We recently had the privilege of chatting to Anthony Frangi, Managing Director and Founder of Pop Up Radio. Anthony shares stories about his past, the changes he’s seen in radio with live stream content creation, and his new endeavours. With a stellar career including General Manager and Content Director for the Fairfax Radio Network; Content Director and broadcaster for the ABC; and a senior lecturer at The University of Queensland, it was fantastic having the opportunity to discuss the evolution of radio.
Live stream content creation
Stuart: So, welcome to the blog please welcome Anthony Frangi from Pop Up Radio Australia.
Anthony: Thank you, Thanks Stuart.
Stuart: So I’d love to know how did you get your start in radio.
Anthony: Well I started in community radio. Like so many people I was still at school at the time. There are only a few community stations in Brisbane and so I was able to sort of tap into that industry and with a couple of school mates. We used to get together and produce a weekly program and that’s how it all began.
Stuart: Let’s look at your radio background. I mean what you’re doing now is really an evolution of what your career began as.
Anthony: Yeah. As I mentioned I started out in community radio. I cut my teeth there, and then moved in to the professional sector working at the ABC at a very young age. I was hosting programs, producing my own show, cutting up audio, doing interviews. Then I moved to the commercial sector for a while, into commercial radio, and then back to the ABC. I dabbled in some television as well, as you did back then, where you were a radio presenter but you’re also sought after for television and you work together. So, I was very fortunate to be part of that era when that was quite strong in this city and this country.
Then I got into management. I decided to get away from the tools and move into programming. I became a program director for the ABC, and then eventually into senior management. Then I went back to commercial radio in programming and eventually as a general manager. For me it was about having a real good understanding of what this thing we call radio is, having started from the grassroots right up to management. So, I was able to talk to people at all levels having a good understanding of what constitutes good radio or good programming to looking after staff as a team leader.
Stuart: Absolutely. The sound of the disc jockeys back then was such a large part of my youth. When you hear them, instantly you know what station you’re listening to, it was that whole feeling as well. And so here we are. Pop Up Radio Australia. How did it evolve?
Anthony: Well I used to do a lot of facilitating at conferences. I was M.C./facilitator and I would sit there after introducing a keynote speaker and I would watch them with a great deal of interest. A lot of these speakers came from overseas; so they’d fly in, do their one hour presentation, take a couple of questions and then fly out. And I often said to myself: this audio is so rich, this content is so rich, it needs to be captured and it needs to be shared with like-minded people, people from various organisations who can learn, be inspired, be challenged by questions, whatever.
But the technology back then was never around. And so, because of the digital age, I thought: I wonder if you could create a radio station for the duration of a conference so that people who aren’t there would be able to listen like they’re listening to a radio station and be entertained and informed in a way that they would want to listen for a long period.
Introducing Pop Up Radio Australia
And so I came up with the idea of Pop Up Radio where we would go in, set ourselves up like a radio studio and broadcast from the venue. We would talk to the keynote speakers, interview delegates, cross live into the main room and package it up. Not only is it live but then all of that content is created as podcasts that the client can then use on their website as a digital archive, opportunity to share, opportunity to provide content for subscribers, new subscribers perhaps, anything that they can avail the opportunity to help promote themselves and their organisation through the content that they’ve been part of for that period.
Stuart: Well Pop Up Radio a fantastic concept and we’re very excited to become involved. And it still comes back to that story and that content creation. People sharing content is so important now, as you mentioned… it’s just brilliant. And so what are some of the technologies you bring in for live stream content creation?
Anthony: There are lots of ways to harness this audio through of course live streaming. I guess, the digital platform provides an avenue then for us to live stream not only locally but for all over the world. We were part of the world science festival in Brisbane back in 2016. Listeners all over the world listening to academics talk about artificial hearts and new stem formation and, you know, anything that has to do with science. And that was terrific because they couldn’t get to Australia. They were able to be part of the event and, through social media, contribute with questions and comments etc.
So the livestream is exciting and, you know, the Internet has been able to do that really, really well. Cloud storage such as SoundCloud makes it possible to take all that audio and help the client upload. Then that can be played back purely as a link for someone to listen to at any time.
Stuart: It’s brilliant because the links can be embedded onto web-sites, sponsors, social media. It is very easy to share and it’s absolutely sensational.
Anthony: Thanks for having me along today.
Stuart: Please thank Anthony Frangi from Pop Up Radio Australia for having a chat today about live stream content creation. We’ll see you again next time. Thanks very much.
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