Yikes and holy cow. It’s been a while since I updated this blog but I wanted to let you know – I have the perfect alibi. You see, I’ve spent the last few months having a kind of mid-life crisis – only it’s been a very peculiar kind of crisis and probably a very British one at that. It doesn’t involve women, fast cars or huge quantities of fizzy-pop. No, dear reader, I stand here shamefully confessing that I have finally become addicted to… creative writing.
This week I was invited to speak at the annual Next Radio event in London – one of the UK’s biggest broadcast industry events. The conference was held at The Royal Institute which was a great choice of venue (especially as I’ve always been a Faraday fanboy) and a real honour to share our recent work in video.
Wow. What a week. Some very interesting results in the UK Election and now lots to debate as we discuss what’s next for Britain in the weeks ahead. Of course, we’ve been following the election extensively on LBC ever since Theresa May made her call for a vote back in April. Now that it’s over (although, you could argue the fun has only just begun!) I thought I’d highlight some aspects of our digital coverage you may be aware of.
Howdy! 🔥 Apologies for the radio silence but with the upcoming UK Election and preparing for Capital’s Summertime Ball, it’s just been a very busy time.🔥🔥🔥 Here’s some of my top reads from the last few weeks. Enjoy!🔥🔥🔥🔥 PS, I’ve just discovered how to add fire emojis to WordPress! 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
As we all know, linear TV is really challenged at the moment, but these graphs showing how audiences dwindle over time for top US TV shows were pretty jaw-dropping. As Josef Adalian and Jeni Zhen write:
“We’ve been trained to understand that if we fall behind on several episodes of a show, we can always catch up later on streaming. Binge-watching an entire season is, for many, a better experience than watching week-to-week. The enormous sums Netflix and Hulu are paying to stream shows such as This Is Us underlines just how much value remains in network-TV fare. Sure, as measured by Nielsen, Empire is drawing half as many viewers as it did at its peak a couple years back. Some of those early adopters of the series have no doubt given up on the sudser altogether, but odds are many of those viewers are now simply watching in ways not captured by traditional metrics. (Another “encouraging” sign for the health of broadcast TV: Most big cable comedies and dramas are down, too — even the good ones.) None of this makes the double-digit declines shown below any less depressing for executives. Ratings declines result in fewer overall ad dollars, period. While networks are proving adept at opening up new revenue streams, they’d much rather their Nielsen numbers were going up.”
Elsewhere, I really liked the way the social team at Huffington Post are using their editors to front their coverage of news and entertainment on social. Sounds like a win-win to me.
I thought this article looking at why Alt-Right messages and memes during the French election didn’t work was interesting. Also, kinda reassuring that civilisation can’t be entirely derailed by just anyone with a good knowledge of Photoshop and Google Docs. Well, for now.
“There’s a big cultural gap that these groups have to jump over to expand their message,” said Ben Nimmo, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a think tank, who has studied the far right’s recent efforts in France. “The language and iconography of the alt-right is pretty specific. Most of it just isn’t going to translate well.”
I’m sure you’ve seen this video looking at texting and the internet in film. Just brilliant.
As an avid long-distance runner there’s nothing better than escaping the city for the country, negotiating numerous maps, losing your GPS signal and having to deal with the local farm dogs. Thank goodness for the National Trust Open Data site which launched recently – I now know where I’m bloody going!
Lastly, shameless plug, have you seen our fantastic new Capital Xtra responsive website? 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
— Steven Wilson-Beales (@stevewbeales) May 18, 2017
So there you have it, a brief skim through some of the charity content strategy articles I found over the past few weeks. Let me know if you have other resources you’d like to share in the comments below!
I’m pleased to say this year we’ve been invited by those wonderful folk at Newsrewired to talk about audio ‘shareability’. I always love attending this event, it’s a great chance to network and gauge what we’re generally thinking about as Journalists across a whole range of topics.
In the podcast I talk about why opinion is central to LBC and how we format choice moments to give them their best viral potential.
I look forward to seeing everyone in July.
Here’s a selection of some of my favourite articles from the week:
Chris Sutcliffe wrote an interesting piece looking at how the economics driving journalism influences editorial quality:
“From an outsider’s perspective, it looks as though the UK news media didn’t have a problem with ‘fake news’ until they lost their monopoly on it. They benefited from the system that rewards the creation of heavily partisan, shareable articles by feeding the confirmation bias of their audiences. That was the case before the internet started disrupting their business models, too, but now less truthful news who don’t even pay lip service to truth had proved themselves to be just as adept at abusing that digital advertising paradigm.”
Back in the day I used to be the ultimate Depeche Mode fan. I spent most of my teenage years hunting down numerous rare vinyl remixes, paying extortionate amounts of money for obscure bootleg recordings and generally annoying mates by playing tracks that didn’t fit in with our previously established repertoire of Guns and Roses and Ozzy Osbourne. I was basically THAT kid in the corner listening to the same track on repeat and not talking to anyone. And it was great.
Then it all went a bit pear-shaped.
One day, I met one of the band members at a Nitzer Ebb gig and they got a bit peeved when asked for an autograph. No big deal, we all need our space. But shortly after, I had another ‘Never Meet Your Heroes’ moment at one of their album launch listening parties and, let’s just say, it was a complete disaster as one of them was completely wasted. Again, no big deal, but after that I sort of walked away and never listened to them again.
Well, almost. After a brief spat and after listening to their new album ‘Spirit’ I’m glad say we’re BFFs again. Their new political focus suites them with my top tracks being ‘Scum’ and ‘So Much Love’. A timely release.
To celebrate I thought I’d dig up some of my favourite Mode moments. Enjoy the self-indulgence.
Observe the dance moves:
Observe the hair:
Observe one of the best acid basslines in alt-pop history:
Observe one of the best producers of all-time talking about one of the best acid basslines in alt-pop history:
Observe this photo:
Observe this collection of vinyl. Observe their smooth, plastic sleeves. OBSERVE!
Observe the use of light and smoke in this video whilst also observing one of the best synth melodies in synth melody history:
And this. Always this.
and, lastly: this, this, this: