Friday, January 27, 2012

"Radio feature is paying its way"

RTE Ireland (documentary on one) produces 50 documentaries a year, aired quite irregularly. So "documentary on one" was in need of other ways of publishing, as Liam O’Brian (head of features) points out. Platform coordinator David Timpson presents RTE's "platform agnostic" new media concept:

• mpeg-4-on-TV broadcasting
• desktop on-demand player
• iOS/Android mobile apps

In 2011 the RTE radio docs accounted for a total of 14% of all the RTE radio podcasts (all channels) - a much larger audience than they would have reached on FM.

Timpson presents the "loswal" (listened on same week as live), a post broadcast aggregate of all new media platforms (radio player online, mobile, doc site streams, podcasts, windows media streams, real audio streams etc.) RTE metrics show that a radio doc aired at 18:00 on Dec 3 2011 reached 29k listeners. The aggregated multimedia platforms reached another 29k; this parity of loswal and FM was a huge surprise.

RTE also started publishing documentaries from their archives, one every day (O'Brian mentions an astonishing fact: A piece published before 10am will be downloaded twice as much compared to publishing at 4pm). "The radio feature is paying its way, both on traditional and on newer platforms", the RTE makers conclude.

Since radio documentaries do not only need an audience but also money, O'Brian and Timpson think about adding radio advertising to their features - not very appealing, Timpson admits, but probably RTE's next step.

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