All this week, national digital station 1Xtra is ‘on the road’ with their 1Xtra Live Tour. With a relatively niche audience of just over 900,000 listeners (commercial counterparts include Choice UK has 765,000 and Kiss UK has over 4 million) – taking the brand out on the road is a perfect way to help build audiences. The event, which has previously been held in single cities, has launched 2011 with a tour format – holding music events over four nights in Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and London. Acts on the night include 1Xtra artists including Wretch 32, Nero, Chase and Status and Kelly Rowland.
1Xtra targets a younger audience than Radio 1 – focusing of 15-30 year olds with an interest in Urban Music. What I think is most impressive with the delivery of the tour is the reach of the content across multiple touchpoints for the target audience while its happening – making sure as many of the audience can be involved and giving new listeners the opportunity to sample the sound and ‘feel’ of the station.
Pre – Promo
A series of pre-promotional trailers played out on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra as well as TV trailers BBC One and BBC Three. The video content was also shared via the social web on Facebook and Twitter.
Mistajam hosting 1Xtra Live on 1Xtra, BBC Radio 1 and BBC Red Button
On Air and On TV
I took a deeper look into Bristol’s gig on Wednesday night featuring Chase and Status and Ms Dynamite. The live sets are being simulcast on both networks – 1Xtra and BBC Radio 1. These includes stage performances, on stage announcements from MistaJam and ‘Xtra Factor’ style backstage interviews with 1X presenters Sarah Jayne and Gemma Cairney with the acts as they come off the stage. As well as the on air feed – an identical feed is being transmitted via the ‘Red Button’ on digital TV. I feel the production team have done a good job of not just putting a radio programme on TV – the production feels slick, timely and relevent. The use of cutaways to ‘pimped up’ backstage caravan. They’ve really made the shows a visual experience. On TV – you’re being shown the extra to the performance; the lights, the screens, the audience .etc – while on Radio, you’re left to your own imagination to make up the visuals. On this occasion -both work! When’s the last time you heard on a radio the presenter going “Please note -this performance may contain flashing lights”.
Westwood live from Birmingham City Students' Union
As well as the live evening shows – Tim Westwood took his regular ‘College Dropout’ feature on the road and broadcast his daytime show from Student Unionsin each region the tour went too. Alongside the broadcast, Tim Westwood and his production team from BBC Radio 1Xtra gave an educational question and answer session for Media students and those involved in the student union’s Media Groups.
In Birmingham – he visitied Birmingham City University. Their student station, Scratch Radio – got behind the event and even created their own stand out promos to celebrate “The Big Dawg” popping into their union and studios.
Take a listen to this promo produced by Scratch Radio Head of Brand, James Gregory.
Listeners are being encouraged to tweet and FB in their comments using hash tag #1XtraLive. Presenters are reading out the ‘shouts’ during the live concert. 1Xtra and BBC Radio 1 Twitter editors are RT’ing comments on Facebook and Twitter. All the content from the gigs is being put up online shortly after. The tools are being easily made to share photos, stage performances and backstage interviews on blogs, Tumblrs, Twitter pages and Facebook streams. It helps to build audiences by offering exclusive and quality music content which resonates well with audiences. Everything is branded as 1Xtra and all links back to the hub website where the content sits.
The Facebook page is also doing ‘digital shout-outs’ something which Radio 1 did back in the day for T in the Park - this being when they get a celebrity to show up a piece of paper ‘bigging’ up a select amount of Twitter followers or Facebook fans. This acting as a kind of reward for listening and really showing some love to your P1 listeners. Here’s an example of Maverick Sabre showing the 1Xtra Facbeook fans some love:
In conclusion, 1Xtra Live is a huge event operation – showing the power of being together multiple departments, stations and staff from across the BBC to offer something unique and relevant to the target audience. In fact – the whole thing is ‘sick’ – 1Xtra crew are ‘killin it’ – and that Gemma is buff ‘ting!