Radioplayer today announced the launch of their Facebook app.
The app was developed by the team at Folder Media and makes it easy to listen to UK Radio from within Facebook, share your favourite stations and programmes with your friends via your wall, and see what other people in your area have been listening to.
There are now more than 250 stations in Radioplayer, many with a considerable presence on Facebook via fan pages and group pages, and they will be invited to promote and embrace the new Facebook Radioplayer app.
Michael Hill, Managing Director of Radioplayer commented: “Less than 6 months ago, we put ‘UK Radio in one place’ on your computer. Now we’re showing 30m UK Facebook users that radio is a perfect companion, while you’re chatting with friends”.
Andrew Harrison, Chairman of Radioplayer added: “These latest developments are part of a long-term strategy which will see Radioplayer form a vital component of the radio industry’s multiplatform future alongside DAB and FM.”
The app combines the data Radioplayer collects from radio stations, additional information from Media UK and mixes this with Facebook’s social graph to create a personalised radio app for all Facebook users.
Over the last few months, in the course of our consultancy work, it has been remarkable watching the changing pattern of interest in the market. These are some of our observations.
Clients “wanting it all”
There has always been and there continues to be a steady stream of general enquiries about broadcasting, whether wanting to investigate RSLs, path-finding into social networking or developing a DAB strategy – or something completely different. Increasingly, however, rather than “cherry picking” one or two things, companies want to do it all.
Investments have to yield a quick return. This is not a time for dipping toes cautiously into new waters or enjoying lengthy test periods, it would seem.
It is not good enough in the current climate to accept a large bottom line figure without knowing how it was reached. An interesting piece of work we did recently was for a large overseas client. They had some experience of broadcasting on DAB but wanted to investigate taking on the transmission elements themselves rather than sub-contracting.
This would have been a large amount of work for them because there is little transparency in what equipment is required and the cost of acquiring and operating it and they need a space in where to save it, getting a personal storage unit or something similar. In some instances, elements are “bundled” by sub-contractors and not easily unpicked to see what is involved.
However, having had experience of dozens of similar transmission networks, we were able to quickly present a detailed breakdown of the likely different elements involved. From this we could evaluate which elements would be more cost effective to undertake “off the shelf” and which would be better sub-contracted.
More clients coming from new sectors
Over the last two or three years we have noticed a broadening in the sorts of businesses that are wishing to investigate broadcasting on radio.
Historically, a large number of start-ups have wanted to replicate “CHR” or “AC” formats, often with a lot of similar local content to existing services.
Broadly speaking, new entrants over the last two or three years have fallen into one of three other groups – public sector, private non profit-making (primarily charities and religious organisations) and communities of interest, e.g. niche music, foreign language or cultural.
Naturally they are each affected by the changes in the market like anyone else, but in different ways to the traditional “pop stations”, not least because they have very different revenue streams.
Public funding for new projects may be slow to appear as the approval processes are necessarily thorough, but once in place are very secure. Through our partnership with GTN, we continue to assist the development of the Highways Agency’s Traffic Radio service, for example looking at other platforms for the dissemination of the service.
Such groups are often funded through regular donations and covenants, an alternative revenue stream to that experienced by mainstream media in the UK. But this doesn’t make them unsuitable entrants; quite the contrary.
According to the Charities Aid Foundation in their publication “UK Giving 2008, An overview of charitable giving in the UK in 2007/08”, by Sally Clegg and Liz Goodey (CAF), Patricia Walls and Karl Wilding (NCVO), and “Who gives to what cause?”, by Dr Sylke Schnepf and Professor John, Micklewright, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton highlight that in 2007/8:
The CAF says, “Despite emerging tensions in the UK economy at the time of fieldwork, evidence suggests that many individual donors increased their support for charities in 2007/08”.
So although this sector may yet be hit by tightening belts, as recipients of over £10bn these organisations should not be underestimated and platform managers would do well to listen to their aspirations.
Religious broadcasting has come on in leaps and bounds following the relaxing of broadcasting legislation. The will is certainly there to get their messages to new audiences by using a wide range of digital platforms. We have worked with a number of Christian broadcasters, including UCB, as well as Islamic and Sikh broadcasters.
Over recent years, charities (which of course also include religious charities) have had to become increasingly savvy to attract donations and are looking to get the maximum “bang for their buck”. We have discussed strategies for achieving UK wide DAB coverage with a number of major UK charities, with the aim of building national coverage via a portfolio of local and regional multiplexes.
Communities of Interest
During 2008 and into 2009 we have advised a group of overseas businessmen who want to develop a foreign language radio service. They identified a gap in the market, for both audience and revenue, which was not being tapped by existing mainstream media. Like anyone else, they need to get on air quickly, and for this reason long expensive test periods dipping their toe into various ways of broadcasting was just not feasible.
We are assisting them to develop a launch plan encompassing different digital platforms, helping to secure funding and develop a marketing plan that would utilise their broadcast platforms to promote other platforms. In addition, we have advised on developing and utilising social networking and listener marketing to build on their community of interest.
Folder Media is uniquely placed to aid existing and aspirant broadcasters. If you think we might be able to help you, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Picture from Flickr.
In 2008, the Highways Agency appointed a consortium comprising Global Traffic Networks, All in Media and Folder Media to operate and manage their Traffic Radio service.
Traffic Radio is a network of six radio stations that are broadcast to over 30 English DAB Digital Radio multiplexes, streamed online at www.trafficradio.org.uk and through occasional FM and AM RSLs (restricted service licences).
From July 1st the consortium will be responsible for all aspects of the Traffic Radio service from collecting the travel information, getting travel presenters to record it, assembling each of the stations and then distributing it to the various platforms.
Folder is responsible for all of the transmission and distribution elements of the service. This has necessitated us talking to all of the multiplex operators, arranging installation of the multiplexing gear, building a new website and arranging up a hosting and streaming provider. We’re also responsible for organising and managing the RSL programme and providing up-to-date transmission reports about all of the broadcast activity.
All of these different elements mean we’ve identified and worked with a cross-section of external suppliers, all of whom can bring their particular expertise to the project.
We’ve recently spent a lot of time with people who are keen to launch a radio station, but they’re not quite sure where to begin. Usually they have an idea and often a little bit of money they get from having a credit card with good benefits anyone could get by having more information, but are stuck for what to do next.
The first thing we tend to do is sit down with client and what the station is, who is likely to listen to it and how they’re planning to reach them. It’s a good test to see what sort of focus our client has and allows us to help them better.
The second thing we do is work through their finances. We’ve already modelled countless radio stations in Excel form and we can work through what their requirements are likely to be. This covers everything from office square-footage requirements, which varies depending on the type of workspace and office layout to presenter wages and allows us to put together a full business plan.
This helps us better identify what their funding requirement is likely to be and what sort of revenue they will likely need.
Funding is also directly related to the platforms that a new radio station can afford to broadcast on. As part of our work we talk about the different costs of carriage on DAB, Satellite or whatever. We also run through what affect the platform has on music licensing and other ancillary costs.
Developing this full business plan for our clients then allows them to go off to their own funders and have a better idea of how their station can then become a reality.
The next stage is the platform negotiation. We already have relationships with most of the platform vendors and can help clients understand what a good deal looks like and what’s expected of them form a contractual basis.
The next stages are then to physically build the radio station and get the systems set up to allow them to operate effectively.
Whether you want to get your radio station on DAB Digital Radio, Sky, Virgin Media cable, or the Internet, getmeondigitalradio.com will help steer you towards who own and operates the relevant platform, how to contact them, how to build your multi-platform broadcast strategy and how easy it might be to achieve that.
10% of all UK radio listening is currently undertaken through DAB Digital Radio. Isn’t it about time your station was also broadcasting on DAB Digital Radio?