BBC creates a more immersive and interactive listening experience.
The following work was submitted to the 2019 D&AD Awards Show, as a solution for a brief posted by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). I collaborated with my teammates to research listening trends and emerging technology opportunities.
WHAT IS Next for radio?
Radio has historically been a one-way relationship between hosts and listeners.
How could it become more interactive?
Although it’s been nearly 100 years since radio took off in popularity, the value proposition of the technology has failed to evolve. From the early broadcasting days of the 1920s to the more recent creation of Sirius XM, the relationship between hosts and consumers has more or less stayed the same – they talk, we listen.
Live content creation and consumption is flourishing in other mediums
Streaming is no longer the “cool” or “innovative” way to engage audiences. Rather, it has become an expectation. Every day, major news networks make sure to light up the “LIVE” indicator in the corner of the screen, or call attention to “BREAKING NEWS” headlines. We see this on televisions, as well as online. Platforms such as Twitch and Facebook Live have proven that people want, and expect, live content.
The 16-35 year-old demographic dominates creation and consumption of user generated live content. This group is actively seeking new forms of curated content around which they can build community through authentic, real-time interaction.
Video trends show that when given the opportunity, viewers interact with live content at more than six times the rate of recorded content and stay engaged for up to eight times longer. Audio broadcasters can learn lessons from the trends of live video.
By evolving the audio format into an interactive medium, live radio can flourish in places where video can not go – particularly, on the road.
BBC Vibe is a digital audio broadcasting tool that allows listeners to engage in real-time with their favorite live content
HOW IT WORKS
BBC Vibe uses a combination of voice, text, and machine learning to deliver a more immersive and interactive listening experience. Hosts can now access live listener feedback to respond to comments, deliver more curated content, and even adapt their programming in real time.
The following video is a demonstration of how BBC Vibe is used to create a more interactive listening experience. The sports talk show host receives voice-to-text comments on his dashboard, and addresses some of the listener feedback in real time. The broadcast revolves around Cristiano Ronaldo's consistent dominance in the UEFA Champions League.
BBC Vibe can be utilized by different types of radio stations. Talk shows, live lounge musical performances, and political forums are just a few of the many ways users can interact with live BBC content.
Live interactivity transforms radio, paving the way for more curated content and memorable listening experiences.
Because BBC appeals to such a diverse audience through its extensive station offerings, the technology has the power to create memorable, interactive experiences for niche listening communities, thus building consumer loyalty for the brand.
We also envisioned other ways this technology could come to life. As presented above, BBC Vibe is a branded voice experience available uniquely to BBC listeners.
However, the same technology could be integrated into first-party voice platforms, such as Alexa, Siri or Google Home. Through this integration, these first-party providers could establish an affordable broadcasting tool that could be utilized by national and local hosts alike.
A first-party platform that harnesses this technology could own the next major transformation in live-broadcast audio content.