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Radio and Telly? That'd be Telio!

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Ben Chapman | 13:13 UK time, Monday, 20 July 2009

[Editor's note: While our coverage on the Blog of the radio visualisation trials to date have focused almost exclusively on Radio 4 the truth is that our colleagues at Radio 1 have been putting in the hours too. Here's how their listeners have responded.]

'Visualising Radio' is a clunky term.

Someone messaged the station this week saying "shouldn't this trial be called a mix of 'Radio' and 'Telly' that would be 'Telio'". 'Visualising Radio' isn't very sexy and when I hear Chris Moyles or Aled say it on the radio it feels horribly corporate.

But knowing what to call it, what we should call, it is interesting. The listener above felt the connection to telly - others understand radio with webcams, some are transfixed with the flow of texts that appear on the screen and their relationship with the studio.

Truth is I don't know what to call it. It's not really telly - mainly because we are not asking you directly to stare at the screen all the time, we are not constantly using the tricks of TV to keep you close. This is because everyone is busy doing radio. It is weird how addictive it is - this isn't just me feeling this - our audience are constantly telling us on the free messaging service that they are late for work/school because they are gripped by DJ's working.

It's funny as the same thing happened when we did ScottCam - voyeurism took a hold! This is probably the second most exciting thing we've realised at Radio 1 not the first.

The first most exciting thing is how engaged listeners are, how being able to see people, message them, then see your message pop up is simply brilliant. You know your message is arriving in front of your favourite DJ because you can see them reading them on the screen. This is our number 1 WIN.

We are putting as much effort into shoving as many texts back out to our listeners as we are worrying about our video. To be honest I'm struggling to see why we've never done this on such a scale before.

So we get a lot of text from our listener base - I mean a lot - on a good month 500,000 texts. We've seen during this trial that around half of the messages that come in are from SMS messages and half from our visual console. It's an impressive conversion rate - and I have worked out - (really roughly with some initial data) that people are 60 times more likely to interact via the free messaging - we are getting roughly just under double the amount of texts than normal.

So, to recap, Visualising Radio has been brilliant so far because:
1. Engagement with our audience is fantastic.
2. Voyeurism is good and fun and can be done with out detracting from the radio.
3. It's the old favourite - track information.

Any ideas on what we should call a console of this type in the future are truly welcome.

Ben Chapman is Interactive Editor, Audio and Music Interactive.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    "Radio and Telly? That'd be Telio!"

    No, broadcast sound and vision is television, please stop trying to reinvent the wheel!

  • Comment number 2.

    I actually think that making the portmanteau other way around sounds better - radioV (radio-vee)

  • Comment number 3.

    There's already a word, and as Boilerplated said, it's Television.

    Again, this is nothing new. Broadcasting a radio show on with pictures - i.e. Television has been done many times before.

    This is just corporate waffle.

  • Comment number 4.

    Another one would be to call it "RV" as this sounds quite like "Harvey".

    Boilerplated/Tengsted - if you ACTUALLY watched the service you would see that it's not really TV, the (sometimes) moving picture are qurater-screen, and most of the rest of the content is graphically-delivered feeds and interactive content.

  • Comment number 5.

    "Boilerplated/Tengsted - if you ACTUALLY watched the service you would see that it's not really TV, the (sometimes) moving picture are qurater-screen, and most of the rest of the content is graphically-delivered feeds and interactive content."

    Something like Final Score?

    How about 'television with sound' as a name?

  • Comment number 6.

    #4. At 4:12pm on 20 Jul 2009, Briantist wrote:

    "Boilerplated/Tengsted - if you ACTUALLY watched the service you would see that it's not really TV, the (sometimes) moving picture are qurater-screen,"

    OK, so if it's not "television" (simultaneous sound and vision) but is something like sound + vision then it must be something like a web-cam... Either way why are people at the BBC wasting time and money trying to reinvent the wheel, or at least trying to hype up a new name for an existing technology - as Tengsted said, this is just corporate waffle.

  • Comment number 7.

    My 14" portable TV comes with sound. Cracking invention.

    The only difference here, is that it's not being broadcast by the usual medium of Analogue or Digital platforms.

    However the BBC portray it, it's still Television.

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    Boilerplated:

    I'm pretty sure that there are dozens of things you take for granted each day that exist as a result of organisations like the bbc "reinventing the wheel" (as you call it).

    Television is something people sit down and watch, people tend to devote time to it. Radio on the other hand is something people can have on in the background (or loaded in a seperate tab) as they work perhaps.

    Just as bbc.co.uk has complimented its television and radio output for over a decade.The extra data the BBC are trialing alongside Radio is something to glance at now and again, it adds a bit of meat.

    The audio aspect of radio remains the dominant, you are not missing out if you just listen. With television both audio and video are necessary for the desired viewing experience. It tends to be all encompassing.

    (Please delete my last two caffeine attack posts)

  • Comment number 11.

    With television both audio and video are necessary for the desired viewing experience.

    That's very debatable. There's many moving wallpaper programmes that you can perfectly well carry on with other things, such as writing this, and listen to, with the occasional glance to see what's happening.

    If the BBC were to play this one as enhancing radio broadcasting, or more interactivity for radio, then super. However, the way this has been portrayed and the choice of words is like government spin.

  • Comment number 12.

    #10

    You are mixing up how the technology works and/or is delivered with how people use it, the word "Television" wasn't just some snazzy word thought up by John Logie Baird, the BBC or who ever, it was an combination of words relating to sound and vision (tele(phone) and vision). On another level, Ceefax is is still a television service even though it has more in common with early computers.

    How someone watches or listens to a broadcast service has nothing what so ever to do with its name, DAB radio is still radio even if the person is reading the enhanced programme information, BBC-P is still a television broadcast even if the 'viewer' is facing away from the TV whilst replying to a blog posting even though the person is listening to the audio from the TV set, as "Tengsted" implied, a 'moving wallpaper' type television programme doesn't stop being television and suddenly become radio because one doesn't have to look at the moving or still image to follow what is happening.

  • Comment number 13.

    I like the visualisation. Why not call it RadioEye.

  • Comment number 14.

    It would be fantastically useful if, when you comment, you could let us know whether you've actually tried any of the visualisations and, if so, which one. Also, which aspects you liked or disliked, what you'd like to see more of and so on. This is a trial, after all, and we're looking for concrete feedback on the services so far.

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, Radio 4 blog

  • Comment number 15.

    #14

    I would have thought that it was rather obvious what people think, they either love the hype of a different type of television service or they hate the fact that some are trying to change radio into television, when I listen to the radio it is because it is radio, if I want/need visual stimulation I switch my TV on!

    My worry is, how long before these 'visualisations' become an integral part of the radio programme - in the same way as websites and email addresses have for some programmes - so rather than, for example, a description of an item or location we simply just get the presenter telling the audience that is they want to know what the item/location looks like we should access the "Visualisations" for the programme? I forecast, and fear, an increasingly 'lazy' radio presentation style creeping in...

  • Comment number 16.

    @Boilerplated I see your point. But I've been present in the control room for a couple of these visualisations (including an experiment that the Today programme ran before the trial began) and I've seen a really scrupulous effort to maintain the 'radio-ness' of the experience for listeners. After all, the people making the programmes are radio production people through-and-through, some of them fantastically experienced and much-praised for their radio work (like Deborah Cohen from the Science Unit, to pick just one). Radio is special to these people.

    And the other surprising thing for me (as a listener) ia just how different the resulting output is from television. Video of a Sarah Montague 0810 interview on Today, for instance, was so much more intense and thoughtful than anything I've seen on TV for ages (sorry TV People!) - and no one spent a minute in hair and makeup. The Material World visualisation was a quite hectic but genuinely useful supplement to the audio. I remember thinking it was a bit like having an encyclopaedia open while listening. And, later, while listening to the show as a podcast, I felt I was missing nothing by not seeing the pictures - because it was still a radio programme after all.

    We also need to remember that this is a trial. It's about working out how BBC radio should respond to the profusion of radio devices that have screens. Visualisation will really work for some programmes and probably become a long-term fixture but for others will be abandoned. That's why we really want listeners to try out the visualisations and tell us what they think of them. Try Radio 4's live science magazine Material World at 1630 on Thursday.

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, Radio 4 blog

  • Comment number 17.

    Sorry Steve, I watched the Chris Moyles one for a bit and the Switch one for longer. I've noticed that Chris and the team are deliberately doing things so that they can be seen, but I guess they are getting used to the novelty of it all. Mind you, when Scott Mills does his "what's occurring" challenges, or "what's Becky's forte", they are often quite visual, though there is a bit of audio to keep you interested.

  • Comment number 18.

    people are 60 times more likely to interact via the free messaging - we are getting roughly just under double the amount of texts than normal.

    It would be interesting to see whether that is a function of the messaging being offered alongside the video stream or whether people are unwilling to pay the 10-12p a time their network charges them to text 81199.

    If you offered a standalone web contact form which took a short message and put it into the same inbox in the studio as SMS messages, or if you publicised the alternative 07786 201111 number, which is mentioned in the Radio 1 FAQ (https://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/help/faq/, which texts can be sent to using the inclusive message allowance many mobile users have, you may well see an increase in the number of messages received in the studio.

  • Comment number 19.

    The track information is very useful indeed, but this still sounds to me like television. You said that audio and video are bowth necessary for the desired viewing experience, but that's not quite true. Just think of Music Television, or talk shows, the audio is the one that counts the most. -

  • Comment number 20.

    Television is watching something over a distance
    Radio should be called Teleaudio, but it isn't and so that argument is dead.

    Radio with pictures is nothing new, but the way that the BBC are doing this trial is, in that it is a more concerted effort to produce a value added service to the regular radio output. Some other independent radio have been using web-cams for a few years now, but this is different to that too.

    I like the idea, as it is a visual enhancement to what your imagination is likely doing already when you listen to a good radio show.

    I like the Radio-V (RV) suggestion - as it is still radio, but with a visual element but it is not TV.

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 23.

    The audio aspect of radio remains the dominant, you are not missing out if you just listen. With television both audio and video are necessary for the desired viewing experience. It tends to be all encompassing.https://www.seslichatailesi.net/

 

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