take your hat off to David been in terms of the editorial challenge.

How easy is it Julie in for a newcomer to challenge big radio groups like Bauer Media it's Power which own scholar and has a great spread across other things and this people I work for news Corp

Now have their own radio station Virgin and times radio and it's very difficult to break in to a market that has big money behind it and big buying power and you can tell if David possessed and maybe they'll come along and ask him ask him to sell to them, but I don't think that's what she found an audience of meals under love and don't forget I'm all this the baby boomers have been the dominant demographic ever since the 1960s.

They dominated everything taste in clothes in style in achievement and if you like that kind of music why not have a radio station for me.

It's a bit last words you David Lloyd yeah.

I think I have to say that again brilliant exactly what they doing.

I wrote about in my blog 2 years ago that moving into a particular demographic territory.

Disingenuous to think that you can target with a mainstream music radio station a 35-year old and also target People double that age hip-hop you look through Radio 2 at you.

Have you look at radio 265 year-old listeners, you know the array music that Radio 2.

Plays is not for them anymore with thousands of common saying that a research said as well.

It's a great.

It's not for them anymore by the fact that you've researched.


Seems you are going to be bothered with the market and market the gap suggest that there are loads of people who still love radio which is obviously a good thing not need for this show.

Thank you very much indeed to all of you at for your contribution state really appreciate it Julie Reynolds who's the radio critic of the Sunday Times David Lloyd the boss of the new boom radio and atika book who's from the Sittingbourne

In earlier, we heard from Dr Andrea coscelli chief executive of the competition and markets authority.

Thank you so much for John Boland Today studio engineer and thank you to you for listening.

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