8m Brits Listen To Online Radio Every Week

8m Brits Listen To Online Radio Every WeekThe thought of having adverts pumping in our ears mid-podcast gives us the trouser shakes, but apparently more than half of our fellow Brits (58%) would be quite happy downloading advertising-funded podcasts.

The figures come from Rajar (Radio Joint Audience Research), the official body in charge of measuring radio audiences in the UK, jointly owned by the BBC and the RadioCentre on behalf of the commercial sector.
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Plodcast: Hampshire Fuzz Launch Podcasts

Plodcast: Hampshire Fuzz Launch PodcastsThese are days you can turn around for podcasts, so each person who launches one has to find an angle. One that caught our eye today was from Hampshire police with their Plod-cast.

For our non-UK readers, The Plod, or PC Plod is a slang term referring to the police, with its origins lying with Mr Plod, the policeman in Enid Blyton’s Noddy stories.
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NXP Nexperia PNX5100: HD TV 2 Is Coming: Podcast & Video: IFA

NXP Nexperia PNX5100: HD TV 2 Is Coming: IFA 2007If you thought that HD TV was the best picture you’re ever going to see, think again. The release of 100/120 Hz Full HD TVs gives you a pretty clear idea that the market is moving again.

NXP showed us a chip the Nexperia PNX5100 which really ups the game for HD. Lower down you can listen to the interview with those involved and watch a video of it working.
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NXP: Shaping The Future Of Digital Media: Podcast: IFA

NXP Nexperia PNX5100: HD TV 2 Is Coming: IFA 2007If you want to know where consumer electronics are moving, there’s no better place to find out than via the people that make the chips that will power these devices.

One that came into being last year that really impressed us last year at IFA was NXP, a spin-off from Philips, essentially what used to be their chip R&D division.
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4 Digital Group Gain 10 National DAB Licenses

4 Digital Group Gain National DAB LicenseThe champagne corks have been popping in the 4 digital group offices this morning, as they hear from Ofcom that they have been successful in their bid to gain 10 national DAB radio licences.

The group, lead by UK TV network Channel 4, has the ambition of providing a serious competitor to the dominant national BBC radio services, to provide a “distinctive and different experience of radio.”
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Ergo Phizmiz Creates Digital-Lifestyles Audio Ident

Ergo Phizmiz Creates Digital-Lifestyles Audio IdentDigital-Lifestyles towers is all a-buzz.

Something that we’ve been working on for a while has reached a significant goal.

As some of you beta-testers know, our first-of-its-kind individual news story podcasts have been bubbling away for some while now.

They’ve been well-received and are now gaining some extra polish.

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve had our audio ident delivered by Ergo Phizmiz.

We’re huge fans of his amazing musical adventures and imagine that, such fine folk as would read Digital-Lifestyles, will be too.

His output is prodigious. Looking at his physical releases, you’ll natutally think that he’s been a very busy boy over the last five years, but that’s not the half of it. He’s been putting out electronically at loads of events, both live and pre-recorded.

Ergo Phizmiz Creates Digital-Lifestyles Audio IdentDon’t just take our word for it. It’s not just us who loves him. There’s plenty more around who feel the same. The Wire christened him a “One Man Movement”; BBC Radio 3 called him “One of the most inventive composers around,” after they commissioned him to create “Wholepole-The Discotheque Of Erotic Misery,” the first ever large-scale work by a primarily electronic artist to be commissioned by the station. The BBC topped this off with the huge complimentary, “a musical equivalent to Chris Morris.;” and Rough Trade said, “A berserk electronic and plunderphonic whizzkid.” He was even causing ripples way back in 2004, when he composed new music from Velvet Underground’s back catalogue and was picked by BoingBoing.

Enough of the words. You can listen to some of this Radio 3 piece and their remixes; the archive of his weekly radio show on WFMU or on his performance on SlashMusic with Tom Ravenscroft (John Peel’s son) on Channel 4 radio.

Looking to listen for more? Tune your equipment in to Huw Stephens show on Radio 1 this week.

Tune in soon for the public release of our individual news podcasts, but in the meantime have a listen to this.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Be sure to subscribe to the comments on this post, to receive an email update when the first news podcast is released.

BTPodshow: The How and Why

A few week back, BT confirmed that they have closely tied themselves with US podcast aggregator, PodShow, so closely in fact, that they’ve stuck BT at the front of PodShow domain to form BTPodShow.

We were at the launch of the service a few weeks ago and chatted to Gavin Patterson, group managing director, consumer division and group marketing, BT; Adam Curry, President and Co-founder, PodShow and Ron Bloom, CEO and Co-founder, PodShow. Strangely for the launch of a podcast network, we were the only ones there recording interviews.

Looking for the podcast interviews? They’ll be available in part two tomorrow.

Rather than just rattle off the news, we felt it was worthwhile digging a bit deeper and understand the How and Why of the deal.

What makes this interesting?
Quite a few reasons really. Not the least being that, showing a change of approach, BT aren’t making the service exclusive to only their network – their normal approach to try and encourage people to subscribe to their DSL service. BTPodShow will in fact be open to anyone in the UK.

This alone shows a major shift within BT that shouldn’t be underestimated. It demonstrates an understanding that, although they dominate broadband provision in the UK (with nearly 3m accounts of their own, without all of the BT Wholesale lines sold via other UK broadband providers), they can’t own the whole market.

Having acknowledged this, they’ve clearly decided that they just as well make some income from the people who don’t buy broadband from them.

Where does the income come from?
While the financials of the deals haven’t been disclosed. We understand that there will be a revenue share between the two parties, expected to mostly come from advertising income.

The PodShow side of the business is responsible for finding, maintaining and managing the relationships with the advertiser. At launch they reported that they had 40 global brands lined up to advertise on the network. If these are unique to the UK version, or are extension of relationship they already have with their previous site isn’t clear.

Why this deal. Why now? BTVision
We think a major reason is BT Vision, their soon to be launched ipTV service.

BT have recognised that the current fodder broadcast on TV, will not continue to satisfy the wants and desires of the public in the future. In the words of BT’s consumer division group managing director, Gavin Patterson’s words, “The trend to user-generated content, and social media networks is clear cut. We see ourselves as a distributor of content. What we anticipate is more people wanting get involved with creating content.”

To fill the gap left by the dissatisfaction with ‘normal TV’, they have to open a collection channel for the content to flow to them and then build a collection of User Generated Content (UCG). While they could build PodShow’s technology themselves, it’s clear that BT don’t want to miss out on this, wanting to get into this area quickly, as confirmed by the speed at which they put this deal together.

We wondered if the higher resolution video might not be put out on the Website, but reserved for BTVision, to which Patterson said, “The experience that people have over the Internet will not be sufficient for the TV space. I anticipate it will happen.”

The advantages for PodShow are obvious. If they export this idea to any other country, they’ll be able to hold BT up as their first partner, something that really can’t be beaten.

As BT have a near monopoly on broadband and land line provision in the UK they can expose BTPodShow to the 17m ‘customer relationships’ they have, not just to encourage people to go to BTPodShow to watch the content, where they’ll make income from advertising, but to encourage those same people to produce and upload content.

Moves like this cannot help but strengthen BT as a media brand in the mind of the public – especially the youth. Vital for their service growing in the future.

Continued in the concluding piece, covering the advantages for PodShow and the chances of success of the service.

MobiBLU B153 and VCube Ship With Pre-Installed Podcast Software

MobiBLU Ships With Pre-Installed Podcast SoftwareProof that podcasting is moving further into the mainstream comes with the news that MP3 players from mobiBLU will be shipping with preinstalled software designed to download podcasts with just one click,.

The itsy-bitsy mobiBLU B153 and mobiBLU Cube MP3 players will be supplied with Podcast Ready’s myPodder software which makes it easy to get download podcasts on to the devices.

Using the service, podcast-hungry mobiBLU MP3 owners can slap their players into any Internet-connected computer to access myPodder, where they can then update, subscribe to and manage their podcasts.

Available in English from today (with Japanese, Korean and German versions debuting in June), the Podcast Ready service also provides a podcast directory with one-click podcast subscription.

It’s not just about Apple
MobiBLU Ships With Pre-Installed Podcast SoftwareWith a wagging finger and nodding head, Russell Holliman, founder and CEO at Podcast Ready sighed, “There is a huge perception that podcasts are for Apple users only, and if you’re not using an iPod it’s a difficult process.”

Holliman hopes that their new software will prove that anyone armed with an MP3 player can join the Podcast revolution – and the market is potentially huge.

Research firm In-Stat estimates that MP3 player unit sales will rocket to 286 million by 2010, way up from last year’s 140 million sales.

The Players
MobiBLU’s B153 is a neat little fella with enough juice onboard to let you listen to around 150 hours of battery life based on playback of 128kbps, 44.1 KHz, non-DRM MP3 files – long enough for even the most self-obsessed podcast.

Battery life slips down to a still-impressive 100 hours when using WMA DRM files.

The player includes an FM Tuner, voice recorder with built-in microphone and comes in 512MB, 1GB, 2GB storage capacities.

Suggested retail price for the 2-GB MP3s are $129.99 (£71, €103) and $159.99 (£87, €126), respectively.

MobiBLU Ships With Pre-Installed Podcast SoftwareThe appropriately named mobiBLU Cube is, at 0.94″ square, one of the smallest in the world and comes with a large OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display.

The teensy-weensy square player comes in 256 MB to 1GB configurations, with all models managing to wedge in an FM tuner.

The 1GB model is currently retailing in the UK for around £130, but look out for a mobiBLU Cube2 coming soon!

Mobiblu
Podcast Ready

Podcasts Outnumber Radio Stations Worldwide

Podcasts Outnumber Radio Stations WorldwideFeedburner are claiming that there are now more podcasts than radio stations in the world.

According to Rick Klau, FeedBurner’s VP of Business Development, his RSS feed management company are now managing just under 45,000 podcast feeds, compared to just 6,000 podcast feeds being in May 2005.

This latest figure represents an average month on month growth rate of 15% and now exceeds the total number of radio stations worldwide.

Feedburner managed podcasts represent 30% of Digital Podcast’s database of over 12,000 feeds, which, with a bit of rule-of-thumbery, has led some to suggest that there could be as many as 149,000 podcast feeds out there on the Web

Podcasts and Videocasts
Rich media feeds (podcasts and videocasts) currently represent some 20% of the quarter-million RSS feeds managed by FeedBurner, who say that their managed podcasts are listened to by more than 1.6 million aggregate subscribers.

Subscriber numbers have more than doubled in the past six months, with FeedBurner’s figures indicating that subscriptions to rich media feeds are outpacing general RSS feed subscriptions by about 40%.

Podcasts Outnumber Radio Stations WorldwideA clearly excited Klau switched to hyperbolic: “Back in 2000, the DVD format, just 3 years old at the time, was declared the most successful product launch in consumer electronics history, outselling the VCR five to one.”

“Using these statistics as a benchmark, in less than two years, the number of podcasts available online is tenfold that of DVD titles in nearly half the time,” he frothed.

Podcasts as site promotional tools
Although some podcasters have focussed on promoting their work on iTunes, they could be forgetting a hefty chunk of their potential audience, as figures show that 43% of the subscribers to FeedBurner-managed podcasts use other podcast clients.

Podcast directories are also growing in popularity, and are proving to be an effective means of driving downloaders back to the podcasters’ originating Web sites which can then evolve to become their own, stand-alone, consumption medium.

FeedBurner Expanding Universe: Podcasting Market Update