Monday, October 03, 2016

Radio 1: Still a country for old men

The Guardian has a fairly in-depth interview with Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper this morning, with a couple of interesting headlines.

The first is that Cooper wants Radio 1 to become "the Netflix of music radio":

“I want Radio 1 to be the Netflix of music radio,” he says, trundling out the catchy soundbite to back his latest plan: taking a leaf out of the hugely successful US streaming service’s book by making programmes available on demand.
But... the programmes already are available on demand, aren't they?

Turns out these are different programmes:
He is starting out with 25 hours of on-demand “phone-first” content, such as a weekly “Top 10 most-played tracks of the week” programme, but intends to seriously ramp up the hours next year. “In this job, you’ve got to keep across what young audiences are doing. They want content on whatever device they are using, increasingly the phone, when they want it, and that is the key for us to stay relevant and stay young.”
There's a few problems with this - if people aren't listening to Radio 1, why would they give a raspberry tuppence about listening to a programme which plays the 'most played' tracks? "Hey kids, those programmes you're ignoring? Want to listen to the sort of music they're playing that isn't encouraging you to listen to them?"

More importantly, if you were looking for a Netflix for music radio, you might think that's a space that Spotify are already in.

And Radio 1 as Netflix would only work if Netflix concerned itself solely with, say, romcoms and slasher flicks. If you're looking for something akin to Netflix, you'd need something that covers a range of styles and genres. Something like, ooh, iPlayer Radio.

To be fair, though, Cooper has had some degree of success at extending Radio 1 as a brand beyond radio - a large swathe of its audience never tune in on DAB or FM. On YouTube, Radio 1 is thriving, or at least doing as well as Zoella.

Then there's the Grimshaw question:
Meanwhile, shouldn’t he be more worried about Nick Grimshaw? Earlier this year, the station’s breakfast show audience reached its lowest level in more than 13 years. Grimshaw, who took over the coveted gig from Chris Moyles, is about to become older than the station’s average listener. After four years of trying, is his use-by date looming?

“I’m not operating Logan’s Run,” quips Cooper, referring to the 1976 sci-fi film where people get systematically vaporised when they turn 30. “Grimmy was asked to do a job and it was a difficult job. Chris’s job was to build the biggest audience he could, the most successful breakfast show Radio 1 ever had. The BBC Trust asked me to get Radio 1 younger so I brought in Nick to do that. Grimmy has come in and he is the No 1 youth presenter in the UK. He is knocking it out of the ballpark when it comes to connecting with young audiences on a daily basis.”
Is he the "number one youth presenter in the UK", though? If he is, why has he settled so comfortably into the X Factor Home for The Formerly Influential?

But then, the 46 year-old Cooper isn't going to willingly suggest the route to a younger audience is through a perpetually younger team, is he?

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Liam Gallagher calls for "mischief"

Liam Gallagher - or, since David Cameron's resignation honours, Baron Gallagher of Burnage - has called for more "mischief" from musicians:

Encouraging today's musicians to cause more mischief, Gallagher said: "There is no excuse for young bands to act like grown men. When you're older and have kids, cool it out a bit, but I get up to more mischief in my butcher’s than [they] do on their fucking tours. Maybe it's just where we're from."

He added: "I guess it goes back to the working-class thing. The shit-kickers aren’t breaking through. A lot of music these days is by middle-class kids."
That's right, a man who is so middle class he still visits a butchers is complaining about the lack of authentic working class voices.

He's doing this in a press junket to promote a film that dredges up the long-cold corpse of Oasis. You wonder, as you try to swim through all the attention this movie is getting, why young bands struggle to get their voices heard, don't you?

Sidenote: what fucking "mischief" does he get up to in his butcher's anyway? Asking how much the venison costs and then saying "that's quite dear?"

Producerobit: Kashif Saleem

The R&B producer Kashif Saleem has died.

Kashif was a multi-instrumentalist. He was a singer. He was a producer. And he was responsible for some great moments:

He wrote that. As a writer and producer, he sold over 70 million records in his own right. And then, through sampling, went on to provide the guts of millions more.

It's an unblemished record to be proud of.

Saxophonist Kenny G credits the multifaceted Kashif for launching his career.
Almost an unblemished record to be proud of.

Avril Lavigne is her generation's Paul McCartney

You know there are too many conspiracy theories when people are reduced to claiming that Avril Lavigne died and was replaced by an imposter in 2003:

A Brazilian blog post goes into an extreme amount of detail, looking at differences between 'old' Avril and 'new' Avril including height ("Avril was 1.58m in 2002 and now it's 1.55m - it's impossible!"), voice ("the double is soprano"), and even her nose and freckles.

"They are different physically, although they are almost identical," the conspiracy theorist wrote. "After all, they are lookalikes."

And apparently Avril changing autographs and fashion style is another piece of 'proof' that the Avril today is not the same as the one from more than 13 years ago.
You could just about see why The Beatles might have gone to the trouble of bringing in a ringer for Paul McCartney when he died at the age of 28, although nobody has ever explained why they'd have gone to all that subterfuge and then give the game away by effectively releasing an album sleeve with the words "THAT'S NOT THE REAL PAUL WE HAVE DONE A TRICK" all over it.

But had Avril needed to be replaced in 2003? Wouldn't you just have gone with someone else who could be a bit like Pink?

This week just gone

Most-read September stories:

1. 1Xtra's ticket sales fall apart
2. The Wolfhounds would like their publishing back
3. Pre-Coil Zos Kia music released
4. Bros come back… why?
5. Iron Maiden dump paper tickets

These were the new releases last week:

Warpaint - Heads Up

Download Heads Up

Billie Marten - Writing Of Blues And Yellows

Download Writing Of Blues And Yellows

Billy Bragg & Joe Henry - Shine A Light

Download Shine A Light

Heidi Talbot - Here We Go 1, 2, 3

Download Here We Go 1, 2, 3

Skylar Grey - Natural Causes

Download Natural Causes

Beach Slang - A Loud Bash Of Teenage Feelings

Download A Loud Bash...