Matthew Shorter

Matthew has almost 20 years’ experience as a producer, project manager, writer, editor and strategist on the web. Since co-founding Unthinkable in 2010, he has worked for a range of world-class clients in a wide range of capacities including programme manager, trainer, strategist and team leader.

Background

Matthew gained a first-class degree in music from Oxford University in 1992. He later joined the BBC as a classical music archivist, before moving into production at Radio 3, where he worked across a wide range of programmes including a season coordinating the administrative machine behind the Proms broadcasts, before moving on to produce strands such as The BBC Archive and Through the Night. Alongside more standard radio production tasks, Matthew was also able to indulge his penchant for systems building in this role. At Throught the Night he took particular pride in devising systems to streamline the complex sourcing and playout operation on this fledgling strand, which draws music from across the European Broadcasting Union to fill six hours a night of broadcast. Many of these systems persist today.

He led the adoption of the Internet for BBC Radio 3, authoring a pioneering study of multimedia in 1996 and a couple of years later taking Radio 3 online with a deep, content-rich online offering that was shortlisted for the Prix Europa. During the early days of BBC Online his portfolio expanded to include oversight of all of the radio networks’ websites (among other things, launching the first live streams), as well as producing and commissioning websites for high-profile brands such as The Sky at Night, the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures and the BBC Proms.

Following several years of commercial experience around the turn of the century as senior producer and project manager at digital solutions agency Razorfish, Matthew returned to the BBC to work as producer and project manager on a range of music projects, eventually being appointed Interactive Editor for Music Learning. His greatest satisfaction during this time came from his work (often alongside Justin) on music games which experimented with different paradigms for web-based composition and learning. Better still, Matthew was able to use those games to bridge the radio, the classroom and the concert hall, running composition workshops with schoolchildren, on-air competitions, and commissioning orchestrations for the BBC orchestras of the resulting works, to be performed live all over the country.

For several years up to the end of 2009 he managed the team responsible for the BBC’s music website, music TV, BBC Introducing and online coverage of major music events such as Glastonbury and the BBC Electric Proms, where he achieved huge growth in reach as well as building the profile and strategic focus of his team and output. The team also launched the new generation of the BBC’s artist pages, a music uploader for BBC Introducing and built a long-term strategy for music discovery. The artist pages project saw massive and highly innovative use of dynamic publishing based on linked open data, as a foundation for the strategy for music discovery and personalisation. And the BBC Introducing uploader was accompanied by the launch of an internal asset management system which directly linked together broadcast systems with the content being uploaded by users. These complex operations connected the dots between the corporation’s music broadcasting across many genres and production systems, and an increasing wealth of linked open data on the internet, to help the BBC continue to punch its considerable weight on the web, and form the foundation for the personalised, data-driven music services that the BBC offers today.

Matthew can also occasionally be found playing, improvising and composing music. His most recent work is the album Time Forgotten with the trio Brink.

Matthew is a giant among men with his powers of analysis, his methodical & logical approach, and with his charming good nature. It was a pleasure to have him on the team and I would have no hesitation in recommending him as a colleague.
Julian March, Head of Digital Media for ITV News Sport & Weather

Matthew stands out as someone who marries outstanding insight and vision with the ability to deliver it. He has a deep understanding of digital media in general and music. He's a delight to work with.
Mark Friend, Controller, Multiplatform & Interactive, BBC Audio & Music