Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Are We Talking Personalized Radio Playlists

The BBC has been debating the future of its podcasting experiment and whether it will continue podcasting in its present form. The concept of Personalized Radio Stations has come up as a possible future path for the BBC to better blend the broadcasting with the on-demand side that has been created by on-demand streaming and podcasting.

The BBC is trying to find what is next for the evolution between broadcast radio and on-demand or downloadable digital media. MyBBCRadio player is the model for BBC Personalized Radio Station concept. I believe that we are seeing the beginnings of this concept here at Melodeo with our playlist management platform.

Here is part of a post from the Alan in Belfast blog;

Podcasting has come from nowhere to be a relevant consideration for any radio producer wishing to reach the widest possible audience. But is this still radio and can this form of programming ever be more than just a nice add-on? Is it a revenue source or a valuable form of marketing, and if so what are the success stories that point to a viable future for podcasting?

Or as many broadcasters in the USA are already predicting, is podcasting the first step towards the end of traditional radio habits and the start of a more direct relationship between programme maker and listener, with a wide selection of producers supplying their stuff with the mediation of radio stations?

I think the key take away from the above is that radio broadcasters and podcasters need to be thinking about listener relationships and breaking down the seperation between broadcast radio and podcasting. I think technology will make it easier to blend the two together and empower the listener to create a "Personal Radio" experience. I think we have been moving down the path of thinking that on-demand radio like podcasting needs to be a seperate experience from regular radio listening and I just don't agree.

The recent research by Bridge Rating is showing that podcast listening actually helps drive up broadcast radio listenership. This actually tells me that all radio programming needs to be on-demand as well. Generally we are making it too hard to get to live radio broadcast programs and most do not need to be listened to live.

I have been on all the distribution sides for many years with my own radio show called WebTalk Radio. The program has been on terrestrial broadcast radio, satillite radio, webcast streamed and podcasted. I have seen it all and feel that the listener just wants to listen in as easy way as possible.

I think we are presently making things confusing for listeners. They are seeing so many media formats and ways to get to media that is expensive and hard to understand. I believe that we need to really work hard to remove those barriers. I also think that we should blend on-demand media and live audio programing on as many internet connected platforms as possible.

No one has come up with a technology platform that creates one playlist that is what I would call a "Personalized Radio Playlist" yet that combines all on-demand audio and possibly video with live radio and video programming to create a complete "Personalized Playlist" that could be injected with software intellegence that would create a great listener experience.

Melodeo has started down the path towards helping listeners create personal podcast playlists that will soon include video podcasts. We just need to start thinking about what it will take to get broadcasters to put up full length programs. I have heard many say that the content that broadcasters need to produce needs to always be different for digital online distribution and feel that is many times incorrect. Good quality content is good content and if a program is good on the air it will be most often well recieved online as well. This is especially the case as we move the on-demand online audience more mainstream. We are just making it hard to get to audio and video content right now.

We also need to put more energy behind content suggestion technologies. The key is smarter playlist management platforms that bring all content online on to one platform and gives the broadcaster the security to share all. This security part is important and some level digital rights controls will need to be inserted into this or any wide reaching content platforms. The blending in of paid subscription content will be important to creating this integrated and easy to use listening platform.

Rob Greenlee

1 comment:

  1. To be fair and give proper attribution, the quote from the Alan in Belfast article was taken from the Radio Festival's description of their Tuesday morning session.

    William Crawley talks a little about the compulsory podcast session on his Will & Testament blog today.

    Cheers. Alan (in Belfast)