Monday, February 19, 2007

"It’s 4 Minutes To The Top Of The Hour"

Cheesy radio DJ’s. Don’t you love ‘em? One new commercial radio station in Oxford doesn’t and is promising to be DJ free when it launches.

Jack FM is based on a US format where radio stations simply put their digital music library out onto the airwaves in ‘random’ but without the use of any DJs. (It’s no big deal, a lot of UK stations have been using automated output overnight for years.) Jack FM feel that people are turning off commercial radio because they’re sick of DJ’s dumb links and prefer the randomness of an MP3 player instead.

They couldn’t be more wrong. Content is the key. If I wanted to listen to random music output I can simply put my iPod on – better yet I know my iPod has no jingles spoiling the intros and no advertising every 20 minutes.

I tune into radio to be informed and entertained and for that I need a good personality hosting the show.

The reason I don’t listen to commercial radio is because of its very nature… the commercial side of it. I’ve written before how I feel that the big national station owners like Gcap & Emap have killed true local radio. It all just seems too sanitized, bland and safe. From my local commercial station I expect local personalities, local news, views and even local music. They just don’t offer enough it. This is why people don’t tune in.

I tune into Radio to hear the DJs. Chris Moyles, Scott Mills, Ian Collins, James Whale, Steve Wright, Jeremy Vine, Mark Radcliffe, Mark Riley. All fantastic entertainers in their own way and often when listening to them I actually get annoyed that they have to play music as most of their links are brilliant.

Jack FM say their target audience are the people that love to listen to their iPod on shuffle. Dumbest strategy ever… those people are just going to carry on doing exactly that. After all you are in total control over the music on your Mp3. You know you’re going to like it all. What’s the point in listening to a station where every now and then a song comes up you can’t stand when you’ve got 5000 tracks you love at your fingertips.

You want to get listeners. Search out and use the talent that is out there. Be different, edgy, pioneering. Above all - entertain.

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