July, 2010

Observed #1

A couple are kissing passionately alongside a train that’s about to depart from platform 8 at KIngs Cross sometime around midnight. Another couple, hurrying towards platform 11 observe the scene and discuss it:
Her: “Aah. They’re in love.”
Him: “No. They’ve only just met this evening.”
Her: “No – they’re definitely in love.”
Him: “You’re so naiive. He just pulled her this evening…”

Saturday daytime outside St Pancras. A group of four mostly middle-aged women are wearing black vest tops with “Kim’s Hen 2010” emblazoned on the front, and “London, Baby” on the back. I guess that Las Vegas fell through. One of the group is much younger than the rest turns out to be the daughter of one of the other women. This leads me to suspect that this may not be “Kim’s” first hen night ever. Could Kim be the mother? And how often does she have hen nights? Are you entitled to one every time you get married?

Boris Bikes Are Go!

Boris Bikes in Park Street
To celebrate the new bike hire scheme in London I made this Audioboo:
Listen!
[Update] Boris bike in Park Street
Here’s what else happened after I recorded that Audioboo. I cycled across Westminster Bridge and headed up Whitehall until I found a docking area near the police station opposite Charing Cross station. When I first docked the bike, I didn’t get the green confirmation light that the instructions said I should. I took it out again and redocked. That seemed to sort the problem.
It’s slightly disconcerting that the dynamo powered LEDs continue to flash on the bike (one on the front, two on the rear) even after you’ve docked making you wonder if it’s locked.
Later in the evening I decided to cycle back from Soho to Kings Cross to get the train home. One major concern was that all the docks near Kings Cross would be full as commuters headed home. So I looked for a dock a little further from Kings Cross than I would have preferred. The dock near Tavistock Square was completely full. No problem. I just went to the machine and registered this fact. Even though I still had the better part of 20 minutes free cycling left, I got an extra 15 minutes.
The screen does tell you which nearby docks have spaces, but unless your knowledge of London is like a cabbie who’s taken the knowledge, I found that I needed to consult a map to work out where the docks referred to were on the ground. It’d be nice if you could press a named dock on the screen and it displayed a map of how to get from where you are to dock with vacant spaces.
Anyway, I found a slightly closer dock with spaces. Even though it was now 11.30 at night, two other people were docking bikes. Talking to one of the other people docking, he said he though there’d be loads of spaces at Kings Cross as there had been earlier. He also said that he thought that the scheme was brilliant and he’d used bikes about 8 times today!
I walked back to Kings Cross and in the side-street across the Euston Road from the station, there were indeed both plenty of bikes and spaces.
When I got home and checked my email, I found a note telling me that today was free since I was a pioneer. I thought that was very nice. But then I looked at my Activity Log online. It registered my late ride, but there was no sign of my earlier ride which I thought was odd. I’ll feed back to them as requested.
All in all a great experience. Lots of admiring glances from people, and one cyclist came alongside at one point and asked how the bike handled. Although the bikes are heavy, you can still get a fair old speed up on them. I must admit that even though I’m trying to cycle to work most days with my Brompton, I’m vaguely tempted to take an annual subscription out to the scheme for those Brompton-less journeys and days.
[Update 2] On Saturday I took a further three trips using the bikes. A few things that occur to me having spent a bit more time on these bikes.
1. Remember your saddle size. There’s an easy to use extension tube, and it has some helpful numbers printed on the side. Once you know you’re preferred height, just adjust the saddle accordingly.
2. Learn where the bell is. The Nexus gearing system is on the right, although I’d defy even the most unfit person trying to take a bike up Primrose Hill to need 1st gear. But more to the point, the bell is on the left. You just have to twist the plastic grip round to make a noise. This is an essential add-on as the biggest problem you’ll have in the city centre streets isn’t cars, buses or taxis, but suicidal pedestrians who simply don’t check the roads before stepping out into them.
3. Contrary to popular belief, you can get a decent speed up. I’ve found myself overtaking other cyclists on their own bikes on more than one occassion. Today, I ended up “towing” along another cyclist in my slipstream.
4. The most common fault in my limited time using the bikes is dodgy brakes. In particular, brakes that get stuck in the on-position. I’ve had two bikes now that when first released from docks have wheels that hardly move. I’ve promptly returned them to their dock and pressed the red “fix me” button. The only problem with that is that there’s no obvious light to tell the next person that a bike isn’t working. I understand that in Paris users turn the saddle backwards to indicate a damaged bike. It’d be great if this caught on here.
5. Expect to have to tell at least one or two people how the scheme works. While I won’t say that the glances thrown at you are “admiring” like those given to some ultra-cool fixies, but people still don’t really understand how the scheme works.
On that last note, some seem to think that the scheme is expensive. It’s not. But if you want a bike for more than an hour, hire one from a regular bike hire place. These machines are simply designed to get you from A to B. That’s why the prices go up dramatically after an hour. It’s the same as those pay and display car parks that give you perhaps up to 2 hours inexpensively, but then prices jump up. They actually don’t want you in the car park longer than two hours, and the price is an incentive to get you out of the car park. It’s the same with these bikes.
One thing we haven’t yet seen much of, but I suspect will affect the bikes enormously, is stickering. They’re currently moving billboards for Barclays which has contributed £25m to the scheme. But others will quickly plaster the bikes with stickers for club nights, and political or social causes. I can’t see any way of avoiding that.
All in all, with a couple of minor hiccups, the scheme is still working well two days in.

Crystal Ball Gazing at the Radio Academy

The latest Radio Academy podcast – the last of the series indeed – is about to be published by producer Heather Davies. It features, Trevor Dann talking to Global’s Nick Piggott, the BBC’s Chris Kimber and myself about radio five years hence.
I’m sure that, as Nick wisely said at the podcast’s start, a large proportion of what we said will probably turn out to be complete nonsense and not happen like that at all. But that’s one of the dangers of attempting to be media seers.
Before going on the podcast, I sat down and wrote some notes about things that might happen. Such is the way of these things, I only managed to talk about a couple of them. But since I put the notes together, I thought that I might as well publish them so I can be proved wrong in 2015.
BBC
– The current Charter runs until the end of 2016. So by 2015 we’ll be a long way down the road of renewal. I suspect that the licence fee will at least be flattened and perhaps reduced. That doesn’t mean that I’d welcome a massive reduction of BBC services as James suggested recently. Indeed such a move seems very doubtful indeed. The one service a Tory government is not going to play with is surely their members’ favourite radio station – Radio 4. Similarly, they’d play with Radio 3 at their peril. In the podcast, Trevor suggested that James identified the wrong service and it should be Radio 2. That’s an interesting idea – especially as Radio 2 was previously regional.
– Local is where there might be changes. But as commercial radio becomes a larger series of quasi networks, removing BBC Local radio would be very damaging. The decline of local newspapers could leave us with some big holes in local news reporting.
– Chris Moyles won’t be on breakfast on Radio 1. He’s 36 now and has just renewed for another 12 months. Will this be his last year on breakfast? Who knows.
– Radio 1 and 2 will continue to be under pressure from commercial sector and have to work ever harder to provide PSB commitments.
Commercial Radio
– There is a really interesting and important Broadcasting Code review at the moment, which could fundamentally change how commercial radio sounds. If the most flexible option put forward by Ofcom is adopted, then it’s even possible for spot-airtime as we understand it to dissappear. It won’t of course. At least not on most stations because spot-airtime is relatively easy to manage inexpensively. But it really is worth having a look at the very last page of Ofcom’s 110 page document to realise how extreme this could be.
– I’d predict at least one significant commercial service operating on a new hybrid model that involved a more intergrated commercial funding route. That means operating without commercial breaks.
– Note that these rules could also (re-?) introduce a form of “payola” into commercial radio. Stations would be allowed to include take payment to adjust their playlists. At this point, listeners’ trust in radio stations will become more crucial. What is and isn’t a service prepared to do? And how will listeners respond?
Digital
– By 2015, there’ll be a much clearer picture of where DAB and digital radio in general is. We’ve seen a couple of stronger brands going on D1 currently including Absolute 80s and shortly, Smooth. DAB set sales and broadband (both fixed and mobile) will dictate the digital pace.
– A more controversial idea is that Radio 1 and Radio 2 go DAB only in the same way that BBC2 has led the way going digital in switchover, and before that, when it launched in colour to push colour TV. Radio needs the same.
– The biggest challenge facing commercial radio is to drive up CPTs or cost per thousands. Especially digital CPTs that have been hitherto sold at a discount. The new IPA cross media research, TouchPoints, released last week revealed that radio accounts for 14% of the media day but only gets 4% of revenue, whereas press accounts for 7% of the media day, but 37% of revenues. Radio is terribly underpriced. Advertisers need to appreciate what a bargain they’re getting!
Online
– Key here is to drive upwards from its current 2.9%, the amount of listening that takes place online. Mobile apps will continue to become ever more important, with additional functionality meaning that they compete with aggregator and third party pieces of software.
– But there will still be really serious issues over bandwidth. The Government’s proposed “2 Mbps for all” minimum has been kicked into the long grass of 2015 because nobody can afford to do it. And mobile operators are already struggling under the weight of data usage. Despite what London-dwellers might believe, most of the population does not use an iPhone, Blackberry or Android device. But as prices fall, more will get these. Will the networks cope?
Competitors
– Spotify/Last.fm/mFlow/”Insert new undreamt of serveice here” – these are potentially the biggest concerns of radio. Tim Davie revealed a couple of topline stats from the BBC’s latest Eartime research on the last Radio Talk, and they show that it’s young people that are adopting these services the most. According to Tim, 82% of all “share of ear” (ie. listening to any kind of media, including YouTube videos) is to radio, which is a fantastic number. That includes listening to your own music on iPod or CD. But it falls to “about 60% among younger audiences.” Radio can sometimes be very short-termist, but these are our next listeners.
– While that might seem to be of most concern to stations like Kiss and Radio 1, it’s a problem for all of us, because if people get out of the habit of listening to the radio when they’re young, they may never listen again.
– Radio needs to re-energise its youth listeners. I’m concerned that networked evening shows have removed a bit of the community appeal that can gather together groups of listeners locally. Radio can be very social – like a good pub or bar where you can “hang out.” But that socialness can be dissipated by running only on a national basis. With large numbers of listeners, you can’t easily reflect the local music scene or hear regular correspondents that comes from with a slightly more initimate appeal.
-Of course this is an opportunity for non-group local services.
Podcasts
– Monetising them! We’re in the hands of Apple here, and they need to add the ability to buy podcasts rather than just get them free. They have the whip hand. Podcasts still aren’t really mainstream, although they’re moving in the right direction. More devices are gaining access to them, but this still needs simplifying. And it should be up to the producer whether or not they want to monetise them. (BTW: Just because the ability to monetise podcasts is there, it doesn’t mean that everyone will charge. Some will attempt it, and others will stay free.)
– And I’d love to see more BBC programming – once its slipped beyond the free iPlayer window – being available to buy.

On a seperate note, David Hepworth’s piece on a different model for speech radio is worth a read, as are the comments (and not because I’ve just contributed).
As ever, these are my own views and don’t necessarily reflect those of my employer. That said, on the podcast, I was speaking as a representitive of said employer, Absolute Radio…

Sky’s HBO Deal

Sky has completed a £150m deal for exclusive rights to all HBO’s back catalogue and future programming for the next five years. There’s a certain irony that over the years various Sky One channel controllers have claimed that they’re going to make Sky One the UK’s version of HBO. I’ve pooh-poohed that in the past, but I suppose this is one way that Sky can become HBO – buy everything they make!
Cue lots of howling and anguish as viewers (on Media Guardian at least) who are used to seeing their favourite HBO shows on other channels potentially disappearing from their screens. While there are implications for stations like Channel 4, which has done well from True Blood and Curb Your Enthusiasm, many of those HBO shows air on another Murdoch owned channel in the UK – FX [Update: FX retains the rights to True Blood as well as the very funny Eastbound & Down].
In reality, as some sager Guardian commenters have mentioned, the reality is that Sky has done a deal for a great quantity of quality back catalogue programming for their on-demand service. I’m not sure if another UK broadcaster already had dibs on Treme – the New Orleans set David Simon series that has just finished its first series in the US. There’s no mention of that in the coverage or the Sky press release. So I suspect that another broadcaster has already done the deal in the UK for that [Update: Nope. Sky has got the rights to Treme according to Broadcast (via The Medium Is Not Enough)]. Instead, most of the coverage is about another forthcoming HBO biggie – Boardwalk Empire – which comes from Martin Scorcese and does look good.
The other really interesting show that Sky’s got its hands on is Game of Thrones based on the popular (although unread by me) George RR Martin fantasy novels. That series has a largely British cast and is being shot in Northern Ireland.
In all the shock and distain about the way this deal has been done, and what it means to everyone, it’s worth pointing out that not every single one of your favourite US shows is actually from HBO.
HBO does have:
Treme (the new yet-to-air-in-the-UK series from David “The Wire” Simon)
True Blood
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Boardwalk Empire (the new Scorcese series that’s eagerly awaited)
Eastbound & Down
Bored to Death (has this found a UK home previously)
Entourage
Hung
The Pacific (which Sky showed on a movie channel)
Luck
Game of Thrones (eagerly awaited by fans of novels, and currently shooting in Northern Ireland)

And of course, there’s there full back-catalogue.
But plenty of other notable shows on other premium or semi-premium US channels. They’re commonly misconceived to be “HBO” shows when they’re not. The following lists are in no way comprehensive.
Showtime has:
Californication
Dexter
Nurse Jackie
The Tudors
Weeds
United States of Tara
The L Word

Starz (now run by ex-HBO president Chris Albrecht) has:
Spartacus: Blood and Sand (I did say “notable”, and not “good”)
Pillars of the Earth (not actually commissioned by them though)
Camelot (forthcoming reimagining of Arthurian legend)
Torchwood (co-production with the BBC of course)

AMC has:
Mad Men
Breaking Bad
Rubicon (forthcoming spy series)
The Walking Dead (based on the zombie comics)
The Prisoner (made with ITV)

TNT has:
Leverage
Southland (picked up from NBC and now running on More4)
The Closer

USA Network has:
White Collar
Burn Notice
Covert Affairs (new spy series that’s not at all like Alias, oh no)
Psych

FX has:
Justified (Just finished on Five USA last night and I’ve not seen the last episode yet. It’s a fantastic series)
Rescue Me (also excellent)
Nip/Tuck
Sons of Anarchy

DirecTV has:
Friday Night Lights (in co-production deal with NBC)
Damages (picked up from FX)

And this list doesn’t include the major networks, or channels like SyFy (sic). I wouldn’t claim for a second that every one of these shows is as good as the best of what HBO does. But it’s a good mix, and there are some absolute gems in there. And HBO has nothing to do with them.

TouchPoints 3

In 2006, the IPA launched a new research survey called TouchPoints. It was a radical new look at measuring media usage across different types of media rather than each industry looking at their own world. The idea was to make it easy for advertisers to plan across different types of media.
They also measured the results with some innovative new digital diary devices – effectively PDAs with bespoke software.
Yesterday, the third iteration of this survey was launched, and in London there was a very useful presentation acting as something of a primer for new users, as well as updating subscribers with details of the new additions to the survey.
There’s a useful press release that highlights a few topline findings, although it must be said that the real value of the data really comes from delving deep into the data and discovering the media usage patterns of different types of individuals. Nonetheless, some of those topline findings are well worth highlighting here.
I’ll look at some of the multimedia findings with a bit of a radio slant on them.
TouchPoints picture of the media day is always useful even if there are some issues to be confronted. Here is how TouchPoints sees media usage during the day.

Source: TouchPoints 3/IPA
Because the methodology used is different to that used by bespoke media measurement systems, so the numbers that TouchPoints give us are also different. So while Touchpoints says that radio is listened to for 2.1 hours (2 hrs 6 mins) per day, RAJAR tells us the number is 3.1 hours a day on average.
The biggest issue I have with this number – and it’s one that a speaker at the launch event pointed out – is that Out of Home (or Posters to you or me) seems disproportionately large. The methodology to get a time is very different. So it’s probably not really directly comparable.
Otherwise the ratios feel right to me. And one of the things that this chart doesn’t show, but which TouchPoints can dig into, is the use of different media simultaneously. Most obviously, that means using the internet while watching TV or listening to the radio. Indeed another TouchPoints finding is the while dekstop PC ownership between TouchPoints 2 (carried out a couple of years ago) and TouchPoints 3 has remained flat at 51%, laptop ownership has sky-rocketed jumping from 38% to 58%. And those laptops aren’t tethered to a particular room in the house – that’s especially not the case when you discover that 36% of homes have WiFi networks (up from 13% previously).
One of the most useful charts that TouchPoints is able to provide is this one displaying the Media Day:

Source: TouchPoints 3/IPA. Base: All Media use per day.
While TV remains dominant, radio really is still an extraordinarily strong medium even with the continued growth of the internet.
Microsoft PowerPoint - TP3 launch presentations.pptx
Source: TouchPoints 3/IPA
This chart, showing media usage on an average day, shows that radio remains the dominent medium until the early afternoon, and remains very competitive right through until drivetime.
Microsoft PowerPoint - TP3 launch presentations.pptx
And this chart shows how radio (and the internet) achieve broad reach and volume, and are competitive with TV.

Source: TouchPoints 3/IPA and the AA/Warc Expenditure Report 2010. Base: Time and revenue calculated as a % of total internet, press, radio and TV only. Cinema, OOH and DM time not available.
Thinkbox, the organisation who represent TV, put together this chart using data from TouchPoints 3 along with AA expenditure by media. It compares the percentage of advertising revenue each medium takes compared with the amount of the media day that the audience consume that media.
Proportionately, radio is the big loser here, with vastly reduced expenditure in comparison with the significant cut through it achieves through the day. But that’s also an opportunity. For a relatively small amount of cash, advertisers can achieve significant impact.
Furthermore, some of that internet time is being spent on radio and other media. But it’s radio that has the most to gain from the internet according to TouchPoints 3 figures. It contributes an additional 24 minutes compared with 15 minutes gained by TV and 16 minutes for newspapers. That effectively removes 55 minutes from “pure” internet activities not related to an “old” media type.
There’s lots more worth reading in the full launch presentation available from the IPA’s website.

Daily Star TV Ad Redux

A few months ago I noted that the Daily Star was claiming to be “Britain’s most successful newspaper” in a TV ad. It was basing those findings on the then most recent ABC figures from January 2010, which then showed a small percentage increase in year on year sales results.
Those TV ads are running again according to a commentor.
Since then, proprietor Richard Desmond has cut the price of the paper further to just 10p. Remembering that both newsagent and distributors need to take a cut from that, I would assume that basically none of that cover price is being returned to Express Newspapers. The paper is effectively free.
The Sun remains discounted in some parts of the country, and the Mirror has remained at 45p. So put that in perspective when looking at these figures.
But when you do look at the most recent annual figures, the Daily Star has lost more sales than either of its two key rivals.
If you consider January to June 2010 changes, then the Daily Star has lost a smaller percentage of sales than either of its rivals. But if that’s the source they’re using then “Britain’s least bad over the last six months newspaper” might be more accurate, or as my commentor says, “Britain’s least unsuccessful newspaper.”
Let’s remind ourselves of where the Daily Star sits in the ecosystem. Have a look at the most up to date ABC figures:

Source: Guardian/ABC
It should also be noted that the Mirror does not include Daily Record sales from its sister publication in Scotland in this instance.
So can the Daily Star honestly claim to be “Britain’s most successful newspaper”?
As an aside, disturbing reports suggest that Star proprietor, and pornographic channel owner, Richard Desmond is in prime position to buy Five. So should we be looking forward to more TV ads with spurious claims, and perhaps a return to late-night Channel 5 fare of old? I know I shan’t be watching the channel should he get his hands on it.

Ashes Not To Be Listed

A Media Guardian report this morning suggests that the new Government is not going to add The Ashes to the sporting Listed Events, ignoring the recommendation that they should be included in David Davies’ report from last November.
The Guardian report is headlined “Ashes to stay on Sky” which is only really true of the current contract. Of course, it’s probably also true while the current short-sighted individuals in charge of the ECB ensure that cricket only reaches a small fee-paying audience.
It’s true that just about every major sporting body hate the Listed Events even if they’ve only ever sold their rights to a free-to-air broadcaster. But just about every major sporting body has in some way profited from public money in one form or another. Quid pro quo.
The Guardian report suggests that sports minister Hugh Robertson is calling for 30% of TV revenues to be passed on to grass roots. As it goes on to say, the definition for what that actually means needs some serious tightening up. Paying wages of overseas players probably doesn’t consititute “grass roots”. And while the FA passes on lots of cash to the grass roots, I rather suspect that – with the best will in the world – the Premier League doesn’t.
Overall this is disappointing, but largely expected news. I mentioned quid pro quo earlier; is the same true for Murdoch and the Tories perhaps?
[UPDATE] The decision surrounding Listed Events has been kicked into the long grass. There won’t now be any changes until 2012 when digital switchover has completed. While things like Project Canvas could be a game changer, I’m not sure what difference there’ll be in the state of TV between now and 2012 apart from Freeview having rolled out a bit more. Delaying any changes for a couple of years is just avoiding making a decision now. And there can’t be accussations of appeasing Murdoch by doing nothing at all. At least that’s the theory.

Trying to Decode Kindle Stats

Amazon has been trumpeting its latest Kindle stats, proclaiming that it has sold 143 Kindle books for every 100 hardback books sold over the last three months.
I say “stats”, but they actually keep their cards very close to their chest. They’re mostly talking about ratios. And they’re not necessarily comparing like with like.
While they’ve excluded the large number of free, out of copyright, books from their figures, they’re not including paperbacks. I know the US publishing set-up is different, but paperback sales tend to significantly outnumber hardback sales – certainly that’s the case in the UK with much popular fiction (with the exception of certain titles that get discounted extraordinarily heavily when they’re released in hardback – Harry Potter and Dan Brown spring to mind).
The only hard numbers that Amazon supplies is the fact that five authors have each cumulatively sold more than 500,000 books in the Kindle format: Charlaine Harris, Stieg Larsson, Stephenie Meyer, James Patterson, and Nora Roberts.
But all of these best-selling authors have multiple titles in the Kindle format. Undoubtedly, those are significant sales stats. But I wonder how many copies in paperback Amazon has sold of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo at $7.15 compared to the number of Kindle editions at $5.29.
I think we really need to get some actual numbers in, say, fiction. And then these need to be compared with total sales of hardback and paperbacks over the same period. That’d give a true reflection of the success of the device.
What I still find odd is that Amazon has yet to properly sell the device in the UK. While I’m quite able to buy it via Amazon.com, I have to pay in US dollars, and there are surely some issues surrounding support or returning faulty devices which at the very least will take longer than a purchase from Amazon.co.uk.
Still – look for Apple to try to reclaim bragging rights with its own sales via the iPad. We’ll have to wait and see.

RAJAR MIDAS Survey

Note that this is cross posted from the Absolute Radio Onegoldensquare.com blog. I wouldn’t have access to these figures otherwise! And a hat-tip to Matt Deegan for suggesting looking at iPhone only figures in relation to radio apps.
Yesterday RAJAR published the topline findings (PDF) from the latest MIDAS research. MIDAS – for the uninitiated – stands for Measurement of Internet Delivered Audio Services, and this is the sixth time that RAJAR has carried out this research.
It doesn’t reveal specific facts and figures on a station by station basis, but it does provide a really clear overall picture of how radio internet-based services are evolving and being used. Notably, it includes podcasts and listen-again style services, and for the first time with this release, detail about the take-up of mobile phone apps.
RAJAR has highlighted that 20% of smartphone users on the survey have downloaded a radio app. That in itself is a great result, but not all smartphones are the same. While Blackberry, Nokia and latterly, Android have all shown enormous growth in recent years, the most mature “marketplace” or “store” to download apps is that of the iPhone family, including iPod Touch and now iPad. What’s clear is that iPhone users are using data services more than other mobile users (although we’re well aware that this may change).
If we examine the MIDAS data a bit deeper, it shows that 20% rises to 46% amongst iPhone users. In other words, nearly one in two iPhone users who’ve listened to the radio via the internet at some time, have downloaded a radio app. This is obviously fantastic news.
Here at Absolute Radio, we know the popularity of our apps because we can measure directly the number of hours that are listened to via mobile phones, and as our stats show, that number of hours continues to increase.
The RAJAR press release also highlighted the fact that 31% of listeners claim to have ever listened to radio via the internet, and 15% of listeners have ever downloaded a podcast, with half of current users listening at least once a week.
Digging a bit deeper into the data reveals a few more facts.
The number of people who listen daily or weekly to the internet has increased over the last couple of years.

Base: Those who ever listen to the radio via the internet.
And for the most part, people are multi-tasking when they’re listening online.

Base: Those who ever listen to the radio via the internet.
With more people having access to the net, on more computers, radio listening – which is a very complementary to many internet-based activities – it’s not surprisingly on the increase. We look forward to imminent launch of Radioplayer which will hopefully drive this listening further.
Awareness of WiFi radios continues to grow with 15% of people having heard of them. Of those who are aware of them, 13.2% own one. As we see more smart devices like the Pure Flow family of radios, this should continue to grow.
15.1% of all people listen to podcasts (Note: This figure can’t be compared with previous MIDAS releases due to methodology changes).
19.6% of people who listen to podcasts do so every day, a number that has grown quite significantly over time as podcasting has become more established.
Comedy remains the most popular type of podcast to listen to (which will come as relief to Frank, David, Dave, Christian, Geoff and Iain) followed by music and then TV and film.

On average, podcast subscribers subscribe to 4.8 different podcasts, with 35-54s listening to the most: 5.57
But mean numbers can be a little misleading. Some people listen to an awful lot of podcasts, and there’s a long tail effect in evidence. One respondent claimed to subscribe to 51 podcasts, and another subscribed to 99 (I’d poo-poo such figures, but I’ve just had a look at my own iTunes podcast subscriptions…).

As the popularity of podcasts grows, commercial radio stations have to continue to look at ways of monetising them. One question that’s always asked is based around people downloading but not listening to podcasts. After all, podcasting software such as iTunes will automatically download podcasts.
76.4% of people listen to half or more of the podcasts they download, with 25.0% of people diligently listening to every single podcast they download.
And once people start listening they tend to listen to the whole episode. 85.9% of people listen to most or all of every episode they start to listen to.
What’s more, people are happy to listen to older podcasts, with 82.6% of podcast listeners saying that they listen to episodes that are over a week old.
69.1% of podcast listeners listen on their computer while 64.9% listen on a portable mp3 player such as an iPod. 17.0% listen via their mobile phone.
Predominantly, people listen to podcasts at home, although listening while travelling is popular with a combined 44.6% of people listening as they travel.

Finally, 36.0% of people have started listening to radio programmes that they didn’t previously hear as a result of listening to a podcast.
Awareness of personalised online radio services continues to grow. It would be a complacent radio industry that didn’t acknowledge the growth and popularity of services such as Spotify and Last.fm. 41.9% of people are aware of such services, although that figure is very biased towards younger listeners.

That’s really only a subset of the data, but gives you a flavour of how people are using the internet to listen to the radio.
Adam
Note on sample: The RAJAR Measurement of Internet Delivered Audio Services (MIDAS 6) was conducted during June 2010 by Ipsos MORI. The sample comprised RAJAR respondents drawn from the main RAJAR survey who had claimed to listen to the radio via the internet, or downloaded podcasts, or listened to the radio via their mobile phone. The survey findings are based on 1,083 respondents.

A Video

This is a short video I made a few weeks ago at the seaside in Broadstairs. Featured are my brother and his family, so you may well not be interested.
But it’s shot on Super 8 – Kodak Ektachrome 100D to be precise – and filmed with the same Canon Auto Zoom 318M that my dad has had since sometime around 1974. It’s probably not seen a film in it since around 1984 or so. But a couple of AA batteries and it was up and running.
The Widescreen Centre in London sells Super 8 film, and gets it processed (in Berlin I believe), and then telecined into a digital format for editing.
I’m quite pleased with the outcome, and plan to shoot a few more rolls. Be warned – it is an expensive process!

At The Beach from Adam Bowie on Vimeo.