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Radio 4 Podcasting Assignment

Assignment Brief
Client: BBC

Product: Radio 4 downloadable programming

Target Audience: 22-25 year olds


Background: The BBC provides extensive internet services within which users can ‘listen again’, review
programmes, engage in listeners’ communities, provide feedback on programming or use a
wide range of educational recourses.The current Radio 4 listenership is one that had acquired
the ‘radio habit’ earlier in life and is now biased towards an older age group. Yet, there is a wide
variety of programming available that will appear to younger audiences. Younger audiences
are also adapting their media use to new technologies and in particular the use of downloaded
music. Currently BBC Radio 4 makes a selection of programmes available for podcasting. This
brief envisages a time when all Radio 4 audio content will be free and downloadable in this

Objective: To stimulate interest and encourage use of Radio 4 podcasting services.

Features: See - Radio 4

Proposition: “Open a window on the wider world of Radio 4”

Media: 2 colour full-page ads. 2 Posters ads and 1 flyer for distribution in universities and colleges

Deadline: February 2006

Radio 4 Podcasting Assignment

PROPOSITION Radio 4 Proposition

“Open a window on the wider world of

Radio 4”
Radio 4 Podcasting Assignment

Product and Service

Podcasts are automated downloads using a combination of RSS entertaining and in-depth”. (BBC Radio Analogue)
and FTP. They are available through websites such as BBC Radio 4
and allow users the freedom to broadcast their chosen content, According to Simon Nelson, controller of BBC Radio and music
for example news, to listen to on the move. Perhaps one reason interactive “It (podcasting) demonstrates the publics appetites for
they are so popular is because podcasts are very simple to use new ways of listening”. It has been suggested by many sources that
because of the limited material required: a PC, Microphone and podcasting is the ‘rebirth of radio’ ( and is fast
Internet connection. ( becoming a replacement for radio.

Only a couple of years after the launch of podcasts, audio on

demand requests are already outstripping live stream requests.
According to Feed Burner, podcasting grew significantly between
November 2004 to February 2005. ( The
service is very quickly becoming an integral and important part of
the media mix alongside print and broadcast, serving as a type of
‘citizens media’.

Perhaps one of the reasons podcasting experienced a huge boost

in their ratings is due to Apple integrating the service into itunes
allowing consumers to download a wide selection of audio
programs such as BBC Radio 4 onto their ipods. (www.corante.

BBC Radio 4 is a popular podcast service, particularly downloaded

for a wide range of programmes from comedy to news. Radio 4’s
main purpose is to “use the power of the spoken word to offer a
wide range of programmes that are surprising, searching,
Radio 4 Podcasting Assignment

BBC Radio 4’s specified target audience is anyone with an interest achieved approximately 400,000 requests a week, outstripping live
in its content of news and current affairs, entertainment and its streams.The weekly reach for the specified target audience of
wide range of programmes with ‘surprising, searching and in- 18-25 year olds (as specified in the brief) is approximately 4.5%
depth’ content, regardless of age, sex or social class. (BBC Radio who listen for approximately 2 hours a week, according to RAJAR.
Analogue) Although this is rather low, BBC Radio 4’s share is held firm among
under 25 year olds.
Radio 4 remains the most highly appreciated BBC service and is in
fact London’s favourite radio station in terms of reach and share,
reaching a fifth of all men and women. Significantly, new media
unique users in both the UK and overseas, have doubled since
2002, with this rise driven by comedy such as ‘Little Britain’ and
the ‘Today Programme’. ( server logs)

The majority of Radio 4’s regular listeners are from ABC 1

social groups. Top three areas of England with the majority of
listeners are, the Southern Counties (31.3%), Oxford (30.4%) and
Gloucestershire (29.9%). Under performing areas with the fewest
number of listeners are Newcastle (12.2%), Scotland (11.9%)
and Ulster (7.7%). There are also a reported number of under
performers amongst ethnic minorities.

Although Radio 4 offer a wide range of genres, most people

tend to listen to Radio 4 for news (approximately 8.19 million
according to a survey by RAJAR) which suggests that the majority
of the audio podcast downloads from the Radio 4 website are
news based. In March 2004 audio on demand, including all genres,
Radio 4 Podcasting Assignment

The Radio 4 podcasting service faces competition from several Telelvision has always been popular and with new technology
sources. allowing the viewer to record/pause/play/stop live telelvision, then
it is becoming more and more popular. However, this technology
Other news media such as ABC News, NBC News have all made has not yet been readily available to people on the move, and so
their own programs available to download. However, the primarily the target audience for the Radio 4 Podcasting service should not
American focus of these news services is aimed at a slightly be majorly affected.
different target audience to Radio 4. There is a cross-over with
the coverage of international news. Thousands of Podcasts are made by people in their own homes
and released onto the internet each day ( The
The threat from British News services will mainly come from quality of this type of podcast service can vary widly, and the
Other BBC stations. content can often be unreliable and objective.

Popular entertainment companies such as Disney, and companies Other portable media devices such as mobile phones, PSP gaming
of huge public interest such as NASA and Apple have recently systems etc. Provide an alternative for the traveller to keep them
made Podcasts available on their respective websites. occupied. Games, Audio, Visual and Text downloadable devices
are all becoming very popular. However, there is no reason that
There is obvious competition from traditional news media, such Radio 4 cannot use this technology to their advantage and try
as Newspapers and Magazines. Although we believe that these to capture this market as these devices will also be capable of
are becoming slightly archaic, media group owners have started relaying podcasts.
to make newspaper content available as podcasts.

Traditional Radio poses a distinct threat to the success of

Podcasting. It is essential that the benefits of being able to listen
back at past material are made aware to the general public.
Radio 4 Podcasting Assignment

Summary of Research
The main attraction of podcasts is automated downloads and addition, podcasts can be chaptered allowing the audio newspaper
content on the move. While there are low entry barriers for to have equivalent sections to its traditional counterpart.
everyone, consumers would appear to have a preference for
commercial quality content. News is an inexhaustible resource. As podcasts are seen as a
scheduled event rather than one offs this would allow the BBC
Apple integrating podcasts into itunes was probably the crucial to have constantly changing content rather than merely providing
factor in determining the success of podcasts. Through itunes and episodes for download. it can be envisaged that consumers could
other software Radio 4 already enjoys successes with The Today potentially subscribe to just the sections of news they require.
program and other content.This is combined with a healthy Audio Perhaps just headlines and sport. Or indepth if they so desire.
on demand service available from the BBC website.
The target demographic will remain ABC1.This is primarily due to
The current audience for Radio 4 is the biggest challenge to the nature of the content.The age will drop to between 22 and 25.
come fro the set brief. The weekly reach for our specified target And the profile will be young professionals who commute daily.
audience is only 4.5%, while the average listener age is in the early
fifties. The Radio 4 demographic is also predominately ABC1 and
living in the south of the country.

It is difficult to analyse from where the strongest competition

will come, due to podcasting being in the the early stages of
its evolution. the main areas will likely be big media and mobile

Inline with our proposition we are suggesting to do the following.

Pitch podcasting as an alternative to a daily newspaper. The brief
envisages a time when all content would be available, so this is a
feasible proposition. with ever increasing bandwidth, delivery of
multiple editions (morning, daytime, evening) would be possible. In
Radio 4 Podcasting Assignment

TARGET PROFILE Meet Tim and Jane

Name: Jane

Age: 24

Occupation: Publishing

Education level: Masters

Other interests: Wine, Internet, reading

Name: Tim

Age: 23

Occupation: Investment

Education level: Degree

Other interests: Gym member, Rugby

Radio 4 Podcasting Assignment

Advertising Locations and Format

Poster Sites Magazine Spreads

Size: 48 sheets Size: A3

20’ by 10’ 297mm by 420mm

Vendor: Maiden Outdoor Vendor: T3, GQ, Cosmopolitan

Service: Maiden Adrail Service: Double Page Spread

Product: Reach 1&2 Product: 1 Insertion

160 @ £900 @ £3200 approx

Sites within 90 minute commute

of London

100 @ £1000

Sites geared towards MOSAIC

group 8 stylish metropolitan
young professionals

source: Maiden Outdoor source: Future Publishing

Flyer Front
Flyer Back

Enjoy your world...

Hear our world...
Radio 4 Podcasting Assignment

RATIONALE Justifying our executions

The concept behind our campaign is - Too many people take a white, as opposed to listening to the news and looking at the
great interest in the world, but too little time to appreciate their beautiful colourful world around you. There are different adverts
immediate environment.The newspaper is all very well as a means for each gender, so they can be specifically placed in magazines
of communicating news, but it is big, bulky, and even the ‘Compact’ and supplements that are aimed towards genders and our specific
issues obstruct the readers view and often are an inconvenience. target audience.

The decision to remove the Radio 4 logo from the final designs The flyer idea uses the same concept of listening to Radio 4, and
was not taken lightly. However, as a group, we came to the decision viewing your world at the same time. But, as it is aimed towards
that the logo has a ‘stigma’ attached to it, and the readers pre- students, we thought to really get their attention some kind of
conceived negative perception would act as a barrier, and affect interactivity would be appropriate, but nothing too challenging,
their judgement. In order to relay the fact that it was a BBC service they do enough hard work at university! So the concept of the
on offer, the main BBC logo has been incorporated into the design, ‘painting by numbers’ picture on the back of the flyer, gives them
and the black and white gives a more clinical finish than would be something to be occupied with and amuse them, but not really
available with the pink/blue gradient on the Radio 4 logo. challenge them to a great extent. Just something to doodle on in
the bar or on the bus/ tube home etc.
A website address was also incorporated to direct the viewer to
the Podcasting homepage. Hopefully after the initial impact of the
adverts working to affect to usher the listener to the website,
they will be pleasantly surprised to see that it is a Radio 4 service
on offer, and be more willing to give it a try.

There is continuity in all of the adverts, they all contain three

people, with one person in headphones able to see what the
others are missing out on. The two people reading newspapers
are always grey. This is to illustrate that newspapers are black and
white, and to read them everything to you is also black and