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Capital’s video calls are good for listeners too

Capital’s new studios in London are designed and lit for video. They also feature technology that allows live video calls to be part of the show. These two clips demonstrate it well:

Listener Becky is in Thailand

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Fortune smiles on Katie’s date with a broken tooth

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Capital has executed this extremely well and in Dave Berry’s experienced hands the visual aspects never compromise the primary audio product. The sponsor, itv, gets its Love Island programme credited with on-screen graphics.

It’s clear that the contributors have also been briefed: see how Bex in Thailand stands outside to avoid boxy room acoustics, has aligned her device horizontally, propped up so it’s not waving about in her hand and is using the mic on her earbuds. An earbud mic usually gives better results than the inbuilt one on a phone.

While phone-in callers have been a staple of breakfast radio for decades the audio fidelity of a standard phone call is, by today’s media standards, pretty duff. Certainly it’s not in keeping with the calling experience Capital’s listeners are used to among friends, or the carefully-managed gloss of the Capital brand.

As these examples show, a Skype, WhatsApp or FaceTime call can be far more pleasant to listen to than a raspy phone call so Capital’s innovation – and they are commercial leaders in this – doesn’t just add a shareable visual element. It makes the radio sound better too.