Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mark Ramsey proposes, the BBC disposes

Mark Ramsey, head of Mercury Media Research outlined in a recent post what radio stations need to do to make the shift from just an over-the-air broadcaster to a media content provider. If I was an under-appreciated cog at a big radio group right now... , I'd pitch my group on a digital video series that can be sponsored.
All at once I would be creating:
A) Content to attract online traffic and engagement
B) NTR ("New" traditional revenue)
C) Stuff for the jocks to talk about on-air
D) A reason for me to be not such an under-appreciated cog anymore
Just theory? Not really. Ramsey was talking about GlamourTV, but there's an even better example for stations. BBC Radio 1 has taken their morning team to Los Angeles, where they're broadcasting live every day.

For this special run "The Chris Moyles Show" has upped its podcast frequency from once a week to one a day. And they're also producing a series of videos.

And they're using the strength of each of these formats (radio, podcasting, and video) to cross-promote each other.

Listen to this segment from Tuesday's program. Chris Moyles and company basically spend the time promoting the videos. But listen to how they do it.

They use audio excerpts from the videos. They build interest and suspense by not revealing how the video ends (you'll just have to watch it). And they play off of the audio clips, creating new content in the process.

Now before you write this off as something only the big boys can do, look at the underlying concept, and ignore the superficial details.

Let's take our favorite test case, WJMA-FM in Orange, Virginia. They certainly don't have the budget of the BBC, but that's not important. They've already shot some video (sort of), so we know they have a potential cameraman. But instead of Los Angeles, JD Slade and the other WJMA jocks could do a live broadcast from the Orange County Fair.

Instead of sending members of the team out to find Jackie Chan's house, JD could go look over the livestock. In both cases, the video camera's rolling. And in both cases there are broadcast professionals in front of the camera who are used to being extemporaniously funny -- and can take advantage of the comedic possibilities of their respective situations.

Now you've got video to post on the website (perhaps with sponsorship?), something for JD Slade and company to play with on their own shows, and -- more importantly -- some compelling reasons for listeners to go to the website, driving up traffic and consequently ad rates.

The Chris Moyles Show has shown how it can be done. Look again at Mark's checklist. Check, check, and check. Anyone getting this?

- Ralph

Day 93 of the WJMA Web Watch.

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