Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The New Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw - First Impressions...

Radio Today asked me to write an opinion piece for them about the new Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw. Here's what I wrote...

“You only get one opportunity to make a first impression... so make it count!” someone once said to me. It’s true, which is probably why getting your first breakfast show ‘half-decent’, is pretty important. At the same time, everyone in the industry knows that a first show may be pretty unrepresentative of what is to follow over the next few months and years.

So how did Grimmy do then?

I tried to listen to the first show more like a regular listener might, dipping in and out. I must have tuned in at precisely the wrong moment though, as the very first thing I heard on this “Now with Added Music” breakfast show was a link that quite possibly ‘Moyles-eque’ in its duration. It was 12m 22s long folks.

Now I wasn’t expecting all 30 second links and 5 in a row, but was this the right approach for day 1?

And as I carried on my listening I got the sense that the zoo / team format was still very much there, but just toned down a bit. Grimmy was understandably using them as a crutch, and threw to them quite a lot. They, on the other hand, were obviously under some sort of instruction not to engage too much with him on-air. So the result was something that, let’s say ‘lacked a little flow’. The chemistry is not there yet for obvious reasons.

Content wise, it already felt younger with his obligatory One Direction mate making an appearance and a Justin Bieber pre-record. This in itself may be enough to drive the older end away, which is of course part of the desired effect.

There’s no doubt that Grimmy is a cool, well-connected guy but I worry that too much ‘showbiz’ might become a bit grating after a while. Mentioning his “manager” on-air and name dropping the people who had got in touch to wish him well is so far removed from the ‘down to earth, bloke in the pub’ shtick that Moyles did, it’s going to take some getting used to. I know he’s a good Northern lad, and getting the balance of ‘enough celebrity’ and ‘too much celebrity’ is tough, but it’s certainly something for him to watch for.

One other thing; he needs to actually tell some stories and have some content. At the moment, it’s all very waffley and lacks any substance or direction. He takes 2 minutes to say what could be said in 15 seconds. That’s something that needs to be addressed pretty quickly I feel.

Now of course, all the above is grossly unfair. Judging a breakfast show based on a couple of outings is more than a little unreasonable, but it certainly is how listeners do it. They don’t always allow the time a show needs to get into its rhythm. But let’s revisit it in 6 weeks and see how he’s doing shall we?

I think Grimmy’s a safe pair of hands for the show. He won’t be overly successful, and he won’t be so bad that he’s forced off either. He’ll probably do it for 3 years... max. But will he provide the injection of energy and creativity that broadcasters like Moyles and Evans brought to the show? I rather doubt it. But he is mates with One Direction, in case you didn’t know.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Goodbye to The Saviour...

I listened to the last Chris Moyles Show on Friday. It was, as you would expect, a suitable send off for a broadcaster whose impact on Radio 1 is undeniable.

He arrived as ‘The Saviour of Radio 1’ and it’s fair to say that he was true to his word.

He took the team / zoo format that Evans had used a decade earlier, gave it his own style, and ran with it, growing the ratings and audience loyalty along the way.

I remember doing a session with Andy Parfitt at a conference just after he left Radio 1, and I asked him how good a broadcaster he thought Moyles was upon reflection. He said plainly “He’s the best.” And you can see why he would say that.

He was able to create great radio moments out of seemingly nothing; bring mega-stars right down to earth with engaging interviews; understand that doing a breakfast show is all about ‘the show’; posses the right balance of ego and fragility, but with the talent to back it up; and draw listeners in day after day with a classic approach to the ‘soap opera’ of team radio.

The best talent always has its haters, and for some Moyles was just not their thing. But the fans loved it. Really loved it. You could hear their devotion when they spoke to him on-air, or you could read it on the messages on Facebook.

Everyone had an opinion when you mentioned his name in the pub. And you can ask for no more than that. People knew him and had an opinion of him.

Yes – the critics in the industry would always point to his age (38) and how he connected more with listeners in their 30’s and 40’s than in the core Radio 1 demo. And there’s no doubt that at times it was an obvious problem for the network, particularly when he’d rather play T’Pau than Skrillex.

But to do what he did for 8 years and 8 months takes enormous talent and commitment. And for that we should applaud him.

I hope he gets back on the radio soon. I know several stations that want him. UK radio is a better place with Chris Moyles on it.

And if you missed his 'Goodbye Song', here is it is, in a typical understated Moyles fashion...

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

How To Do A Great Interview...

Interviewing a band can be quite a boring experience for both the band and the listener. This is mainly because the band have usually been asked all the same questions beforehand, and there’s nothing really new to stimulate them.

The listener gets a bit bored because, unless you’re a big fan of the band, the ‘route most travelled’ is strewn with cliché and predictability.

So, how do you interview a famous band and give it a different angle?

That was the challenge that Danish comedian Brian Mørk had when interviewing Coldplay in Denmark recently.

First off, Brian is pretty famous in Denmark with his own TV shows and a great stand-up career. He used to write for the morning show at Radio 100 I seem to remember.

He’s a creative guy, so his technique to shape the interview via quoting Tweets about the band is a great vehicle. Might have been done before maybe, but I’ve not seen a whole interview done like this .

It works really well, and you can see how the band seem to really enjoy the process as it unfolds. (Apart from Guy on the end who never says anything in interviews anyway)

The technique creates some really great moments as you'll see, and it’s nice how the flow of the interview shifts from 'funny' to 'genuinely insightful' time and time again.

Being for the Danish market, you can swear as much as you like as they don’t really care about that over there. And the content is pretty liberal (‘Raping dogs’ for example!). Not sure Jonathan Ross would get away with that these days. Not since... well... you know...

Finally, before I urge you to watch the whole thing... remember that English is a second language for Brian. So hats off to his laid back style, his genuine humour, and his ability to pull off a great bit of TV.

He’s done a better job than a lot of British TV hosts could have done.


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

How to Make Great Promos...

Promos on radio or TV aim to capture the essence of the programme, the series, or the event they're promoting, in a unique and creative way; a way that makes you sit up and take notice... the makes you want to tune in... that makes you interested in it, whatever it’s for.

Some promos can be pretty straight forward. They show or play clips, maybe good ones, and tell you when it’s on. Functional, but not that creative.

Some promos tease, and allow your mind to do the work and fill in the blanks. More creative.

And some have clips, teasing and include an added narrative or theme. Now here’s where it gets good. The creative possibilities start to open up.

One of the best examples of this I’ve seen is for Channel 4’s coverage of the Paralympics which are about to get underway this week in London.

The use of training and competitive footage shows what the viewer has in store. Nicely done.

But the added ‘storylines’ in the middle are a touch of genius, giving context and perspective to the whole piece. It makes it personal. It makes it human.

And then the text. It feels like a Hollywood trailer... only less clichéd, because you know it’s actually true.

“Forget everything you thought you knew about strength.

Forget everything you thought you knew about humans.

It’s time to do battle.

Meet The Superhumans.”

Meet The Superhumans – just a fantastic tag line to the whole thing. Positioning it almost above the Olympics in terms of human endeavour, simply because of the feats involved.

And finally the music. Being a ‘music, sound & content’ company, we take particular interest in the selection of these kind of things! So hats off to the team at Channel 4 for selecting Public Enemy – Harder Than You Think. Powerful, gritty, triumphant and positioning the coverage as more 'alternative' to that of the BBC’s Olympic recent coverage (superb as it was).

So, enjoy one of the best promos on TV right now...

Friday, 24 August 2012

Bob Lefsetz - The Modern Era

Bob Lefsetz is an American music industry figure, prolific blogger and former lawyer in the music and entertainment business.

One of the mian themes he explores in his blog is the diminishing role of the major record labels in current recorded music, and corresponding increasing influence and importance of grassroots artist activities such as live performances and direct online relationships with fans. He directs much of his writing at artists and those working within the music business.

His posts are often inflammatory, but at the same time have a ring of truth about them, making them quite addictive reading.

I thought I’d share his latest one here with you, as it echoes the sentiment of a discussion I had with a 16 year old American girl recently, who when I asked her how she gets her music, she listed every available source  except the radio. and laughed when I asked if she bought albums...

The Modern Era

Artists are supposed to lead, not follow. How come they're still making albums?

Did you see that Rihanna topped the British charts last week after selling 9,578 copies of her album "Talk That Talk"? This in a country of 60 million! It was the lowest sales number in history!

Let's blame it on the public. Let's blame it on the retailers. Let's blame it on the record companies. When do the artists start blaming themselves?

People only want the hits.

Now this is not true of everybody. Are there still people purchasing the long player and spinning it ad infinitum, learning every lyric? Of course! Just like there are still people buying CDs, purchasing vinyl and composing letters on a typewriter. The album is the sideshow.

And so is vinyl. It's a trend so small, without the mainstream press none of us would even be aware of it. Of course vinyl sounds better, but it's inconvenient! Just like landlines sound better than cell phones. But you don't see people forgoing calls outside the home, hell, they're canceling their landlines, using mobiles in their abode!

While you were busy in the studio, concocting your long player, figuring out the running order, designing the cover, divining the perfect release date, you were functioning in a bubble. That's not how anybody listens anymore.

You want to know how they listen?

They pull up your track on YouTube. Whether in an authorized version on Vevo or a bootlegged take posted straight to YouTube. And they instantly decide whether they like it or not. And if they don't, they forget about you. Just that fast. It's like they're carrying your album straight to the dumper. As if you walked into McDonald's, sniffed and left and they threw all the food out and closed the doors. As for listening to all twelve of your tracks, are you nuts! Don't tell me people have a short attention span, hell, they're marathoning "Breaking Bad" as I write this. They just don't have time for what is not exceptionally great, and if you can tell me ten albums from the last two years that are good from beginning to end, I'm all ears.

Listening has changed. It used to be entertainment options were limited. You bought little and played that which you owned. And it's not only music, newspapers are competing with blogs, TV is competing with YouTube, everything's changing, are you?

You've got to step up your game. You've got to focus on excellence.

Assuming you want to break out of the wannabe ghetto.

Just like in the U.S., where the middle class is evaporating, in art there are winners and losers, rich and poor, which side are you on? It's okay if you want to be a journeyman, eking out a living. Hell, maybe you're making a few bucks, but don't expect to become any bigger than you are. Not unless you make an undeniable track.

And that track no longer has to be Top Forty beat-driven fodder. That's what "Somebody That I Used To Know" taught us. That the world is not controlled by gatekeepers. You can't make it if you really try, but if you try and try, and create something undeniable, you can.

And the public is going to discover it on YouTube! Radio comes last. Hell, radio's been last ever since the advent of MTV. It's a coalition of followers, detached from humanity, losing power every day.


1. If you're a wannabe, feel free woodshedding, put online as much as you want, no one's paying attention anyway. You're just hoping to get lucky. Chances are, you never will. But this woodshedding and the online response allows you to explore and possibly find your niche.

2. If you've already made it, there are two tiers of material, throwaway and highly-hyped. Don't put a full court press behind anything that is not truly stellar. Everything else is a glimpse of your methods. Kind of like a rapper's mix tape.

3. If there is an album, it's an after the fact event. A collection of what's already been exposed. Kind of like the NOW series, except it's all been done by you.

4. Labels are focused on revenues, not careers. They want the album to live because of its high price and the attendant marketing that drives people to buy it. They're sticking to this paradigm the way a five year old continues to suck on a pacifier. It's a no-win situation, but they don't want to let go.

5. It's a singles world.

6. It's a streaming world. Don't focus on Spotify or MOG, you're too stupid to understand where we're going, hell, you're living in the past. Those services are ahead of the game, you're behind. Just look at that Nielsen report that said the number one listening outlet for teens was YouTube. YouTube is streaming. Just like Jessica Seinfeld mixed vegetables in cookies, YouTube has been selling you streaming and you're too ignorant to know it. YouTube is an on demand item. It's pull technology. Feed it. You do this by creating something people want to pull. And that requires either train-wreck novelty or quality. And you can marshal your troops to go there, but this doesn't work more than once if the music isn't good. As for mainstream press... Asking the newspaper to drive people to YouTube is like asking NBC to tell people to cut the cord and watch online video. It's like telling a right wing religious zealot to have an abortion. It's a disconnect. Expecting old media to change is to believe Coleco is going to rise from the ashes and return triumphant.

7. The cycle has shortened. Your public can handle new music every other month.

8. It's about the performance. It's about live. Not because the ticket prices are high and you can make dough there, but because it's the one place where the audience can expect something new, different and alive. If you're playing to hard drive, repeating your record, you're missing an opportunity. What an audience likes most is a special show. A different set list. A special guest. This is the essence of the Grateful Dead's career. Every show was a unique event. And just like in the heyday of the Dead, great shows live on, with recordings. They embellish your career, they don't kill it. They make people want to go to the show and have their own magic moments.

9. All bets are off. Your music doesn't have to sound like anybody else's. It's just like the seventies, when Warner/Reprise ruled. We want unique. As media conglomerates merge, the public is running away. That's what the Web is all about. Feed the people, not the machine.

Thought provoking stuff from Bob, huh?

You can subscribe to his email list here. It’s well worth it.

Friday, 27 July 2012

The Drugs Don't Work

With the Olympics upon us, there's all sorts of fun you can have on your radio station with Olympic themed content. From the classics like "Name That Anthem" and "Office Olympics" through to some more innovative bits of content.

One which stood out for me over the last week was a station that got its main host to take a performance enhancing drug (albeit a legal one) contained in a supplement powder... and then measured his performance before, and after. Really nice idea. Do the drugs work?

So, which cutting edge, out there, alternative format would pull a stunt like this? Surely some radical American or Australian station pushing the boundaries of acceptability on breakfast radio?

Nope. BBC Radio 5 Live. That's who.

And with all the compliance that the BBC have to go through, full marks to them for getting the idea on air.

Here's how it panned out.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Goodbye Chris...

So, Chris Moyles is leaving the BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show, having been it's most successful and longest serving host.

Over time, his contribution to UK radio so far will be put into perspective, but undoubtedly he will go down as one of the greats.

His replacement, Nick Grimshaw has a tough act to follow.

I liked the way Chris delivered his news on air. Scripted - of course... (wouldn't you!) but honest, and heartfelt... the way class broadcasters can be when required.

I for one, hope he'll remain on radio, and not be lured totally by the deceptively bright lights of TV.

British radio would be a poorer place without him.

Friday, 6 July 2012

The Hit Factory Live Bounces onto Radio...

At Bounce we create music, sound and content.

We’ve got some fantastic projects that are currently in production and some really exciting partnerships to tell you about very soon. But I’m pleased to tell you about the latest project right now.

Bounce will producing a 2-hour highlights programme from the forthcoming ‘Hit Factory Live’ concert, exclusively for the UK’s Smooth Radio and Real Radio network.

The Hit Factory Live is a once-in-a-lifetime spectacular taking place in London’s Hyde Park on 11th July 2012. For the first time ever, the classic artists from the PWL Hit Factory will perform together on one bill, including amongst many other Rick Astley, Bananarama, Dead or Alive, Pepsi & Shirlie, Sinitta, Sonia, and a very special duet from a certain Kylie and Jason!

Stock Aitken Waterman scored an unrivalled run of global hits in the 80s and 90s and are now acknowledged as one of the most successful songwriting and producing partnerships of all time. 2012 also marks the 25th anniversary of PWL Records, the legendary label originally set up as home for many Hit Factory artists.

As Pete Waterman gave me my first ever job in radio 25 years ago at Radio City in Liverpool, it seems only fitting that Bounce produces the Hit Factory Live radio programme.

The Hit Factory Live will be broadcast on Real Radio on Sunday 15th July at 7pm, and on Smooth Radio at the end of August.


On Tuesday 10 July 2012 Live Nation and The Royal Parks announced that they had been forced to cancel The Hit Factory Live concert. In a statement, they said...

"Following the severe and unprecedented weather conditions across the country the site was declared unfit this morning to host the concert. The decision was made following full consultation with all of the relevant authorities and the safety advisory group. The safety of our customers, performers and production crew is of utmost importance and the decision was made unanimously. The potential risk to staff and music fans was too great for the event to go ahead."

So - no radio programme I'm afraid for the time being. But watch this space...

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Global buys GMG Radio. Top 10 Do's and Don'ts

So as Global prepare to sink their teeth into GMG as part of their... well 'global' domination strategy, here are a few thoughts about some of the “Do’s and Don’ts” if you currently work for GMG Radio. In fact, fuck it... it’s a Top 10 List!

Some of them are fairly sensible pieces of advice. Others perhaps less so...

10. Do accept that change happens and nothing stays the same forever
9. Do spend some time thinking about how things may realistically pan out for you personally
8. Do have a Plan B. Start to map out other options just in case and always ‘protect for the downside’
7. Do encourage your managers to share as much information as they can with you about what’s going on
6. Do PR yourself internally a bit and ensure others know how essential you are to the company, whatever your role
5. Do some networking. Get back in touch with a few mates in the industry
4. Do continue to focus on your current role. Keeping busy somehow helps make change feel less dramatic
3. Do tidy up your desk. If your workstation looks like a shithole, you’ll be the first to get fired. Guaranteed
2. Do “backup” all the stuff you may find useful in future, just in case you’re forced to make a non-planned, sharp exit
1. Do delete all dodgy porn sites from your browsing history. Especially the Tulisa video

10. Don’t speculate wildly about the future plans. It gets you nowhere
9. Don’t lose sleep. You need to be on the top of your game for the next few months, and just it’s not worth it
8. Don’t think the company performing the takeover are “the enemy”. It’s not very productive
7. Don’t slag your new owners off loudly in the office. Keep any personal thoughts you have, to air at home
6. Don’t be too sentimental about the past. Look forward
5. Don’t try and ‘brown-nose’ prospective new managers. No-one likes a ‘kiss-ass’
4. Don’t practise saying the new station name whilst driving in your car. There’ll be plenty of time for that
3. Don’t have an Ashley Tabor poster as a dartboard in the newsroom. There’ll be plenty of time for that
2. Don’t hide a rotting fish behind a radiator on your last day, if you’re ‘let go’. You’re not in a 1978 ITV sitcom
1. Don’t cry like Foxy did when he left Capital. It sounds ‘well crap’ when you listen back years later

Remember – in life, you can’t change the cards you are dealt... only how you play the hand.

Good luck.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The Next... NEXTRAD.IO

Some  media / radio conferences can be a bit dull.

Especially if you wonder into a session that, according to the description, sounds pretty good... but after 5 minutes you realise the speaker hasn’t prepared or rehearsed very well, has exceptionally bland slides just crammed full of text, and is doing the topic a real injustice. Then you’re potentially stuck there... for an hour.

I’m obviously far too polite to walk out of someone’s session mid-flow... although there was one time, (not in band camp) but in a very small breakout session, with about 20 people in it, where I faked receiving a phone call and ran from the room like an expectant father, never to return. At that point, I felt my life was not long enough to listen to this particular producer's “inspirational music” for any longer than necessary. For all I know, some people are still trapped in that dark room in Copenhagen trying to escape.

Anyway – if you like the sound of those type of sessions, then stay away from ‘NEXTRAD.IO’!

Yes – the conference for those who make radio and care about content is back for another year, making a welcome return. Last year there was a great line-up of interesting speakers, of which I was pleased to be one. In a ‘tip of the hat’ to TED, we all had 9 or 18 minutes to say something relevant and engaging.

I think it was Churchill (or someone similarly great) who said that “it’s easy to make a speech for 2 hours... but for 10 minutes... that takes some preparation!”. So focusing everything down was a really good exercise to do. ‘Less is More’... and all that.

So – the organisers, Matt Deegan and JamesCridland, are looking for suggestions of who should speak this year, which is a nice touch. So if you have any thoughts, let them know. Likewise if you want to sign up to attend, you can do that too.

‘Being inspired’ is an essential part of our work like. We all need to be inspired on a regular basis. The results are always positive, as it fuels your creativity and desire to do better work, which can’t be a bad thing... can it?

So, if you fancy being inspired... you could do worse that go along for the day.

To get a flavour of nextradio, all the videos are now online. Here’s mine...

Sunday, 27 May 2012

What Is Success?

Success is something we all look for.

Whether it’s being personally successful in your job, whatever you do... Or if you work at a radio station, both individual and collective success can be measured in different ways.

A few weeks ago we had the Sony RadioAcademy Awards, the undoubted pinnacle of creative achievement and success in UK radio. While the hangovers were still mellowing, the latest RAJAR figures came out that same week, and provided a different measure of success... an appraisal by the audience.

These 2 measures are very different.

Creative success can be just that – a wonderfully inventive and original piece of radio that may not reach a mass audience, but totally delivers in its creative endeavour. As a Sony judge this year, I heard many examples of creative radio that although very good, would not really trouble the listening figures too much. It’s about art, and that’s something rather tricky to define.

Then there’s success in terms of listening figures. Every radio station wants the most amount of people to hear its output. The listening audience have a rather good knack of knowing what’s good... and what’s not. Getting great numbers for your station is, I believe, perhaps more important than gaining recognition from your peers. Sure – awards are really nice, (especially when you win them) but nothing beats that feeling of having the listeners voting with their ears, and telling you you’re the best.

But there’s a third kind of success in radio. One that’s the sole domain of commercial radio... and that’s business success. Is your radio station a viable and profitable business.

There are many examples of stations that have failed because they just can’t get it all to work. Sure, good listening figures help in this equation... but it’s about having solid foundations to build and grow a business on. Without a viable business, you have nothing... no audience, no awards, in fact, no radio station at all.

So are these 3 measures of success linked?


A creative station that understands it audience from the start is more likely to grow its loyal listener base and continuously add new fans along the way. This leads to increased investment from advertisers in the station... which leads to more revenue and profit, and greater opportunities to market the brand and invest in talent and content... which leads to more creative programming... which leads to more awards and plaudits. In fact, the whole thing is somewhat of a virtuous circle once it gets going.

When I look at these three measures of the success in commercial radio, for me there’s one station above all that delivers on all of them.

And that’s KISS.

The RAJAR numbers are nothing but impressive, and they lead the pack when it comes to young Londoners listening habits. And this, against stiff and improved opposition in the form of Capital.

They picked up Gold in Breakfast Show of the Year (10 Million Plus) and Station Programmer of the Year for Andy Roberts, which is great work again... and they continuously collect gongs at The Grosvenor House Hotel. (Little known fact - Andy Roberts’ house is made from nothing but Gold Sony Awards)

And, perhaps even more importantly, this station makes money. Stacks of it. Every year it delivers many millions of pounds of profit to Bauer.

Is there another station that delivers on creativity, delivers on audience, and delivers in profit in such a significant way? (If there is tell me, and I’ll write nice things about them too!)

So when measuring success in any commercial radio station, I believe it’s vital to look at all these measures. Only then do you get a true reflection of who’s genuinely successful.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Is Life Good?

I love the simplicity of this, and you could always change the word life to "your radio station"...

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


I love sharing creative ideas for no other reason than to inspire others or act as stimulus material, especially when they're not directly linked to the world of radio or audio. However, here's one of those 'moments' which does have a radio link.

Radiolab is a show about curiosity. “Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.”

It originates from WNYC and you can hear it on certain NPR stations across the US, listen to podcast episodes, and see occasional short films they make and curate.

Here's one of those, called 'Moments' where filmmaker Will Hoffman went out in search of moments of life, inspired by a radio show about moments of death. What follows is what he found...

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Radiodays Europe; Interview with Pete Waterman - Audio

If you couldn't make it to Barcelona for Radiodays Europe, the organisors have kindly made some of the content available from selected sessions. Check out this page here for all the audio, video and PowerPoint action!

And if you'd like to hear the audio from the session I did with Pete Waterman (which seems to have been recorded on a wax cylinder for some reason, and edited a bit), here it is...

Friday, 23 March 2012

Radiodays Europe 2012; "How was it for you...?"

It’s exactly a week since I was stepping on to a plane and waving farewell to Barcelona - Radiodays Europe done for another year. So, what did we learn? What were the good bits? How has radio in Europe moved on in the last 12 months?

My sense was of an industry that is slightly more at ease with itself than last year. There seems an acceptance that different countries are at different points on the curve of evolution, and ‘a one size fits all’ approach is no longer relevant or even necessary.

There also seems to be a greater acceptance that a digital future is vital for the medium if it is to remain the cornerstone of peoples’ lives. There were fewer ‘nay-sayers ‘ or luddites around this year. Or perhaps they were just keeping quiet!

As always with any conference, there’s hopefully something for everybody, whether it’s technical innovation, new sales initiatives or creative programming. Personally, I enjoyed listening to Julian Treasure talk about the importance of sound, a topic close to my heart... and I found it fascinating to listen to the ‘in-car entertainment geeks’ map out the future of how radio might be incorporated into the dashboard of the future. No mention of a flux capacitor once though! Quite disappointing.

Sometimes radio conferences can be far too full of ‘PowerPoint’ and data, and graphs, and we lose sight a bit that we’re meant to be in the entertainment business. So I was really pleased to be able to pull together a session that had no graphs and no data... but just some fun pictures, a few music and radio clips... and a great guest.

Those who attended will no doubt tell you that for around 40 minutes, Pete Waterman chatted about something else close to my heart... pop music. And if you want to chat about that topic, I can’t think of anyone else I ‘d rather chat about it with. Some great stories about how some of the biggest pop hits of the 80s and 90s came together, and some straight talking about radio and the music industry... all delivered with a sense of fun and enthusiasm that’s really infectious. I had some great comments from those who attended (thank you!), and if you couldn’t make it along for whatever reason... watch this space... there may be some news on that in due course!

Playing a few old clips of Pete on Radio City in the 1980s reminded me of something that sometimes gets lost in the obsession with research and fixation on data... and that’s passion.

Passion for playing great music... passion for telling listeners a story... passion for life – being passionate on the radio in a genuine and honest way will always win over a ‘painting by numbers’ approach.

You can hear the passionate broadcasters a mile off. They stand out. They offer something unique... and in a constantly homogenising  radioscape, where music is ubiquitous, my feeling is that passion will drive the audiences of the future.

PS - If you want to hear one of the clips that I dug out from my archive and played in the session, here it is...

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Introducing 'Bounce'...

I launched ‘Nik Goodman Media Consulting’ back in 2006 with the aim of working with radio stations around the world helping to inject more creativity into their programming.

In the last 6 years I’ve travelled thousands of miles, been on countless flights, and worked with some fantastic radio professionals.

About a year ago, I was looking at different ways of expanding the business, and started developing the idea of a creative company that placed audio, and not just radio, at the heart of what it stood for. And something that could combine my passions for music and sound, as well as radio.

I called up long-time friend and collaborator Dan McGrath to discuss the idea. Dan has been involved in TV and radio for many years. He was part of Chris Evans' team throughout The Big Breakfast, Don't Forget Your Toothbrush and TFI Friday days, and was the Producer of The Chris Evans Breakfast Show at BBC Radio 1 and Virgin Radio.

Around 10 years ago Dan also set up his own company to supply music and audio production to media. This lead to him writing the themes tunes to a raft of high profile TV shows in the UK including, Strictly Come Dancing, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, the Lloyd Webber BBC 'Star Search' series and recently Take Me Out (ITV1) and Alan Carr, Chatty Man (C4). Our US readers will hear Dan’s work on ‘Dancing With The Stars’.

After many meetings (a few of which were in the pub admittedly) we both decided to launch a new creative company which focused on ‘all things audio’, more specifically... music, sound and content.

So, late last year ‘Bounce’ was officially formed.

At Bounce, our mission is ‘to create brilliant sound’. Having pooled our resources, we’re now collectively in a stronger position to offer a range of services to our clients, all under the Bounce umbrella of ‘music, sound and content’. If you you’d like to see what those services are,  visit the new Bounce website where we go into more detail.

So, we’re now in the first few months of the brand new company, and things couldn’t be going better to be honest with you. We’re already working with big global companies like Nokia providing them a range of audio and content. We’re currently developing new projects for the BBC and also working with app developers on enhancing their products. We’ve signed some exciting creative partnerships (more of that soon) and we’re even finding time to get in the studio working on some remix projects! And of course the work with radio stations around the world to provide them with creative consultancy continues, as ‘Nik Goodman Media Consulting’ becomes part of Bounce.

Radio will be a large part of Bounce moving forward, and my business partner Dan’s experience of working with talent and his creative energy adds considerable weight to that side of the company. But radio is also evolving, and the definition of what ‘radio’ is, is constantly being re-defined. So new models of working with companies who want to be in the ‘audio entertainment’ space have to be created too.

Bounce is part of that evolution: a company that loves music, sound and content... however and wherever it appears.

So, you’ll no doubt be hearing more from Bounce throughout 2012 and beyond, but in the meantime if you’re passing and fancy a chat, we’d be delighted to welcome you to our office at County Hall, slap bang in the centre of London. We do a great cup of tea, and our posh biscuits are proving very popular indeed!

Find out more about Bounce here...

Thursday, 23 February 2012

The Power of Emotion

In my job, I often talk about the 'power of emotion' and how emotional content can really engage an audience.

It could be a listener telling an emotional story that provides contrast to your morning show, or a promo that can convey the emotion felt by someone attending a live gig, or a sporting event.

We're all driven by our emotions to a greater or lesser extend, and if, as a broadcaster, we can tap into a listeners emotions and connect with a certain feeling or empathise in a certain way, then our content will resonate even more with that audience.

And the power of emotion in your message can be really subtle too, just like this...

A powerful ad delivering a powerful message in an understated and emotional way.

That's great creative content.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Something Extra...

Can you offer your listeners something extra? Something that you know they'd want...

There are stacks of ideas out there that would work well... it's just that people sometimes don't really know they want something until it's presented to them.

Great creative ideas for radio are no different.

Bring something to your listeners that they will love... but they'd never tell you in a focus group... because you haven't done it yet.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

"To RAJAR Or Not To RAJAR..."

Normally on this auspicious date, I would write some observations on the latest RAJAR figures... however in a change to the scheduled programme, and in an over-analysed world, here is something completely different and wonderfully creative instead.



And remember... don't let numbers stifle creativity.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Tease Me!

There's nothing like a good tease. Teasing stuff appeals to one of our most basic instincts. We just want to know stuff... and hate not knowing!

Here's the latest 'tease' that's gone viral.

If, like me, you're of a certain age, and the words Ferris and Bueller excite you more than they should, then you'll delight in the following 10 seconds of video...

Now, I'd be slightly more than delighted if there was going to be a sequel to 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'  however, I don't think there will be.

This tease will be revealed during the Superbowl in the US on February 5th, and is likely to be the launch of a new product. Your guess is as good as mine as to what, but it's probably not going to be an ad for a re-released Ferrari 250 GT Spider California, as featured in the aforementioned film!

So, I guess we'll all have to wait and wonder.

But in the meantime... when was the last time you teased something really well on your radio station? And I'm not talking about saying "Tune in on Monday at 8:10am to find out blah blah blah". Be creative with your teasing!

It's a great technique, and when executed well can really result in much more talk-ability about the particular subject than just another announcement.

In the meantime, if anyone reading is keen to start a campaign to get a Ferris sequel made, let me know!

**UPDATE** It's far a Honda...

Monday, 23 January 2012

The Creative Spark

I've often talked about how we should keep our eyes open and look for great creative ideas. They are all around us, and thanks to the web, we are exposed to more than ever before.

There are some fantastic things that we come across everyday that can inspire us, or spark off another idea, or allow us to find a creative solution to a problem.

I saw this today, and thought I'd share it. It certainly sparked off some new ideas in my mind...

2011 from hey_rabbit on Vimeo.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Capital FM - New TV Advert

It's time for another new shiny TV ad from the team at Capital FM. It's kept the same format as the one from last year, but seeing as that was pretty well 'universally liked', I guess there was no need to change it. It it ain't broke... and all that...

And to coincide with the launch of the new Breakfast show in London, here's a version which incorporates some promotion of the show.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Welcome to 2012!

Happy New Year and welcome to 2012. Here's to an exciting year ahead...