We can watch Radio now?

Visuals in radio is not a new concept, Popular stations have been creating visualisation for some time now. That may be with pictures shared on twitter or Instagram, but I think radio’s biggest convergence is with YouTube.

BBC Academy held a master class talking about which Radio stations are using visual techniques to the best affect and why has it become popular. They discuss an early example of audio visualisation from the 1930s and debate if it’s desirable or possible for all audio content to have a visual element. They had guests such as BBC One and Radio one Xtra head of short form content Joe Harland, Charlie Sloth the DJ and photofilm creator Peter Rudge from digital agency Duckrabbit. Sloth says “Visualised radio is the future. For me, it’s the saviour of radio.” which I agree with in some aspects, Visualised radio is the future…but I don’t think it is the saviour…I don’t love Radio because I can go onto youtube and watch what they are doing in the studio, yes it is a good thing we have it there but Radio would still be Radio without Visuals.

The coming together of Radio and Visuals for me is a form of convergence that is most detrimental to myself and the career I want to explore. It means I can use more skills to create content and also don’t have to worry about my work being blind as now we have the freedom to cross over into visuals. It’s implications to the user could be that Radio turns from a multitasking media (they can listen and do the washing up) to something they need to concentrate more on, more content to ingest. Although they may feel more involved or invested in content as they can see more of it.

Here is a great example of Radio Visuals, BBC Radio one’s game ‘Innuendo Bingo’, A game that is broadcast on the radio but if you were just to listen to it would be just a lot of spluttering noises. The two young guys playing the game are famous YouTuber’s Casper Lee and Marcus Butler, having them on the Radio one show and YouTube channel will bring in thousands of more listeners and being watching.






1 Comment

  1. This is really interesting. I hadn’t thought about the convergence of these two platforms before but it’s true that it is becoming a bigger and bigger phenomenon. Something that is key about radio converging with the visual element, is the new audience it is attracting. The general thought is that young people are listening to the radio less but now that YouTube is a part of it, the younger generation are more interested, and your example of Innuendo Bingo is a perfect representation of that. In a day and age where everything is online, radio have a found a way to interact with their target demographic better and entice to listen in to the radio even in it’s natural format.

    Jaye Dundas


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