/* ----------------------------------------------- Comment out annoying Snap... ----------------------------------------------- */

Friday, June 30, 2006

Beeb Radio Podcasting

The BBC has released the May Radio Statistics and the Archers are the top of the pops!!

There were 756,730 requests for the Archers on-demand broadcasting during May. In other words, the Archers were listened to at various computers up and down the land 756,730 times when they couldn’t listen to the live or repeated shows. Obviously, there is quite a demand for time shifted Radio 4 content.

However, why does the Beeb not Podcast the Archers? I’m sure that your average Archers listener does not fit with the stereotypical spotty content thieving p2p addicted teenager. There can be no argument over ownership of rights. I think the likelihood of them turning up on some underground P2P network is pretty slight and even if they did, why would the Beeb care? I’m sure that a few (not me by the way) would rather catch up on the latest Archers episode on the way to work or doing the gardening or some other place where on-demand broadcasting is not possible. Why should the Beeb stop them? They are in all probability license payers after all.

To be fair, I can understand why the Beeb does not podcast for instance the excellent Radio2 Music Documentaries, because they don’t own the rights to the music. Fair enough. The top content that the Beeb podcasts also surprises me, because it seems to be news based and that is something that becomes out of date very rapidly.

Aside from the whinging about the Beeb, the interesting fact to me is the sheer amount of spoken word content rather than music in the on-demand charts. For instance who would guess a minority channel such as BBC7 would be thrashing mainstream stations such as Radio3 and Radio5 and is slightly ahead of Radio2?

Personally, I think the Beeb is proving that there is a big audience for time-shifted spoken word content. However, I think the Beeb should review their policy and make a lot more available on podcast (with none of that DRM nonsense) for Beeb commissioned works, after all most people listen to the radio whilst out and about and not sat in front of a computer.