Did video kill the radio star? And will “social listening” revive it? BBC Labs have launched “Radio Pop“, an experimental social listening platform. It’s experimental and it may disappear, but the listening-tracking technology may also make its way into the iPlayer some day. At first glance its a bit like a BBC radio specific scrobbler/last.fm combination – it graphs past listens and allows you to push-button “pop” stuff you listen to, with which it then creates a reminder list.
There’s no sign of a recommendation engine – in that respect it’s clearly not trying to ape last.fm mechanics. I’d hesitate to imply that was the aim at all – it would be tough to introduce some sort of social listening site without making some of the features smell a bit last.fm-ish though!
At current – given that it only tracks live stream listening and listening needs to be done through the radiopop widget – it’s a bit of a useability step back and away from the glorious iPlayer. But the potential in future tracking, tagging and marking listens to non-live archives is clear. Socialising the iPlayer is a mere step away and represents a pretty exciting future for BBC interactive services.
Full disclosure: I work for one of the two digital agencies employed by the BBC, but have had no part in the development of the radiopop technology or strategy. My only contact with the iPlayer is production of periodic newsletters. The content of this blog does not have any connection with my employer.