BBC Sounds, Kenny Everett carts, and breakfast radio vs podcasts
Above: Dave Jones, from the Podcast Index, demonstrating the new podcast namespace at Podcast Movement in Dallas
Matt Deegan’s newsletter missed an issue at the end of July. He claimed that he was busy getting married.
After a month’s absence of this newsletter, it seems an excuse that I can also use.
This is the first newsletter I’ve sent from an aeroplane. Hello from QF501, currently somewhere over northern NSW. I’m on my way to Radiodays Asia.
While I’m thinking about decent conferences and events, could I possibly mention that Podcast Day 24 is coming? There are in-person events in Sydney, London and New York; and I’m curating the Sydney event. I’d love you to come: it’s on Oct 4 (wherever you live).
In August there was a new record weekly users figure for BBC Sounds; the Beeb claims that it’s new podcasts that’s done it, but the figures don’t break out podcasts, so…
In the release, we learn there were 177m “plays to on-demand radio and podcast content” in Q2 on the app, and a further 264m “global podcast downloads” on third-party platforms. Assuming 50% of plays went to on-demand radio (which is probably a understatement), that suggests 117m podcast downloads a month overall, making the world’s largest broadcaster smaller than the New York Times - which has significantly fewer shows. (And even if plays aren’t downloads, we know how many automated downloads aren’t listened-to, and that doesn’t change much).
I posed the question in Podnews whether the BBC is significantly underperforming in podcasting. It does look that way.
Still, BBC Sounds keeps adding new things: latest off the block is a new local section - “local to me” in England, while the Nations also get bespoke content. That’s a good move.
In this YouTube video, a man discovers some old Kenny Everett carts and plays them.
The latest RAJAR figures appeared while I was off doing other things. Matt Deegan has written extensively about them. It’s been noticed that BBC Local Radio has dropped from 9.1m listeners in Sep 21 to 7.6m in Jun 22. However, perhaps the 9m was unusual; pre-pandemic, in Mar 20, BBC Local Radio was achieving 7.7m; and there are still more listeners to BBC Local Radio now than there were in Jun 19.
In Australia, SCA is doing radio ads with live football scores in them, something they claim a world first.
A quarter of all podcasts are listened-to during breakfast radio’s traditional time of 6am-10am, says Edison Research. If you thought podcasting wasn’t a competitor to radio, you might want to think again.
A great story from the US, where, it seems, radio stations could broadcast hacked emergency alerts. Having been in Dallas last week, I got an emergency alert, at 2am, warning me about the flash flooding: but, no, I wasn’t listening to the radio. My phone jumped into life, telling me about it. I wonder who really listens to the radio just in case there’s an emergency alert?
Interesting piece about TripleJ, the youth radio station in Australia, and from Tim Burrowes’s Unmade. The TripleJ younger audience is, apparently, deserting it: but where is it going? Spoiler - they’re not going away from radio.
Interesting development: audio that was once a BBC Radio 4 drama has been remade (with some new presenters) as a commercial podcast series. It always used to be that IP produced for the BBC was unable to be re-used; this looks like a new development, possibly.
Radio, particularly, benefits from physical buttons in the car - which, says research, work better than a touch screen.
A good piece from Nick Hilton on “the decline and fall of the BBC”. It’s nicely written and well-argued.
Want to supercharge your radio show? Here’s a £1 week-long trial of Show Prep - from a world class radio consultant and the best show-prep writer in the UK. Great for UK stations, or for English-language stations everywhere, too. (ad)
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