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BBC and the Art of Podcasting

Podcasts can be the most wonderful tool for a radio to spread its content. But how do you get people to be interested ?

Well, Her Majesty The BBC had an idea : what if you could zap between podcasts ?

They started from a very simple fact : to choose the next radio you’re gonna be listening to, you zap. And when you zap, you « fall » in the middle of programs, in the middle of songs, etc. And falling in the middle gives you an immediate sense of « yes, that one is for me, I want more » of « no, thanks, let’s keep on searching. »

Until now, choosing podcasts was a very unnatural thing to do : to sample a show, you would have to choose it from a list, download it, play it from the beginning, etc. Not only that it was kind of reserved to the tech-savvy, but also it was not na-tu-ral ! The natural behavior of a radio consumer is to zap between programs.

So, this is what BBC invented ! A « tuner » that allows you to sample podcasts, straight at a random point, just like when you used to tune your old radio ! And if you like what you hear, press SPACEBAR : that « rewinds » the show and plays it from the beginning !

It happens here :
To play with it, you need Google Chrome or Safari.

In case you were wondering, that’s just another evidence that amazing ideas can come from Public Radio !

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