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The BBC's "new radio product": birtspeak translation

Posted on Thursday, January 27th, 2011 at 1:17 am. #

Radio and music will come out of BBC iPlayer, and we’ll develop a new stand-alone product.
Erik Huggers, Delivering Quality First, About the BBC blog, 11.00am 24 Jan 2011

Audiences will still discover both live and ondemand audio in iPlayer. We will however build a new dedicated product for Radio and Music.
Erik Huggers, tweet, 1.33pm 24 Jan 2011

… a new product for radio and music that builds in podcasts and plays to the strengths of live radio … [it will] link up closely with the TV & iPlayer product (but not duplicate it)
Daniel Danker, Plans for online radio, 3.39pm 25 Jan 2011

Translation: radio’s out of BBC iPlayer, still in BBC iPlayer, and will link closely with “the TV & iPlayer product”, according to BBC executives, presumably all at the same time.

As we said yesterday, there are things it [the new radio & music product] won’t do. It won’t offer track-by track streaming or aggregate third party stations, which brings me onto Radioplayer. [...] Though we’ve not yet worked the details through, we think both projects add up to a vastly improved online radio experience for audiences and hope to share more details soon.
Daniel Danker, Plans for online radio, 3.39pm 25 Jan 2011

So, “the new radio & music product” is not [the UK] Radioplayer. These are both separate projects. Danker makes no mention that the BBC will use the Radioplayer as their default player – indeed, he appears to discount it, since he’s keen to point out that…

Existing [...] features including 7 day catch up, live streaming, podcast, clips, selected archive and availability on other devices will remain and be fully integrated into the new product/player.
Daniel Danker, Plans for online radio, 3.39pm 25 Jan 2011

…which seems to suggest that the ‘product/player’ is some kind of amalgam of the /programmes website (here’s all on-demand comedy radio shows, and here’s all on-demand Radio 4 comedy, as an example), with properly integrated podcasts (which would tend to suggest that they’ll play in the player or product).

I’m none the wiser, really.

Is the BBC planning to use Radioplayer as their primary player when it launches on Tuesday 15 February, or this new ‘product/player’?

… [yesterday] we made the first mention of our upcoming ‘Radio and Music product’, which created a bit of confusion about our plans for online radio: I hope this post explains
Daniel Danker, Plans for online radio, 3.39pm 25 Jan 2011

Not as such, no.

Later… Michael Hill, in the comments, confirms the BBC will be using the Radioplayer from launch as their primary player. I’m guessing that the “product”, mentioned above, is a replacement for the browse/discovery website at www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/radio in that case. Which is nice and clear. Hurray!


Michael Hill
commenting at January 27th, 2011 at 8:20 am

I too have a hatred of jargon and management-speak (despite falling prey to it myself occasionally). So, with clarity in mind……

I can confirm that all BBC services will be in Radioplayer, and when you click ‘Listen’ on their homepages, that’s what will launch. This is the same for all Radioplayer partners.

As shown at the Radio Festival, the BBC consoles will offer some interesting features beyond core Radioplayer ones – some based on iPlayer technology.

So there’s already a crossover between two important parts of their strategy – working in partnership to grow digital radio, and offering simple ways to listen to their programmes.

As far as I can tell, their recent announcements simply point to more of this convergence and sophistication. They’re working out how all the bits of their offering fit together.

Phil Edmonds
commenting at January 27th, 2011 at 5:32 pm

So Michael says “when you click ‘Listen’ on their homepages, that’s what will launch. This is the same for all Radioplayer partners.”

Is this a condition of use of the Radioplayer, or just recommended practice?

Is having the ability that a listener to, say Capital, hits the listen link on the Capital site, then easily getting ‘diverted’ to, for instance, some Radio One content a good or bad thing?
I can see the traditional mindset of Commercial radio being that they would want to avoid at all costs loosing a listener. Perhaps the like of Global Radio would take a more dynamic view than this, but (at the risk of stereotyping) would the smaller outfits be stuck in this “old world” view and resist this.

James Cridland
commenting at January 27th, 2011 at 5:49 pm

I can probably jump in here.

Is it a good thing that a Capital user can discover Radio 1?
Only if it’s a good thing that a Radio 1 user can discover Capital.

Happily, both are the case – and, if anything, the BBC stands to lose out more than Capital from this (since Radio 1 has, you’d think, more online listeners).

It will be fascinating to watch; but it’s to Michael’s credit that he has ensured that the traditional mindset has changed to an open one – for most of the radio companies, at any rate.

Chris Kimber
commenting at January 27th, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Yes I can confirm what Mike has said, that when Radioplayer launches it will be the default player for both live and on-demand radio from both the radio stations sites (eg.www.bbc.co.uk/radio2) and from the iPlayer site. In fact, it will at that point be the only radio console the BBC has for radio.

The Radioplayer (which launches soon) and the new product (which doesn’t) that Daniel Danker and Erik Huggers blogged about are not the same thing. The Radioplayer is a pop-out console; it would be odd to have two such consoles.

James Cridland
commenting at January 27th, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Ace. Thank you, Chris.

And agreed, it would be odd to have two consoles to play radio programmes in. Cough. ;)

RadioPlayer. It’s not bad news. | Thoroughly Good Blog
commenting at January 28th, 2011 at 12:22 am

[...] Former BBCer and radio geek James Cridland has saved the day and blogged a translation of Huggers&#8…. The subsequent comment helps clarify what the future holds for online BBC radio. And indirectly delivers a vision of the future in which rival broadcasters hold hands as they skip and jump in the deep grass of the level playing field. [...]

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