Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Podcasting for the masses

Maybe Radio 4 listeners aren't "the masses" as such, but it's probably fair to say that they represent a wide range of the UK population, and I wouldn't say that much of the Radio 4 programming is skewed towards technophiles to any extent. It's all the more indicative of where we are in media evolution, then, that this morning on the way to work I heard a news segment devoted to the BBC's podcasting trial. Commercial radio may well tremble at the directions Auntie is taking. GCap Media last week reported pro forma advertising revenues down 17% YoY in April, and Chrysalis expects radio revenues to be down 5 - 6% for the full financial year to August. We may argue about how much of this is cyclical, and how much a structural shift, but the BBC is in an enviable position to embrace some disruptive influences, and there are other mechanisms out there to give the consumer greater control of the listening experience. Are we eventually looking at overt product placement in music? If so, these people are visionaries...
Anyway, there's much, much more to come.

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