Wednesday, December 28, 2011

ABC Local Radio in the Battle of the Formats

I'm an ABC radio tragic. I love the talkback. Not just Adelaide either, as I travel I've liked Adam Spencer in Sydney, Red Symons in Melbourne. Thanks to the "Tune-In Radio" app I can listen to those guys any time I like.

Tune-In Radio is handy, it picks up the digital signal of any station and plays it through the iPhone / iPad. I carry around a personal AM radio but sometimes I forget, or lose it, and can use the iPhone. My only real gripe has been the way regular programming disappears when sport comes on. I know that's always been ABC, but the change of pace always leaves me yearning for good talkback. Although just quietly the cricket has been brilliant these last few days:

But with digital - or at least Tune-In Radio there's a change. I think it's about licensing, I think it was Philip Ruddock (maybe) five years ago talking about "anti siphoning and datacasting". I didn't really get it at the time but I think the upshot is that they can't simply replicate their sports coverage on the iPhone. Laws. So the program on the AM receiver is different to the equivalent digital signal. For the last few years they've just played dig radio which was ok, but it wasn't the brilliant ABC that I love. But now they're running an alternative lineup. It's tech savvy, so they're twitter literate, they do time calls that reflect the national audience, and talk to a national audience. Like Trevor and Pav on overnights:

There's Melanie Tait on around lunchtime, a drive presenter I'm sorry I can't remember and Libbi Gorr on evenings.

It's great radio. Intelligent stories and great presenters. I was on the quiz last night and couldn't remember that Beckham played for Real Madrid. Libby is currently talking with a Monash professor about the post 911 wash up. So ABC have done it again. I don't know how much it costs to run this alternative lineup but it's fully in line with the ABC's innovation record. With iView adapted for iPad and Tune-In Radio (plus an analog receiver for the cricket) I have all the ABC I need. - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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