Radio as a visual experience?

We live in the times where the radio presenter can no longer be just the pleasant welcoming voice that we learn to recognise, they are also required to be a pleasant welcoming face. Thanks to the internet the radio now has a visual presence.

bbc 1

I guess according to the BBC there are things in this world that cannot be described in words, so they opted for creating visual content for the radio (so that they no longer have to rely on the audience’s imagination to really get the joke).They have things such as live interviews and performances that can be streamed online, or re-watched later on in the week, all available for free on the BBC website. At first, personally, this seemed to defeat the point. The radio is a platform for audio entertainment solely isn’t it? However, after some consideration, it made sense to me; multi-platform productions are the future, and if the radio wants to stay afloat (and believe me it does) then it must keep up. The reality is that the notion of the ‘visual generation’ is very much real. We are surrounded by the media and it’s images 24/7 and we in a way expect it. Publishing recordings from interviews with celebrities on the online platform, is a good way of satisfying and attracting the new, more visual, younger audiences to a traditional medium without changing it fundamentally. What the convergence means for the audience is that it gets more content and more than one way of consuming it which creates options and perhaps a sense of identity; are you a consumer of the audio, the video or both?

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2 Comments

  1. I don’t know how many radio stations/companies do the same thing as the BBC but I doubt there are many (maybe only BBC?). I don’t think that recording live radio shows and letting the audience watch them online can be called ‘radio’. Because I never enjoyed radio in the first place (just listening to someone talking felt kind of boring to me), I really appreciate the BBC recording not only audio but image as well. To me, it’s more entertaining that way when you see people’s faces + there’re plenty of things which could have happened during the show and you couldn’t hear them but you’ll be able to see them online if you visit the BBC website. Nonetheless, if you can see action in the radio studio with your own eyes because it’s being recorded on a camera, what makes it different from any TV channel’s online streaming? In my opinion, it kills the whole point of radio which is supposed to be audio only.

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  2. more and more radio stations are adapting this model and creating visual content to accompany their audio productions all in efforts to keep audiences interested. This idea dates back to the founding days of MTV, when people asked, “did video kill the radio star?” – the medium that we consumed the media that was once only available on radio shifted, we could now hear AND see the music, and ever since then I don’t think audiences have settled for less thus creating the need for radio stations to offer things like live streams and recorded in studio performances, which creates a thin line between what is radio and what is just plain TV now a days.

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