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iona @iona

This is a clever way of presenting necessary but dry information:

Radio Nova is a hidden gem of radio. It's mostly music through the day but it can swerve from obscure early Beatles through Northern Soul, Nigerian hip-hop, Malian music and drum'n'bass. Great little station out of France.

Breath of fresh air when you are used to BBC 6 Music, which is good (and in English) but can often veer into "white men with guitars" territory at the detriment of other styles of music.

@iona I love Radio Nova!

A large part of my music collection is made up of their wonderful compilations "25 ans de Radio Nova" and "Nova Tunes".

I also feel lucky to have collaborated with them on some projects back in the day, meeting some of the wonderful collections of great people that converge there!

@mayel I turn it off when they do a long speech segment because while I can read French, I don't understand enough spoken French to get anything out of it (it's a long time since I was either at school or in France!) but I love the music output.

We don't have anything like it in the UK - everything is very tightly formatted and quite mainstream, even "jazz" and "alternative" stations. Jazz FM UK appears to be aimed at bankers.

@mayel It's funny, there's a station from Belgium that you can pick up here most of the time and I understand it pretty much perfectly. But French when spoken by French people? I don't get any of it. 🤔

@mayel I do have a Nova related question:

What are the things they do at the top of the hour? Someone says something and a sound effect says 'yay!' and someone else says something and a sound effect goes 'boo!'

I don't understand what's being said because it's very fast, so I'm not sure what's going on! What are they saying?

@iona many of them are excerpts from films, like this crazy piece of art (which some Nova people had a hand in making):

@iona here are some of them transcribed, so you can use an auto-translator on them:

@mayel Sorry for the delayed response - everything descended into chaos the other day.

Thanks for posting this! Interestingly, there aren't many French ads on the Nova online feed anymore. They use some kind of ad-replacement tech to put British ads in the breaks. 🇬🇧

I love Fip as well, which often seems a bit less talky. Fip is so popular here that people on the South Coast of England transmit it as a pirate!


I asked a radio person once about why they keep playing the same tracks over and over again, they replied it was "scientifically proven" that most people want to hear the same songs repeated.

Is that true? Sounds a bit unlikely? 😕

@switchingsocial Mostly it's because most people don't listen to a radio station all day. The average listening time is ~20 minutes, and the research says people want to hear their favourite song whenever they tune in.

So songs go around and around, because they want to hit everyone with a popular track during their 20 minute listening window. It makes all-day listening painful but it's proven that reach goes up when stations narrow their playlist, sadiy.

@switchingsocial We had a station here that went the opposite direction, changed from a bog-standard local pop station to a station playing indie, punk, soul, dance, etc with really knowledgeable presenters, mostly musicians themselves.

The ratings dropped like a stone. They gave it 4-5 years to their credit, but eventually we all turned on one morning to hear Take That and Rihanna :/


Maybe I'm just an outlier but hearing played-to-death songs repeated for years on end puts me off listening to radio stations :blobfrown:

@iona That's a pity! a lot of their stuff has a nice mix of edgy politics, sureal art/culture, and lighthearted humour. Which reminds me I should subscribe to some of their new podcasts! :)

@iona That looks really cool. Now thinking how I can reverse engineer that to see how its done.