September 27, 2015 by johnnyseifertradio
A week ago I discussed the return of Chris Moyles to the airway as he launched Global Radio’s latest station Radio X to the brands portfolio. A week on, what have we learnt from the home of this brand new radio studio?
Lesson 1 -Break Traditional Conventions
If you have ever attended a conference or a lecture about radio presentation it is more then likely that you would have come across a lesson with a theme of you not being the next Chris Moyles. There is one Chris Moyles. One Chris Moyles is all that was needed to save digital radio and I would argue commercial radio as well. Chris Moyles has reinvented the commercial hour clocks for Radio X by making it relatable to the audience. For example, in one hour between 08:00-09:00 he had a total of 5:32 mins of adverts split up in to 90 second ad spots. This meant that the breaks were half the length of an average song making it bearable for the listener knowing that Chris would be back shortly and therefore it was pointless to ‘turn the dial’.
Secondly, behind annoyances on the radio is the news every half an hour. News-Travel-Weather BLAHHHHH! When listening to the radio for long periods of time it can get repetitive to hear the same news stories that you were told only half an hour ago. Bear in mind in that half an hour you have had two advert breaks along with three songs and only six minutes maximum of talk, the news will be all too familiar. However, cleverly and credit to Chris Baughen, head of Radio X; The Chris Moyles Show on Radio X has been allowed one news bulletin on the hour for the duration on the show. To take this a step further Chris has further idents to play out with the news bulletin for newsreader Dominic Byrne such as ‘sing a song’, ‘Do an impression of Richard Park’.
I know Richard Park as a judge on Fame Academy- remember Lemar in 2002? I remember spotting Richard at the Student Radio Awards 2014 and was petrified of going up to him (to ask for a selfie). However, for non-radio people, how many of them would know Richard or Ashley Tabor? Radio blogger Robin Blaimes had this to say:
“Chris Moyles has made a lot of great radio, but the first week back on air has hinted towards complacency, and refusing to acknowledge that there is a world outside
that big building in Leicester Square.”
Whilst this is true, Moyles fans have always accepted he is a radio geek and want to be opened to his world. Similarly, when watching Grey’s Anatomy, one would expect to hear medical phrases and procedures that one would have no idea what they actually mean. I am not saying every radio presenter should break the hour clock and the radio formats at no PD would actually allow it, but it is refreshing to hear something raw.
Lesson 2- Social Media Does Not Have To Be So Thought Out
BBC Radio 1 have been pushing and pushing social media content. For example, we have the pathetic ‘Radio 1 School Run’ with the premise of a singer picking up three radio listeners from school where they can ask questions such as “Do you feel like you are famous”. This has cost the BBC money. I would never mock the live lounge as it is amazing and I love the cover version that are produced in house but to have so much out-sourced video content is a bit extreme. This is in comparison to the amount of videos that have been shared of Chris Moyles on a daily basis based on his studio links. As it was the first week I will allow Radio X to go mad but we were getting more then one video an hour on social media every day. However, it is sharable content and it is most importantly funny! Too much of the time, radio stations are now just videoing everything in the hope it goes viral. I would argue, the footage shared has been done so as listeners actually want to watch it!
Lesson 3: Less Is More on Features
On Heart, there are four features per an hour on the clock.
At Radio1, there are three in the hour and at Radio X there are …NONE! Now, this was the first week and the themes of the day were:
Monday- Set up the brand new station
Tuesday-Global Radio as a company
Wednesday- Radio X + Global Radio
Thursday- Understanding the audience
Friday- The Platinum Hour
We have also been treated to some great interviews this week with legendary rock artists and Patrick Kielty through out this week. I think having interviews will wear the novelty off of having another voice. However, this maybe put in place to replace the hard work Dave Vitty once did for the show. Dave was the creator and writer of a lot of the features that we all love. It has been noticable that there is a lack of features. That being said, Tthere was a poll about what should come back Andi Peters, Rob Dj or Roy Walker.Of course Rob DJ won but why can we not have all of them back? One feature that did return was the Golden Hour in a new form. Known as the Platinum hour airing between 09:00-10:00 on a Friday the hour is dedicated to the best songs found on the old XFM music library. However, the songs played were not sing alongs and did not feel special as they could have been playlisted through the week.
Lesson 4- I Choose The Music
Of course Chris does not choose the playlisted music but it feels like he does. We have had such a varied playlist with songs from the 70’s through to current that it has actually been enjoyable to listen to songs by The Wannadies, Pulp, Muse and Oasis. The one factor that could have prevented listening to the show was the music with a typical listener thinking:
“Hey, my name is Butch and I F****ing love hard rock! This S****y new station is still mine and YOU are only listening to the presenter and not because you appreciate the music!”
Up yours Butch, the music has been soft rock that is not too loud and in your face. It has also opened up listeners music repertoires as these songs could just about fit into mainstream categories as well as a C list song for Radio 1, where most listeners originated from.
Lesson 5- Make A Podcast highlight Package
The listening figures have been amazing this week judged by the amount of crash’s of the Radio X website and app along with Tune in and RadioPlayer failing. One would presume most people have listened to the shows this week and would not need to listen back- wrong! A day ago the first podcast was uploaded from Leicester Square, London and in twenty four hours has ended up being the biggest podcast on the Itunes Chart worldwide! The lesson here, is keep it simple and listeners will keep coming back!
All in all, it has been a brilliant week of listening and I can not wait to see the RAJAR’s in December and how the show keeps innovating itself and keeping other radio presenters on their toes.