It’s the 21st Century. Listening habits have changed and the means of listening has diversified. While radio still stands in the lead for market penetration, there are those who champion the user-controlled listening made popular by websites such as Pandora and Last.fm. And therein lies the beauty of radio, in this case Absolute Radio in the United Kingdom.
Combining the Last.fm approach and some Internet-based crowd sourcing, Absolute’s new DAB station, dabbl, will bring an audience-controlled playlist to the air waves. (Notice the hip, web 2.0 style station name?)
Emma Barnett, Digital Media Correspondent for The UK Telegraph, provides a statement from Chris Lawson, Absolute’s brand director:
Mr. Lawson believes dabbl will be successful as it is tapping into the autonomy many music fans enjoy in the digital age and it still has the edge over newer services. “What services such as Last.fm do very well is offer a personalised experience and there is only so far a broadcaster can do that. However, dabbl is offering listeners the chance to have some of that control they crave while having something newer digital services don’t have – a national DAB broadcasting platform.
The interesting thing to me is that this is a new approach for radio in doing what it does best, building community. There is an amazing amount of room on the air for experimentation of this nature, and I think that taking a cue from Internet culture is a wise one. I do not think it will become the status quo — I could be wrong — but it is yet another example of ways in which radio is evolving in the wired age.
Great work, guys. We’ll be watching to see how things progress!