Are you human?

New year- new blog post. Happy New Year!

I pondered for a while between consuming mince pies about what to post about in this specific post. Numerous ideas came through my brain and foolishly I didn’t write any of them down at the time! I did some catching up on podcasts I’d missed recently and an interesting one about ChatGPT. After a few moments play and pause I wondered what would happen if I asked ChatGPT to write a blog post about radio in 2023- it wrote something fairly bland and generic and global in its scope. I asked to make it specific about radio in the UK in 2023 and this is what it gave me…

The Future of Radio in the UK in 2023 by Chat GPT

Radio in the United Kingdom has a rich history dating back to the 1920s and continues to be a vital part of the country’s media landscape. Even in the digital age, where streaming services and on-demand listening are becoming increasingly popular, radio remains a relevant and well-loved medium. In fact, recent studies show that over 90% of adults in the UK tune in to the radio each week.

In the UK, radio has a diverse landscape with a mix of public service and commercial broadcasters. The BBC, the public service broadcaster, operates multiple national and local radio stations that cater to a wide range of listeners. The most popular being BBC Radio 2, which is known for its mix of music, entertainment and news.

On the other hand, commercial radio has seen a steady growth in the last decade, with several players like Global Radio, Bauer Media and Heart radio dominating the market. The competition between the commercial and public service stations continues to drive innovation and new trends.

One trend that is set to continue in 2023 is the growth of podcasts. Podcasting has become an increasingly popular way to listen to a variety of content, and many UK radio stations have begun to create their own podcasts or incorporate podcast-like segments into their programming. This has allowed them to reach new audiences and offer more personalized, in-depth content.

Another trend that is on the rise in the UK is smart speaker integration. As more and more households own smart speakers, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, it has become easier for listeners to access radio through these devices. This opens up new opportunities for stations to connect with listeners and offer new ways to interact with their programming.

But even with these new technologies, radio in the UK still holds onto the things that have made it so popular for so long: the human connection. Whether it’s hearing the voices of local DJs and personalities or listening to live coverage of breaking news, radio is still a medium that brings people together in a way that other technologies can’t quite replicate.

In conclusion, radio in the UK is far from being outdated in 2023. With its diverse landscape, a mix of public service and commercial broadcasters, and its ability to adapt and evolve, radio continues to offer a unique and personal experience for listeners. As technology continues to advance, expect to see more radio stations in the UK leveraging new technologies and shifting to more personalized and interactive formats to stay relevant in the digital age.

Again, its pretty basic and generic with some basic errors (like Global and Heart being two entities rather than Heart being a brand within Global). It shouldn’t come as any surprise that a bot couldn’t write a blog post about the position of UK radio in 2023, but there is a bit of something I took away, which pinged my senses a bit.

…radio in the UK still holds onto the things that have made it so popular for so long: the human connection. Whether it’s hearing the voices of local DJs and personalities…

How many moments are taken to consider and think about “the human connection” I wonder? I recognise the irony of a bot pointing this out by the way! Sometimes radio output can be close to a stream- with little “human connection”. A programming tool used to battle streaming competition (Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music etc) has been to maintain long music sweeps around the hours and there has been a lot of evidence of success maintaining radio’s position and relevance from doing that. Lets not throw all that out, but at some point does the “human connection” disappear behind a wall of music which emulates the provision of the streaming services you are trying to beat? The balance between enough human and too much human is where the sweet spot lies. Then there is a issue of just what the human connection is when you get there.

Just in case, I asked ChatGPT to expand on Human Connection- I got this:

The phrase “human connection” in the context of radio refers to the way that radio creates a sense of personal connection between the listeners and the presenters, DJs, and other on-air personalities.

This connection is formed through the voices and personalities of the presenters and DJs, who often have their own unique style and way of engaging with their audience. This can create a sense of familiarity and comfort for listeners, making them feel like they are talking with a friend rather than just listening to a voice on the radio.

Additionally, live shows and live coverage events on radio such as weather, traffic, live sport and news, creates a sense of immediacy, and can make listeners feel like they are part of the event or happening. It also creates a sense of community, listeners tune in at the same time and share the experience, this can make them feel like they are connected with others who are listening at the same time.

Moreover, radio can be a more personalized experience, with a human touch, hosts can interact with listeners through phone-ins and social media, making it more than just a one-way communication. This human connection gives radio a unique and personal touch which is harder to replicate with other media forms.

Again its very generic and fairly top line in terms of insight. That said, (and again the irony of this not coming from a human) the focus on the advantages of human connections, shared experiences and radio’s “unique and personal touch which is harder to replicate with other media forms” might be a good think not to lose!

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Published by Dick Stone

Radio...its always been radio.

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