Getting more value from the archive

Many radio stations have wondered how they can monetise their archive material: after typically seen radio as ephemeral, of the moment stuff.

The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40, as one example, reruns old countdowns from the 1980s on some US radio stations. It’s also available on an app.

Similarly, Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 is still running on iHeartRadio.

But an afternoon drive show? How could anyone rerun that?

I’m impressed to see former radio hosts Hamish & Andy launching a thing this week: Hamish and Andy Unlimited. Available on Apple Podcasts as a paid subscription, it’s twelve years of broadcast archive, from 2006-2017: 1,800 episodes. (There are free trailers if you want to go and take a listen).

It’s impressive to have all this content; and impressive to have been able to take it and make it into a full set of shows. Initial shows are just fifteen minutes long; episodes creep up to 50 minutes by their last year, 2017.

They’re using Apple Podcast’s subscription service, which deals with payment, copy protection, distribution, and everything you need (in return for a 30% cut). You do need an Apple device to subscribe (an iPhone, iPad or Mac). The fee for this is a modest AUD$2.99 (about US$2, or £1.75) per month.

Hamish & Andy once broadcast on Southern Cross Austereo, and still do a weekly podcast for them (which is regularly a chart-topper). Curious, then, not to see Southern Cross Austereo’s name anywhere on the release of Hamish & Andy Unlimited (which I got from Apple). Looking into it a little further, Hamish and Andy’s website is operated by Thomas Donald Operations Pty Ltd - a company made from Andy and Hamish’s middle names (in that order). I assume the company owns the rights to the show, and license it to Southern Cross Austereo; wich has freed them to be able to do other work and do this sort of thing.

Anyway, however it works: if you have the content, and you’ve got it well archived - neither a given - then this is such a good idea.

It’s not the first re-use of the archives. Hamish & Andy have also done a podcast looking back at their old shows, Hamish & Andy’s Remembering Project - which is now an exclusive on the LiSTNR platform. (You’d think it would be a great advertisement for the full subscription, and should probably be available everywhere.)

And if you’ve not yet heard of Hamish & Andy before - might I recommend The Ed Sheeran $2 Peep Show Experiment and Jurassic Carpark.

The BBC missed DG Tony Hall’s target of 500m global audience by 2022; only hitting 492m (and only growing 1% year-on-year). The answer seems to be obvious - pull the to-be-consolidated BBC News Channel away from its exclusive cable carriage deals and make the channel free for all, on as many platforms as possible. Being on YouTube like the Australian ABC News Channel, Euronews, France24, Al Jazeera, and many more, would be a good start, as well as free access on the BBC News app. “Reflect the United Kingdom, its culture and values to the world”, one of the BBC’s public purposes, says nothing about restricting it to bolster cable company revenue.

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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