The Buggles’ 1979 release was the first music video to be played on MTV but does it also serve as a premonition? Having worked on both audio and visual mediums over the years I have seen convergence happening – and embraced it. Media consumers are bombarded with content that’s instantaneous and accessible at the touch of a button, so it makes sense for both sides of broadcasting to progress in parallel, especially in this digital age.
The fact that ITV’s head of commercial and online, Fru Hazlitt, spoke at this week’s radio festival about the future of digital radio shows that video hasn’t killed off radio. One broadcast medium can learn a lot from the other as well as being used as tools to enrich content on an additional platform.
Sources such as student media can be full of ideas, which can be trialled out in a relatively risk-free environment with no external constrictions to creativity. When I joined the committee as head of marketing at Fuse FM, I had just bought a video camera and was eager to put this to good use. Our studios were situated next to the Academy music venues and it became common to have the likes of Frank Turner, Kid British and Zero 7 popping in for interviews between sound checks. I was interested in promoting the station on as many platforms as possible to raise station awareness within the student community. By filming interviews as well as recording them for broadcast / podcasts we could tap into a whole new listenership that spanned beyond the university campus.
Hits to the videos we posted onto the YouTube channel soared (there’s over 15,000 views on the video I filmed of UFC fighters who we interviewed!) I didn’t want this output just to be a visual record of what went out on-air; my specialism was marketing and I wanted to tap into the thriving nature of social media to make unique content. Together with fellow presenter Max Behr, we devised a visual concept that would be a parody. Max had a well established nostalgia show on the station, playing music from the 1920s to the 1950s, so we decided to flip this on its head with a send-up video called ‘Wannabe White Boy Rapper’ that used humour as a way to make the video go viral. It certainly got people talking around campus and has been his party piece ever since!