Now it’s the turn of MyBBCRadio.
Speaking at the Radio Festival in Cambridge last night, the Director General Mark Thompson outlines the corporation’s plans to provide custom radio services for individual listeners. Using peer-to-peer internet technology, it would allow individuals to assemble the existing wealth of BBC content into their own personalised play list or station.
The Guardian points out that this is all consistent with Thompson’s earlier statement this year about, his “Martini media” vision - allowing licence fee payers to access BBC programmes “anytime, anyplace, anywhere”.
(Channel 4 Radio are doing something similar by launching their 4radio station online first, and allowing registered users to listen to their chosen material via a personalised RSS feed into their MP3 download software. Only problem is that the 4radio content is still fairly limited, though the Letter To ... between Neir 'Razor' Ruddock and Jon Holmes was faintly amusing while doing the dishes one night, and John McCririck's The Ten Commandments was worth a listen. The BBC have a much more compelling offering if listeners can pick and choose from across the range of world-wide BBC radio channels.)
But back to the conference, which brings together radio professionals from the UK and beyond. Looking down the festival programme, one of this morning’s sessions could be popular as they seek to understand:
Tuesday 10.20 - Podcasting: Opportunity or Threat?
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?
On the panel we'll hear from key proponents of podcasting as well as those who see concern in this latest assault upon traditional radio.
Paul Bennun, Andy Johnson, Pete Simmons & Roger Wright
Producers: Steve Ackerman and Paul Bennun