Author Archives: Ben

Ben UNESCO: celebrating World Radio Day 2015

We’re happy to be sharing this guest post by our friends at UNESCO. 

Today, the world will be coming together to mark World Radio Day 2015. It’s an occasion to celebrate everything we love about radio, as well as encourage free, independent, and pluralistic radio. It’s also a time to take stock of the changes facing the radio sector and discuss what we want it to look like in the future.

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This year young women and men will receive special attention – the theme for 2015 is ‘Youth and Radio’, with the goal of promoting greater radio production for young people made by young people themselves. More than half of the world’s population is under 30, and young people already make a huge contribution to what we hear on the radio, though it often goes unnoticed.

They’ve also been the driving force behind a tectonic shift in the media industry as a whole. The global revenue from online radio has grown exponentially from just US$28m in 2003 to well over $800m in 2013. Studies show young people now listen to the radio online just as often as on traditional radios. And, even in developing countries, more and more people access the radio through mobile phones. It’s fair to say we need to look to young people as the shapers of what radio will be in the decades to come.

In a world where youth unemployment is still almost three times the overall rate, many young people are struggling to find work in their chosen fields. In the radio sector, they often have no other choice than to take casual or freelance work, or even head off to prove themselves in high-risk conflict and disaster zones. These journalists, along with the local fixers who assist them, often have very little protection from the media organizations that rely on them for information.

First celebrated in 2012 following its proclamation by UNESCO, World Radio Day has since grown to become a major international celebration, endorsed by the UN General Assembly and bringing together people from every corner of the globe.

Radio is a fantastic medium with an incredible ability to touch lives in some of the most remote places in the world – more than 95% of the world has access to it. This World Radio Day, let us join the call to bring young people into the fold, to ensure radio lives up to its massive potential to bridge generations.

Hear more on the World Radio Day Soundcloud page.

Ben Farewell to the Fringe!

As August draws to a close, so does the world’s largest arts festival: last weekend saw the end of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for 2013. As performers washed off their makeup and packed up their amps, Brendan, the SoundCloud Community Evangelist, took some time to reflect on the amazing festival experience we had at the SoundCloud Shack (special thanks to our clever friends at How About Studio who designed and built it for us):

Good news: if you loved laughing at Fringe (or just following it here), there’s no need to feel downbeat. Forget waiting 11 months for your next dose of hilarity: you can explore comedy on SoundCloud for thousands and thousands of hours of brilliant standup and other audio to feel like you’re back at the festival. Poncho optional.

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Ben Live Podcasting At The Edinburgh Festival Fringe

At the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this weekend? If you’re wondering what to watch, you might want to check out some of the amazing spoken word performers who stopped by to see us at The SoundCloud Shack while we were hanging out on the Royal Mile: hear these podcasts that were recorded live at the Shack.

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Carl Donnelly and Chris Martin sat down with Eric Lampaert, some SoundCloud umbrellas, and a friendly passerby.

Stu Goldsmith chatted with Jeff Achtem, who’s at Fringe performing in Slapdash Galaxy:

Have you heard David Deery’s interview with Gemma Whelan? Sh’es doing a solo show and starring in a play at Fringe:

For Getting Better Acquainted, Dave Pickering spoke to poet Dan Simpson and Richard Tyrone Jones:

And Byrony Jones hosted a terrific episode of Stand Up Tragedy, chatting with Charley Harrison, MJ Hibbets and Daniel Simpson:

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Still not sure what you want to catch at the festival? No problem: if you’re browsing the Edinburgh Festival Fringe website, you’ll see that many of the program listings have SoundCloud links — so you can hear samples from the performers and try before you buy. You’ll be laughing in no time.